Call to Improve the American Diet
Low Diet Score of the American Population
The consumption of healthy foods including whole grains, orange vegetables and dark greens is still remarkably low for the American population, according to statistics.
The truth is, many people are not following the national dietary recommendations of eating more vegetables and whole grain products. People tend to eat too much sweets or fats, so there is a real need to improve their nutrition and dietary habits.
The National Health Statistics Report stated that in the 2005 national healthy-eating index, the overall diet score of American’s on average is only 60 of 100 points, which indicates the low compliance of the population with the U.S. dietary guidelines.
The Healthy Eating Index evaluates the American diet as to specific nutritional categories, such as whole grains, orange vegetables, whole grains, beans, meat, milk, alcohol, sugar, fats and sodium.
In coming up with the report, the data from 4,448 adults with ages 20 and above were taken into consideration.
Summary of the report
The data analysis revealed that American adults had low scores, below the standard actually, for the categories of total grains, beans and meat.
In addition, the report shows a very poor score in the dark green, whole grains and orange vegetable categories; while the sodium, sugar and alcohol calories indicate high scores or high consumption.
Men versus Women
Based on the report, it seems that women have healthier diets than men, in terms of fruit and vegetable consumption and overall diet score.
Older people who are 60 years old and above also appear to have better diet scores in the fruit, veggies and bad (meaning sugar, alcohol and sodium) calorie intake categories.
Level of Education
Americans who have higher levels of education were more able to comply with the dietary guidelines than those who were less educated.
The report also revealed that racial or ethnic grouping was not a factor that made any difference in the dietary scores.
The report gives a strong call to action to adults to follow the recommended dietary guidelines, particularly eating more dark greens, orange vegetables, legumes and whole grains. People are also advised to lower their intake of sodium, sugar and alcohol.
Photo credits: American Diet by herval via Flickr, CC by 2.0