Nation’s diet in crisis

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Nation’s Diet in Crisis In 2010, the USDA officially revised
the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, which raises the question: How have we been doing
with the old guidelines? What’s wrong with the
standard American diet? This is a table reporting compliance
with the 2005 guidelines, which were not particularly stringent. For example, they recommend
we should eat at least one serving of whole fruit a day, yet three-quarters of Americans couldn’t
even attain that one fruit serving a day. And look at college-age
Men and women— 90% couldn’t even grab half a
banana or something, all day long. For vegetables, we did even worse. About 9 out of 10 Americans
couldn’t even reach the minimum— and don’t get me started
on dark green leaves. For example, the recommended minimum intake
of dark green leafy vegetables for 9 to 13-year-old kids? A fifth of a cup a day— and they even consider
romaine lettuce a dark green leafy. Yet only about 1 in 500 kids eat a single
leaf of romaine lettuce—1 in 500. 97% of Americans couldn’t
bother with a carrot; 96% were noncompliant with legumes; and 99% of Americans don’t eat even
the measly minimum of whole grains.

And then, to top it all off, junk foods. Do you want to know how lax the federal
regulations are, the federal guidelines? A quarter of our calories are allowed
to be empty-calorie junk foods. A quarter of our diet
can be cotton candy, and we’re still okay under the
government’s recommendations. Still, how many Americans
couldn’t even keep it down to that? 95% of Americans exceed
their maximum discretionary caloric allowances. And look at children. Only one in a thousand American
children eats even marginally healthy, by ensuring less than a quarter of
their calories aren’t completely wasted— the equivalent of eating less
than 24 spoonfuls of sugar a day. Only one in a thousand American
kids can evidently manage that. And we wonder why there’s a childhood
obesity epidemic—and adults too! “In conclusion, nearly the entire U.S.
population consumes a diet that is not on par with recommendations
[even crappy recommendations].

These findings add another piece to the
the rather disturbing picture that is emerging of a nation’s diet in crisis.”.



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