2010 Dietary Guidelines Shed Light on Growing Obesity Epidemic
The United States government issues updated dietary guidelines for the nation every five years and the preliminary copy of the 2010 version is now available for public viewing and comment. Included is the following statement:
" Everything within this Report is presented through the filter of an obesegenic environment in critical need of change. This is especially true in regard to American children whose incidence of obesity has tripled in the past five years. This desperately requires an all out effort to improve diet and physical activity behaviors across the country. The Committee is united in its resolve to provide recommendations that halt and reverse this rampant epidemic. This will require extensive collaboration and implementation of a unified effort to help reduce calorie intake, increase physical activity output and enhance the overall nutrient density of dietary intake. While the research evidence is now substantial and detailed in most cases, there remain gaps in the science that required us to use clinical judgment to help reconcile some of these missing pieces in order to provide reasonable recommendations on the basis of combined knowledge and data."
The so-called rampant epidemic of childhood obesity has a solution that we are being urged to embrace. It involves ramping up our physical activity and increasing the nutrient density of our dietary intake. Exercising Values recognizes that these changes need to begin in the home with individual families working together to adopt new habits. As we have been noting these changes will not just impact the health of children but will also enhance their intellectual capacity and build their self-esteem. We have everything to gain by following a plan to increase fitness and improve our eating habits and we have everything to lose if we do not.
Don't let the soda pop industry and other vested interests be the only ones to read and comment on the recommendations before they become official later this year. Express your concern and opinion to the committee that has been sifting through the latest research findings on diet and exercise. Let them know that this is a concern of yours for your family and the nation. It is a problem that we can solve together for the sake of the next generation.
As adults, we must commit to being role models worth emulating. Take stock of what is in your refrigerator and cabinets today and throw out empty calorie foods. Take a trip to your local farmers market or go blueberry picking with the kids. Begin to talk about these things with your children. Keep it positive and do it together.
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