A recent Reuters Health article reported on a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that looked at real eating habits of Americans compared to U.S. dietary standards. Researchers found that people from all groups fall short of nutritional recommendations, and that some groups are worse than others. Children and the elderly seemed to eat a healthier diet than younger and middle-aged adults, and women had a better diet than men. Hispanics also tended to have better quality diets than either blacks or whites.
For the study, researchers used responses to a large national health survey to compare what 8,272 Americans said they ate in the course of one day to what the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) suggested they should be eating. According to the study’s lead author Hazel Hiza of the USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP), “Regardless of socioeconomic status, age, race and education, the American diet as a whole needs to be improved.” Hiza added that Americans should also take into account their physical activity levels, and not just their diets.
“I think it’s a really important piece of science because it demonstrates what many of us suspected for a long time: there are many profound disparities in the American diet,” says Gary Bennett, who studies obesity prevention at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. “Overall, Americans would benefit from policies that encourage people to eat more fruit and vegetables. Most policy decisions have advanced the production, processing and consumption of inexpensive grains… If we can figure out policy that could do the same for fruit and vegetables, our health would benefit.”
There are many resources available to help individuals meet dietary standards, including tools to track diet and exercise. While no one diet is appropriate for every individual, there are general guidelines that we have been taught to follow. Inherent Health offers genetic testing to allow individuals to better understand their unique genetic makeup and learn about their individual weight management and nutritional needs. We also offer support through our Diet and Nutrient Analyzer on our Member’s Page where we offer useful tips, tools, news and support 24 hours a day.
SOURCE: http://bit.ly/UsLfDG Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, online November 19, 2012.