News / Health

US Issues New Dietary Guidelines

The World Health Organization says obesity is really a global problem, and nutrition experts say these guidelines are flexible enough to reflect international cultural and religious differences.
The World Health Organization says obesity is really a global problem, and nutrition experts say these guidelines are flexible enough to reflect international cultural and religious differences.
TEXT SIZE - +

Americans are being urged to cut back on salt, sugar and fatty meats and to eat more fish and whole grains. The recommendations are part of new dietary guidelines issued January 31 by the U.S. government, and are designed to help the majority of Americans who are overweight or obese.

The World Health Organization says obesity is really a global problem, and nutrition experts say these guidelines are flexible enough to reflect international cultural and religious differences.  

You can blame the so-called western diet for part of the problem. Those greasy fried potatoes, red meat, processed foods, as well as lack of exercise, have helped put weight on more than one and a half billion adults around the world.  

Dr. Lynn Goldman, dean of public health at George Washington University, says too much salt and too much fat all add up to the global junk food diet.

"This is a call to go back to older ways of eating, to eating whole foods, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, more healthy foods,” she said. “Hopefully these guidelines will be noticed worldwide and people will take steps to both increase their physical activity and to eat healthier."

The guidelines are published every five years as part of the U.S. government's nutritional policy.  They help schools plan healthy menus for children and manage food assistance programs for the poor.  

Robert Post of the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion in Washington says the message people can take from these guidelines is simple:  Eat more of the good food and less of the bad.

"People should be consuming more nutrient dense foods, meaning that they should be consuming more foods that are vegetables, whole grains and fruits and low fat and fat free milk and milk products," Post stated.

The global problem seems staggering. The World Health Organization projects that by 2015 more than two billion people will be overweight and 700 million of them will be considered obese.  

The WHO also says 20 million children under the age of five are already overweight.  Health standards define being overweight as having a body mass index of more than 25 and being obese as a BMI (body mass index) of more than 30.

Health experts say people who are overweight or obese run the risk of serious health issues -- cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis and some cancers. Those with a chronic problem of hypertension are advised to limit their intake of salt to 1,500 milligrams a day.

Post says the nutritional guidelines are designed to reflect the tastes of many Americans who are used to a variety of ethnic cuisines.

"Flexibility is necessary and to the extent that we have outlined nutrient needs at different calorie levels and that those choices reflect the typical eating patterns in other countries, I think these guidelines could translate to other parts of the world," Post said.

The experts believe they are putting the best nutritional information out there for people to use.  But it is still up to each individual to do the hard work by eating the right way, losing weight and feeling healthy again.

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid