To reduce the limitations for patients living with haemophilia, we are firmly committed to understanding joint health. We believe improved joint health and mobility are essential to remove the limitations for patients living with haemophilia. This is where the importance of diet and exercises comes into play.
"I was overweight [...]. If I exercised for just an hour or so, I had pains for two days afterwards" (Jonah, Haemophilia patient)
Healthy eating can help everyone, but it is especially important for children and adults with haemophilia. Wherever possible, include a variety of foods for proper development. A diet that contains a variety of foods from each of the food groups (breads and grains, meats, fruits and vegetables, and dairy) will help prevent nutrient deficiencies.2 It will also help you maintain a healthy weight.1 Eating lots of foods high in calories, with extra saturated fat, added sugar and salt, such as fast foods, will pile on the weight – putting extra stress on joints and potentially increasing the number of painful bleeds.1
The video features Brigitte, a nutritionist from Germany and her patient Jonah. Brigitte talks about how healthy eating is helping Haemophilia patients with their joints. Read the story of Jonah and Brigitte (PDF)
Learn more about healthy eating and nutrition:
It is a good idea to eat three balanced meals during the day, and it’s important not to skip breakfast or lunch. Research shows that a nutritious breakfast is good for school or work performance, and may protect against obesity and other illnesses.4 Think about how many calories you need depending on your activity and judge your meals accordingly. If you have a large lunch, then choose lighter options at dinner. If you are planning a meal out with friends, plan in advance with a smaller lunch.
a: Light physical activityassociated with typical day-to-day life
b: As sedentary plus physical activity equivalent to walking about 1.5 to 3 miles per day at 3 to 4 miles per hour.
c: As sedentary plus physical activity equivalent to walking more than 3 miles per day at 3 to 4 miles per hour.
Guidelines recommend different daily calorie intakes for men depending on age and how much activity is undertaken.3
Different foods contain different proportions of carbohydrate, fat and protein. For example, an egg contains mostly fat and protein with a little carbohydrate, whereas a skinless chicken breast is mostly protein with a little fat and no carbohydrate.
We have little control when eating out over how our food is prepared or the size of our portion. Foods in restaurants and cafés tend to be higher in fat – in fact, those who eat out regularly generally have a higher consumption of calories, fat and salt. In addition, eating with friends can tempt us to overeat. However, with some simple tips and a little effort, eating out can be enjoyable and healthy!
1. NHF. National Haemophilia Foundation. Steps for Living. Nutrition and Maintaining a Healthy Body Weight. [cited 2012 15 February 2012]; Available from: www.stepsforliving.hemophilia.org.
2. Medline Plus, U.S. National Library of Medicine From the National Institutes of Health
(NIH). Age appropriate diet for children. [cited 2012 15 February 2012]; Available from: www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002455.htm.
3. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010.
4. Pereira MA, Erickson E, McKee P, et al., J Nutr, 2011; 141(1): p. 163-8.