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.

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La Salle explores obesity

health, news

obesity2

More than two thirds of those residing in America  are overweight by the time they hit adulthood. With that being over 68% of the United States population, a professor at La Salle is fighting to take a stance against obesity in America.

Dr. Edie Goldbachen, a professor who teaches in the doctoral program in the department of Psychology at La Salle stresses the importance of understanding, preventing,and treating weight related difficulties.

Since 1990 the numbers for those with obesity have only gotten worst yearly, labeling the medical condition as a striking disease in America.obesity 2

According to Dr. Goldbachen, one of the key contributing factors to obesity is the constant decrease in physical activity.

“Now imagine that you are trying to promote physical  activity for children or adults, but the child lives in a impoverished neighborhood with no sidewalks and a lot of community violence and is a afraid to leave their house. They don’t have enough money to go to a gym and their schools have eliminated physical activity so now  there are these characteristics of this built environment that are going to make it more difficult for the individual to engage in more physical activity,” Dr. Goldbachen said .

Other factors that play a huge role in obesity in America are portion sizes and the high cost of healthier foods.

After comparing the prices of over 370 foods found in supermarkets, researchers from the University of Washington found not only that food with high levels of saturated fats was cheaper, but also that the prices of these foods are less likely to raise due to inflation.

As an attempt to change the number of those with obesity in America, Dr. Goldbachen uses a technique called stimulus control to help people work on eating habits.

“Its the idea that just the sight of something that sometimes is not even related to food can cause a craving,” said  Goldbachen as she explained some of the causes of weight gain.obesity1

With stimulus control, researchers and nutritionist work to teach individuals how to pay attention to things that we identify in the environment and how they may alter eating habits to avoid  mental problems that may cause unhealthy eating.

To defeat obesity in America , we must first understand environmental issues that controls how we eat.