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Dietary Guidelines For Weight Control

Weight Control and Diet Advice From US Government

The latest weight management advice from the US Department of Agriculture is laid out in the 2005 Dietary Guidelines. These guidelines highlight the link between (1) excessive calorie-intake combined with lack of physical exercise, and (2) chronic diseases, like obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. It is the first time that these dietary guidelines have emphasized the need for calorie control and increased fitness. The main reason for this is the huge surge in overweight, mild obesity and severe clinical obesity.

Main Recommendations For Weight Control

  • In order to stay within a healthy weight range, match your calorie-intake with your calorie expenditure.
  • As you get older, prevent the risk of weight gain by making small reductions in your calorie-intake, while increasing physical activity.
  • If you need to lose weight, aim for slow, steady weight loss by decreasing calorie intake from food (while maintaining an adequate nutrient intake) and increasing physical activity.
  • To manage your weight and reduce the risk of unhealthy weight gain in adulthood and mid-life, take about 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity activity on most days of the week. To maintain weight loss in adulthood, take at least 60 to 90 minutes of daily moderate-intensity physical activity. In both cases, do not exceed your daily energy requirements.
  • The best type of exercise for overall physical health includes, cardio-aerobics, stretching exercises for flexibility, and weight-training or calisthenics for muscle strength and endurance fitness.

Food Guide Pyramid – Consumer Awareness

Eileen Kennedy, USDA deputy undersecretary for research, education and economics, says even if Americans do not know the guidelines, per se, studies show that 75 percent are aware of the Food Guide Pyramid that is based on the guidelines.

Food Guide Pyramid vs. Fast Food Advertising

The Food Guide Pyramid, on the other hand, is dwarfed by the multitude of advertisements Americans see every day that encourages them to eat fattening foods.

Just think – When was the last time you saw an ad for a fast food restaurant? Now think – When was the last time you saw an ad for “5-a-Day”, a government program to encourage Americans to eat more fruits and vegetables?

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