Feature Story | 8-Jan-2024

Pennington Biomedical encourages small shifts for big improvements in health and nutrition throughout 2024

With minor tweaks to daily habits, the “Small Shifts” campaign emphasizes little changes that can have a big impact over time

Pennington Biomedical Research Center

BATON ROUGE – Pennington Biomedical Research Center is encouraging “Small Shifts” in the new year, including small shifts in food choices, exercise and daily routines. Through the variety of research studies undertaken by Pennington Biomedical scientists, a common refrain that has emerged from research results is that subtle, simple adjustments to personal habits and choices can build a foundation for lasting well-being. 

Small shifts, such as choosing a piece of fruit over a sugary treat or taking a 10-minute walk after work rather than dropping onto the couch can have a lasting impact on health over time. Drastic lifestyle changes, including ambitious New Year’s resolutions, can be overwhelming and difficult to maintain, but the small shifts encouraged in this new campaign can make lifestyle changes more manageable, sustainable and less stressful. 

“The best way to form a positive and healthy new habit is to make minor adjustments to our routines,” said Dr. John Kirwan, Executive Director of Pennington Biomedical. “At Pennington Biomedical, we know that long-term adherence to a new adjustment can be difficult, but any small shift in a positive direction can lead to key results down the road. In 2024, we encourage everyone to ease into the new year, identify a small shift, and don’t let yourself be discouraged. Any small shift for the better is a step in the right direction.” 

Pennington Biomedical has identified key benefits to embracing small shifts, including:  

  • Sustainability: Small changes are easier to sustain over time, making it more likely that you'll stick to your healthier habits.  
  • Reduced Stress: By focusing on manageable shifts, you can avoid the stress and anxiety often associated with drastic lifestyle changes.  
  • Achievable Goals: Small goals are attainable, leading to a sense of accomplishment and motivation to continue your journey.  
  • Long-Term Health: Consistency in small shifts can lead to significant improvements in your health and well-being over the years.  

To take part in Pennington Biomedical’s “Small Shifts” campaign, people are encouraged to sign up online at pbrc.edu/smallshifts. Upon signing up, participants will receive a free health journal with helpful health resources, a habit tracker, a meal planner and recipes from Pennington Biomedical’s Metabolic Research Kitchen. Additionally, participants will receive monthly “Small Shifts” messages in which researchers will provide guidance through new small shifts. Participants’ names will also be entered into monthly drawings for giveaways, including water bottles, t-shirts, Bluetooth earphones and other prizes. If you are participating in the “Small Shifts” campaign, use the hashtag #smallshifts to share your journey.  

About the Pennington Biomedical Research Center
The Pennington Biomedical Research Center is at the forefront of medical discovery as it relates to understanding the triggers of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and dementia. Pennington Biomedical has the vision to lead the world in promoting metabolic health and eliminating metabolic disease through scientific discoveries that create solutions from cells to society.  The Center conducts basic, clinical, and population research, and is affiliated with LSU.

The research enterprise at Pennington Biomedical includes over 480 employees within a network of 40 clinics and research laboratories, and 13 highly specialized core service facilities. Its scientists and physician/scientists are supported by research trainees, lab technicians, nurses, dietitians, and other support personnel. Pennington Biomedical a state-of-the-art research facility on a 222-acre campus in Baton Rouge.

For more information, see www.pbrc.edu.

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