Enabling Healthy Eating in America – Federation of American Scientists

Poor diets present high health risks, and Americans need help finding the time and resources to eat nutritiously

Americans are being bombarded with promotions on baseless diet fads online Branded dubious foods for weight loss In grocery stores, they often struggle to eat nutritiously. Dietary Guidelines for Americans We recommend A balanced diet consisting of two and a half cups of vegetables, two cups of fruit, six ounces of grains, three cups of dairy, five and a half ounces of protein, and 27 grams of oil per day. This diet is balanced, but not practiced and inaccessible to all Americans (Fig. 1).

Increasing numbers of Americans are not eating healthy meals. in 2018, National Health and Nutrition Examination It found that one in three Americans eats fast food on any given day. Moreover, both rural And civilized Americans report that lack of time and access to nutritious foods prevents them from cooking healthy meals. In fact, a 2017 study He noted that higher prices for healthy foods – nearly twice as much as for unhealthy foods – could play a role in the US population’s failure to achieve a nutritious diet. When the cost of healthy food was 14 percent higher than the cost of unhealthy food, there was a 24 percent decrease in Consume High quality diet. Unfortunately, the file unhealthy diet It can lead to a variety of health problems, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and an increased risk of some cancers. To reverse poor health metrics like 42.4% of American adults over the age of 20 suffer of obesity in 2018, policymakers and health experts alike hope to make healthy diets accessible to all Americans.

Figure 1. On average, people in the United States score between 56 and 60 (out of 100) when they rate healthy eating. A maximum test score of 100 indicates adherence to US Dietary Guidelines. Figure reproduced from Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025.

To enable people to gain more nutritious eating habits, some experts recommend the following:

For some, transitioning to a balanced diet will require learning how to cook, carving out time to prepare meals, or gaining an understanding of the nutritional value of various foods. In the United States, there is no justifiable reason why people should not be supported by local, state, and federal governments in efforts to eat healthy.

To improve American eating habits, policy makers can learn about and implement public health initiatives for nutritional education, as well as breaking down systemic barriers to healthy lifestyles.

This CSPI science and technology policy snapshot expands upon the scientific exchange between Congressman Bill Foster (D, IL-11) and The new science council organized by FAS.

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