Transcript: Nation’s Diet in Crisis
In 2010 the USDA officially revised the U.S. dietary guidelines, which raises the question how have we been doing with the old guidelines? What’s wrong with the standard American Diet?
This is a table reporting compliance with the 2005 guidelines, which were not particularly stringent. For example, they recommend we should eat at least one serving of whole fruit a day, yet three quarters of Americans couldn’t even attain that one a day. And look at college age men and women 90% couldn’t even grab half a banana or something all day long.
For vegetables we did even worse. About 9 out of 10% of Americans couldn’t even reach the minimum and don’t get me started on dark green vegetables. For example, the recommended minimum intake of dark green vegetables for 9 to 13 year kids? a fifth of a cup a day—and they even consider romaine lettuce a dark green leafy. Yet only about 1 in 500 kids eat a single leaf of romaine lettuce. 97% of Americans don’t couldn’t bother with a carrot, 96% noncompliant with legumes, 99% of Americans don’t eat even the measly minimum of whole grains.
And then to top it all off, junk foods. You want to know how lax the federal regulations are? A quarter of our calories are allowed to be empty calorie junk foods. A quarter of our diet can be cotton candy and we're still OK under the government recommendations.
Still, how many Americans couldn’t even keep it up that? 95% of Americans exceed their maximum discretionary calorie allowances. And look at children. Only 1 in a thousand American children eats even marginally healthy, by ensuring less than a quarter of their calories aren’t completely wasted, the equivalent to eating less than 24 spoonfuls of sugar a day. One in a thousand kids can manage that. And we wonder why there’s a childhood obesity epidemic—and adults too!
“In conclusion… nearly the entire U.S. population consumes a diet that is not on par with recommendations. These findings add another piece to the rather disturbing picture that is emerging of a nation’s diet in crisis.”
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Peter Mellor.
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