Panel says food industry norms, Americans’ habits must change
With the release of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, Nanci Hellmich of USA Today and many RD blogger Colleagues report that obesity is “the single greatest threat to public health in this century,” which an expert panel also declared in the report Tuesday that urges Americans to slash calories and increase their physical activity. Yet, I feel compelled to add that as far back as I can remember, at least 30 years, but who’s counting, we’ve been stating this! Habits and behaviors must change; please listen to us Dietitians’.
An advisory committee for the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans calls on people to cut back on added sugars and solid fats (butter, marbled meats) and to follow a more nutrient-rich, plant-based diet.
The report is based upon the latest scientific evidence and was prepared by a 13-member panel of national nutrition and health experts. The public has 30 days to comment at www.dietary guidelines.gov.
The final 2010 guidelines will be released later this year by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Department of Health and Human Services. About two-thirds of adults and one-third of children in the United States are overweight or obese. The advisory committee highlighted 4 major steps:
- Reduce excess weight and obesity by cutting calories intake and increasing physical activity.
- Shift to a more plant-based diet that emphasizes vegetables, dry beans and peas, fruits, while grains, nuts and seeds. Increase intake of seafood and fat-free and low-fat milk and milk products, and consume only moderate amounts of lean meats, poultry and eggs.
- Significantly reduce intake of foods containing added sugars and solid fats, which contribute about 35% of the calories in the American diet. Cut sodium intake to 1,500 milligrams a day and lower intake of refined grains.
- Meet the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Those recommend that adults get at least 21/2 hours of moderate-intensity physical activity each week, such as brisk walking, or 11/4 hours of a vigorous activity, such as jogging or swimming laps, or a combination. Children and teens should do an hour or more of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day.
This report also calls for changing the environment in the following manner:
- Improve nutrition literacy and cooking skills, and motivate people to prepare healthy foods at home.
- Improve the availability of affordable fresh produce through greater access to grocery stores, produce trucks and farmers’ markets
- Encourage restaurants and the food industry to offer health-promoting foods and smaller portions
To Your Good Health,
Thank you for reading