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Americans Receive an "F" on the Dietary Report Card

Nearly all Americans fail to meet federal dietary guidelines according to new research published in the September 2010 issue of the Journal of Nutrition.

Researchers from the National Cancer Institute and the National Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion analyzed dietary data on over 16,000 individuals for the study.

They found that nearly all Americans over-consume “discretionary calories” which are calories that come from things like solid fats, added sugars and alcohol. Specifically, 80% of the individuals over 70, and more than 90% of all other age groups of both sexes over-consumed that type of calorie.

Nearly everyone also failed to meet the dietary recommendations for dark green vegetables, orange citrus fruits, legumes, and whole grains. The only food groups that Americans seem to be getting the right amount of are total grains and meat and beans.

The researchers noted that these disturbing findings highlight the need for more drastic interventions in order to solve the nation’s diet crisis. The nation’s food supply has oversupplied solid fats, added sugars, and sodium, and undersupplied fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and milk over at least the past several decades. Without drastic changes, the obesity epidemic will continue to grow as will the exponential rates of diet-related chronic disease.

If you are like most Americans, you should consider finding ways to incorporate green vegetables, whole grains and fruit into your everyday diet in order to increase energy throughout the day and decrease the risk of developing a diet related chronic disease.

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