Friday, January 14, 2011

Food Police


Uh oh.

“Nearly the entire U.S. population consumes a diet that is not on par with recommendations,” is the conclusion of a report published online on August 11, 2010 in the Journal of Nutrition.

Susan M. Krebs Smith and her colleagues at the National Cancer Institute evaluated data from 16,338 individuals aged 2 and older who participated in the 2001-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Quantities of foods reported in 24 hour dietary recall interviews were categorized into groups included in the USDA’s food pyramid, which diagrams the recommended dietary intake of total fruits, whole fruits, total vegetables, dark green vegetables, orange vegetables, legumes, starchy vegetables, other vegetables, milk, total grains, whole grains, meat and beans, and oils.

“This analysis indicates that nearly the entire U.S. population consumes a diet with fewer vegetables and whole grains than recommended and that a large majority underconsume fruits, milk, and oils relative to recommendations,” the authors write.

“The stark contrasts observed between the diets of Americans as well as the U.S. food supply and current dietary guidance underscore the need for individual- and environmental-level interventions to facilitate healthier dietary intake patterns. Without such interventions, the diets of most U.S. adults and children will continue to be markedly divergent from recommendations, a worrisome state in the context of the obesity epidemic and alarming rates of other diet-related chronic diseases.”

Client:  “I have very good eating habits.”
Trainer:  “Can you write down two weekdays and one weekend day worth of everything you consumed so I can help you make it even healthier?

This is a very simple exercise, writing a food diary.  I do it myself from time to time.  We all have room for improvement.  Even the USDA food pyramid has room for improvement.  There are great benefits to be gained from more awareness and more conscious choices regarding your food intake.

Eat better, feel better, perform better.  It really works that way!  (Why would I lie about a thing like this?)

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