A Message from Dr. Van H. Dunn, Chief Medical Officer

Dear Members,

Good nutrition is essential for staying healthy and leading an active lifestyle. But poor eating habits—such as consuming too much saturated fat, trans fat or sugar and not enough fresh produce, lean protein and whole grains—can lead to fatigue, sleep problems, muscle weakness and more. It’s also a major contributing factor in many diseases and chronic conditions, including obesity, Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension. Poor nutrition can even affect your mental health, with certain vitamin deficiencies worsening symptoms of depression.

We are here to help. Our Wellness Department hosts regular workshops at institutions and facilities throughout the New York area, where registered dietitians demonstrate how to make nutritious, flavorful meals, discuss the importance of reading food labels and show what proper portion sizes look like. Our staff nutritionists provide group counseling, as well as one-on-one sessions for those who would like more personally tailored information. Through our peer-to-peer diabetes and hypertension counseling programs, you can connect with a fellow member who is successfully managing his or her condition and can offer you support and advice. And for our members who are expecting, our Prenatal Program includes nutritional information to make sure mom and baby are healthy.

Most recently, we’ve partnered with Welldoc, a leader in employee health and wellness technologies, to offer our members with Type 2 diabetes the BlueStar app, which helps them manage their blood sugar levels with real-time guidance and connections to their healthcare team. Users can also instantly view the nutritional content of meals at many fast-food restaurants, helping them make better food choices.

To learn more about the importance of a healthy diet, read “The Nutrition Prescription”.

Preventive Care Is the Best Care

Many of us are conscientious about scheduling our annual medical checkup, but did you know regular dental exams are just as important to your overall health? An annual medical checkup allows your healthcare provider to get a snapshot of your overall health and catch treatable health issues before they become serious. Likewise, your annual dental exam not only helps ensure that your teeth and gums are healthy but also allows your dental provider to spot signs or symptoms of chronic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and heart disease. Fortunately, your Benefit Fund has you covered. So, don’t put it off: Schedule your exams today! If you need to find a primary care physician or dental provider, please visit our “Find a Provider” page.

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