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Moderation Nation: Balance is key for health

There’s no need to spend hours in the gym every week or put a lock on your refrigerator door to stop you from snacking after dinner. You can have chocolate, now and then, and take up an activity you enjoy to get yourself off the couch. A national initiative, in collaboration with the American Dietetic Association and the American Council on Exercise, wants you to achieve a healthy lifestyle through moderation.

Woman eating chocoalte bar

Chocolate maker Hershey does not want us to feel guilty about indulging in chocolate or other sweet treats – in moderation, of course. The company’s nutrition center, Hershey Center for Health and Nutrition (HCHN), is behind an education campaign for achieving balance through moderation in nutrition and physical activity, the 2011 Moderation Nation Campaign, at

Dance the Batuka for fun fitness

But, can nutrition and fitness be as fun as popping those delightful Hershey’s Kisses? Quite possibly. Grammy-winning writer and producer Kike (pronounced “Kee-kay”) Santander has developed a version of batuka, a South American dance, with music and a choreographed routine to get people on their feet to blast fat and workout boredom in a family-friendly way. Check out the video below.

“As a working mom, I struggle to find the right balance between making sure my family is well-cared for, but also taking care of myself in the process,” says Nancy O’Dell of Entertainment Tonight. “Dancing is not only fun, but a great way to incorporate a little activity into my daily routine. Best of all, it’s something I can get my husband, girlfriends or daughter involved in, too.”

Resources to develop healthy habits

The campaign has both the American Dietetic Association (ADA) and the American Council on Exercise (ACE) on board. It’s not just about dance moves and the benefits of cocoa – the program website has recipes, tips and resources to help people make lifestyle changes for better health, including:

Access to ADA Member Registered Dietitians (RDs) and ACE trainers: HCHN hosts “house calls” in homes for group nutrition consultations from experienced RDs. Sessions will feature a Moderation Nation dance demonstration led by ACE trainers. Workshops will also be part of Hershey’s Track & Field Games (HTFG) state events this summer, and on offer with retail and supermarket partners.

Moderation Menus: Based on an individual’s lifestyle needs, these seven-day menu ideas model how to balance food choices and life’s demands.

Meal Balancer: Since many people focus on their main dish, this interactive tool provides a full-meal decision tree that empowers users to build a balanced meal with trade-offs and side-dish ideas.

Food Journal: RDs say people who keep food journals are more likely to stay on track with a healthy eating plan. HCHN has created a free, downloadable food journal and easy-to-follow journaling tips.

Moderation Nation Activity Snack Mobile App for iPhone: Available through the iTunes App Store, the app sends reminders to take a short activity break during the day, and can help track how much activity people are actually getting during the week.

More on batuka

Check out this demonstration of a batuka workout!

More healthy living tips

Fitness expert Denise Austin: Get energy!
Top 5 high-energy foods
Be a goal getter

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