Government regulations or dietary guidelines?

dietary guidelines, health, Journalism, news

food1Over the years, the government has placed much regulation on the conduct of Americans. There was the prohibition of Alcohol, laws placed on gun control, and recent legislation that determines the legality of Cannabis from state to state. But can there really be regulations on what Americans eat?

Professor Henstenburg, director of the nutrition program at La Salle University, says that while the government cannot directly tell us what and what not to eat, they can place dietary guidelines to act as recommendations for healthy living in the United States.

By law, food and nutrition scientists come together every five years to deliver highly researched guidelines that tells Americans how they should eat.

According to recent dietary guidelines, ” There is an importance for understanding the totality of food and beverage intake at the  level of food groups and basic ingredients food3(e.g., fruit, vegetables, whole grains, refined grains, dairy, protein foods) as well as at the level of foods as they are typically consumed, called food categories  (e.g., pizza, pasta dishes, burgers, sandwiches) and how these contribute to nutrient adequacy or nutrient excess”.

Due to raised suspicion, many people do not follow such measures, causing these dietary guidelines to lose much of its credibility between the American people.

“Now usually there are lots of controversy in these guidelines because it has been long thought that  they are fairly influenced by the food industry,” said Henstenburg.

To allow Americans to voice opinions like these along with many others, these guidelines are placed in the Federal Register for people to publicly comment.

Still, with such dietary liberation, 68.8 percent of the people in the United States are overweight. These numbers suggest that such guidelines  do not working in food2decreasing obesity simply because Americans do not like being told what to eat.

As we  continue our journey to promoting healthy eating, it will interesting to see how scholars and nutritionist develop a better method that could help Americans get on track with better dieting.


Exploring the problem


The Students at La Salle University are helping large parts of their community by coming up with answers that go beyond tests and quizzes.

Exploring Nutrition is a program at La Salle that enables students to collaborate with local businesses, community organizations, and religious institutions to collect and distribute helpful resources that  better the health and nutritional well-being of local neighborhoods.

This program is different from others on campus because it is aimed to help nourish families in the immediate community.

“Pheed Philly is great, but they don’t do much locally,” according to Dr. Marjprie Allen, Chair of Integrative studies and active member of Exploring Nutrition.

Because of the lack of programs within the Lasallian community, Exploring Nutrition works to establish community health databases and nutritional food resources for those who reside within the radius of the university by providing complete and up-to-date food access maps, nutrition education, and access to fresh produce.

To accomplish such goals, La Salle has partnered with other big organizations such as  Fresh Grocer and  Einstein Hospital that share the same mission as those who participate in Exploring Nutrition.

“It was a natural partnership for both La Salle and Fresh Grocer.” said Allen.

With fresh produce being extremely expensive, these organizations work together to  not only distribute food and resources to poverty stricken communities, but also educates families on how to eat healthy while on a budget in hopes to decrease food insufficiency in urban areas.

So far, the program has conducted projects like the Easter food drive, mommy and me nutrition classes, Adolescent cooking program, community health fairs, and many others to help the community.

“Churches and mosque are the stable institutions for the community,” says Allen.

The only way to resolve the food disparity within urban communities is if more organizations come together collectively to identify and explore the absence of particular resources needed to help these communities flourish.