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We’re Getting Too Fat

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We’re Getting Too Fat

The federal government just released the 7th edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans–their nutritional guidelines created to promote health, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and to help reduce the epidemic of obesity that is crippling the country.

More than one-third of children and more than two-thirds of adults in the United States are overweight or obese, thus, the new Dietary Guidelines  places a stronger emphasis (than prior editions) on reducing calorie consumption and increasing physical activity.  The state of our national health is pretty abysmal, and most of it can be linked to our eating habits. How’s this for a summary? 81.1 million Americans have cardiovascular disease; 74.5 million have hypertension; 24 million have diabetes; almost one in two will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime; one out of every two women and one in four men ages 50 years and older will have an  osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime.

According to Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, “These new and improved dietary recommendations give individuals the information to make thoughtful choices of healthier foods in the right portions and to complement those choices with physical activity.” Not for nothing, but I’m not sure how much help a 95-page report can really offer.

Essentially, we have a 95-page report versus the $1.6 billion dollars spent annually by food makers to market junk food.

In the late 1970s, 15 percent of adults were obese. In 2008, 34 percent of adults were obese. The food supply has changed dramatically over the
past 40 years. Foods available for consumption increased in all major food categories from 1970 to 2008. Average daily calories available per person in the marketplace increased by approximately 600 calories.

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Read more: Children, Cholesterol, Diabetes, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Health, Healthy Schools, Heart & Vascular Disease, News & Issues, , ,

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.


+ add your own
3:37PM PDT on Aug 16, 2011

Just another reminder and more motivation to change the way my family eats. Thank you,

3:47AM PDT on May 12, 2011

I love when people blame fast food restaurants, but they do offer regular size burgers. Matter of fact, you can get them for a dollar.

8:18AM PDT on May 11, 2011

Thanks. Have to lose some pounds today!

10:35AM PDT on May 6, 2011


7:09PM PDT on Mar 13, 2011

There are so many aspects to this issue and it is easy to simplify it into a nice pat article like this one with the offensive photograph. I am not saying that the article does not have merit, but it is important to explore a variety of points of view on this complicated subject. Please check out my blog on Care 2 .com called Tasty Morsels by Dr. Deah Schwartz, just for a different angle on this topic.

6:37PM PDT on Mar 13, 2011

Thanks for the useful post.

6:32PM PST on Mar 9, 2011

And thick!

7:19AM PST on Feb 28, 2011

Thank you for posting.

12:47AM PST on Feb 19, 2011

Aside from exercise and a healthy diet, you can take supplements that contain nopal extract, also known as Indian fig. Nopal is an excellent fat-absorbing fiber.

6:14AM PST on Feb 9, 2011

Just don't eat out too much. It really pays to be able to make your own home-cooked meals.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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