Rising concerns about the health of the American population has been a topic that has swept the nation and caught the attention of most local and national news organizations. The public at large has become much more aware of this growing problem, and consequently numerous high profile individuals and companies are stepping up to lead the fight on “the battle of the bulge”. Earlier this year, First Lady Michelle Obama launched her initiative to fight childhood obesity with her “Let’s Move” Campaign, which has been promoted throughout the nation. Other examples include Allergan’s C.H.OI.C.E. (Choosing Health over Obesity Inspiring Change through Empowerment) Campaign, and the Louisiana Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, which introduced the physical activity nutritional challenge, “Lighten Up Louisiana”.
There are many suggestions for maintaining a healthy diet and achieving overall health and fitness. In order to reduce the risk of chronic disease and promote overall health, individuals should seriously consider focusing on items such as:
- Developing eating patterns focused on consuming fewer calories
- Making more informed food choices
- Less dining out
- Fewer high saturated fats
- More fruits and vegetables
- Increasing physical activity (2-3 times/week)
- Maintaining a healthy weight
The United States government oversees health and dietary recommendations and by law, reviews, updates if necessary, and publishes the Dietary Guidelines for Americans every 5 years. Each edition is jointly created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 Key Recommendations encompass two concepts: 1) Balancing calories to manage weight and, 2) Focus on consuming nutritional foods and beverages. Each of these concepts includes key recommendations.
Balancing Calories to Manage Weight
- Prevent and/or reduce overweight and obesity through improved eating and physical activity behaviors.
- Control total calorie intake to manage body weight. For people who are overweight or obese, this means consuming fewer calories from foods and beverages.
- Increase physical activity and reduce time spent in sedentary behaviors
- Maintain appropriate calorie balance during each stage of life
Food and Food Components to Reduce
- Reduce daily sodium intake to less that 2,300 mg. People 51 years old, African Americans, diabetics, hypertensive individuals, and chronic kidney disease patients should limit sodium intake to 1,500 mg.
- Consume less than 10% of calories from saturated fatty acids
- Consume less than 300 mg per day of dietary cholesterol
- Keep trans fatty acid consumption as low as possible by limiting foods that contain synthetic sources of trans fats
- Reduce the intake of calories from solid fats and added sugars
- Limit the consumption of foods that contain refined grains, especially refined grain foods that contain solid fats, added sugars, and sodium
- If alcohol is consumed, it should be consumed in moderation – up to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men – and only by adults of legal drinking age.
The Surgical Specialists of LA promote a combination of healthy eating habits and exercise to achieve an ideal body weight. MyWeight is a medically supervised weight loss program where we create a personalized weight loss diet plan designed specifically for you. If you’d like more information about MyWeight and how it or any of the programs offered by the Surgical Specialist of LA can help change your life, learn more at www.whyweight.com, or or call 1-877-691-3001.