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NewsBites December 2010 Issue

Dietary Guidelines Mostly Unmet I

I f you’re not eating as healthfully as the federal Dietary Guidelines for Americans advise, you’re hardly alone. Researchers who analyzed data on 16,338 individuals’ eating habits from 2001-2004 national dietary surveys painted a dire picture of adherence to the healthy-eating guidelines. “Nearly everyone” in the survey failed to meet recommendations for whole grains, dark green vegetables, orange veg- etables and legumes. A majority fell short on every food group except beans, total grains and, not surprisingly, meat. Meanwhile, 80% of Americans age 71-plus and more than 90% of all other age groups, regardless of gender, indulged too much in “discretionary calories”—those from saturated fats, added sugars and alcohol. Research- ers concluded, “Nearly the entire US population consumes a diet that is not on par with recommendations. These fndings add another piece to the rather disturbing picture that is emerging of a nation’s diet in crisis.” An offcial update to the US dietary guidelines will be issued by year’s end—though the re- vised recommendations aren’t expected to be any easier to live up to.

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