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.

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

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt 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.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid