right is vital to promoting health and reducing the risk for death
or disability due to chronic diseases such as heart disease, certain
cancers, diabetes, stroke, and osteoporosis. In fact, it has been
estimated that dietary changes could reduce cancer deaths in the
United States by as much as 35 percent.
large gap remains between recommended dietary patterns and what
Americans actually eat. Very few Americans meet the majority of
recommendations of the Food Guide Pyramid or the Dietary Guidelines
for Americans. Only 3 percent of all individuals meet four of the
five recommendations for the intake of grains, fruits, vegetables,
milk products, and meat and bean food groups. Only one-fourth of
U.S. adults eat the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables
each day. Unfortunately, poor eating habits are usually established
during childhood. And more than 60 percent of young people eat too
much fat, and less than 20 percent eat the recommended servings of
fruits and vegetables.
The Food Guide
Pyramid is an outline of what to eat each day, and it calls for a
variety of food and nutrients. Fruits and vegetables provide
essential vitamins and minerals, fiber, and other substances that
are associated with good health. Low fat diets rich in
fiber-containing grain products, fruits, and vegetables may reduce
the risk of heart disease and some types of cancer. Milk products
provide protein, vitamins and minerals and are the best source of
calcium. However, fats, oils, and sweets provide calories and little
else, and should be used sparingly. Drinking enough water is also
essential to keeping hydrated, converting food into energy, carrying
nutrients through the body, and removing waste.
and Physical Activity
to you by the Executive Office of the President and the Department of
Health and Human Services.
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