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Living Veggie

U.S. Dietary Guidelines: What are you doing to follow them?

According to a press release announcing the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, there is an obesity epidemic among men, women, and children in all segments of our society, along with many other health issues. With the non-stop, Energizer Bunny attitude of American culture, it’s no wonder people seek quick and easy meals to eat. Unfortunately, with people eating whatever they can grab on the go, basic nutritional knowledge has flown out the window in the mad dash. This, along with the Internet, TV and video games, has decreased exercising for many as well.

The facts are alarming to me, but not because I think it’s surprising that America has developed these issues. Let’s be honest, I think these concerns have been pretty apparent for years. It’s alarming to me because a lot of the topics that the guidelines touch on are extremely easy to overlook in everyday life, even for someone who considers him or herself healthy and fit. For example, I need to make sure I get enough calcium since I don’t eat dairy products. I’m sure many of you vegans out there should be paying attention to that too! (If you aren’t already :) )

Two overarching concepts that the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans communicate are to maintain calorie balance to sustain a healthy weight, and for Americans to focus on consuming nutrient-dense foods and beverages. Seems simple, right? Well, for many Americans it’s not!

So bravo to the USDA and the HHS for bringing us back to the basics. It’s important for people to be educated on what they should be eating in order to be healthier. Americans aren’t dumb! We have just been a little distracted lately! Once people understand the importance of balanced meals and eating nutritious foods, the rest will come. It’s clear that we need to take a stand and change our eating and exercise habits as a whole. And I’m not just talking about those of us who need to change our habits; I’m talking about those who are already healthy as well.

First things first, read the guidelines yourself: http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/dietaryguidelines.htm

If you’re a mom or dad, read the guidelines so you know what you and your children need so they can grow up knowing for themselves. Or make a new rule that says no video games until they have had some sort of ‘old fashioned’ exercise! If you’re single or without kids, make an interesting tidbit you read in the latest guidelines the topic of conversation with your friends the next time you see them. I know that is what I’m going to do!

I really believe that if we try to spread the word about eating properly, and stop buying into the latest dieting gimmick, we can start to create the change towards living healthier as a country.

What do you plan on doing to play your part?

Rachael

Lightlife Team Member

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About Blogitarian

Lightlife's resident blogger and veggie enthusiast, Rachael, gives you an insight into the vegetarian world as well as a peek at what’s new in Turners Falls.

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