Junk That Junk Food!
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the part of the government that makes sure that food is grown and sold in a safe manner, will soon announce its latest dietary or food guidelines for Americans.
These guidelines, which are updated every five years, recommend that Americans eat less meat and more vegetables, non-fat dairy (milk) products and fruit. The USDA hopes that the guidelines will encourage Americans to choose healthier food over unhealthy things like burgers, sodas and sweetened fruit juices, fat-filled junk foods like potato chips and chocolate chip cookies.
It also hopes that Americans will reduce the size of their food portions, which have skyrocketed over the years. To give you an example, a chocolate cookie in 1996 was 700 percent larger than recommended USDA serving! You can only imagine how much larger cookies are today.
If Americans follow the latest guidelines, they will eat more whole grains, fiber, vitamins and minerals in their diet, and less of foods that result in obesity, which can lead to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and even cancer. Obesity is defined as extra weight a person carries due to uncontrolled, unhealthy eating habits and lack of exercise.
Facts To Chew On
By the end of 2010, almost half of the children in North and South America are expected to be overweight (weigh more than the average for a certain age and gender), and out of this, 15 percent will be obese (have very high body fat).
The World Health Organization (WHO) calls this "Globesity" or global obesity. It is not only affecting developed nations like United States or Europe, but also developing nations in Asia, Latin America, North Africa, Pacific islands and more. According to WHO, around 20 million children under the age of five were overweight around the world in 2005. They expect that by 2015, approximately 2.3 billion adults will be overweight, and more than 700 million will be obese.
So, the next time you reach for extra helping of cookies or chips, think twice!