Nutrition Data Released on January 31st

On Monday, January 31st, the U.S Department of Agriculture and the U.S Department of Health and Human Services released new nutrition guidelines with a different approach. 

In the past, the trouble with nutrition guidelines was always getting the consumer’s attention.  Now, the government has decided to be honest and get straight to the point.  The 112 pages of nutrition data all sum up to tell consumers one thing:  “eat less.”

Well it’s about time the government decides to be straightforward, however I don’t necessarily think that “eat less” is the right message to relay to Americans.  Obviously anytime you cut calories you are going to lose weight.  The report specifically states: “Enjoy your food, but eat less.”  So Americans are supposed to eat a Big Mac twice a week now instead of three?  There is even a professor, Mark Haub, who went on a twinkie diet for ten weeks and lost weight.  Not healthy at all in my opinion, but yes when you eat less, you generally lose weight.

Not to say that the entire report was poorly written, there was some good information in there too.  The data emphasizes that sodium should be reduced in any diet, as well as increasing the amount of grains, whole wheat, and fat-free dairy products you intake.  The report also suggests that half of your plate should consist of vegetables, especially dark green, red and orange ones. 

One great point that the report made was that in order for the people to change, companies and restaurants must change as well.  A typical serving at restaurants is usually enough to feed two people.  The report is calling for change, and some companies have already begun to respond.  For example, the Wal-Mart Corporation has already begun a five-year plan to bring healthier produce to consumers at an affordable price.    

All-in-all it’s important to cut calories to lose weight, but to also keep track of what you consume.  I try to focus on cutting carbs as much as possible, eating one small portion of meat, and eating up to five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. In what I have read and learned, cutting carbs and calories, along with exercise is key.


About tonicekada

I am a junior print journalism major at West Virginia University. I have two minors in Italian and fitness.
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