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Calorie Count Blog

The Dietary Guidelines: Simple but Not Easy


By Mary_RD on Feb 02, 2011 10:00 AM in Healthy Eating
Edited By +Rachel Berman

By Mary Hartley, RD, MPH

The nutrition community had been waiting for the 2010 Dietary Guidelines, which were released a month late yesterday.  Since 1980, the Dietary Guidelines have been published jointly by the Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) every 5 years by law.  The Guidelines are the basis for Federal nutrition education programs, such as My Pyramid and the Nutrition Facts label, and they guide the foods that are offered by School Lunch, WIC and other Federal nutrition programs. 

As explained in the Executive Summery, “The intent of the Dietary Guidelines is to summarize and synthesize knowledge about individual nutri­ents and food components into an interrelated set of recommendations for healthy eating that can be adopted by the public.”  The Guidelines constitute the authoritative word about the best diet to prevent disease, which is important because studies show that up to 70% of all diseases result from lifestyle choices.

A Little Background

To develop the Guidelines, a group of nationally recognized nutrition experts is convened.  They are scientists and representatives of the professions appointed by the secretaries of USDA and HHS.  The group presents the latest research, deliberates, and develops a policy document.  The informed public then provides comments, and Guidelines are revised and finalized.

We can’t be sure about what held up the Dietary Guidelines, but several issues were of possible concern: the scientific evidence might have been too be weak; the food industry might have wanted ‘softer language’; some of the committee members may have had industry ties; the government might have seen the Guidelines as impossible to achieve.  In favor of the last one, let’s see if we’ve been able to achieve or enforce them thus far. 

What's New?

Some of the key recommendations of the 2005 Dietary Guidelines are:

  • Consume adequate nutrients within calorie needs and maintain weight in the healthy range
  • Engage in 30-minutes of moderate activity most days and achieve physically fitness
  • Keep fat calories between 20 and 35% of total calories and saturated fat to 10% or less
  • Make 50% of all grain high fiber and cap added sugar at 10 % of total calories
  • Keep sodium to less than 2,300 milligrams a day and eat more high potassium foods
  • Drink alcohol in moderation if at all

Some of the key recommendations of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines are little changed:

  • Focus on consuming nutrient-dense foods and beverages maintain calorie balance to achieve and sustain a healthy weight
  • Increase physical activity and reduce time spent in sedentary behaviors
  • Consume less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fatty acids.
  • Consume at least half of all grains as whole grains.
  • If alcohol is consumed, it should be consumed in moderation

But other 2010 recommendations are a bit different:

  • No need to keep fat so low as long as saturated fat less than 10% of calories. (“Consume less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fatty acids by replacing them with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids.”)
  • Half of all Americans must reduce sodium to 1500 milligrams a day.
    (“Reduce daily sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams and further reduce intake to 1,500 mg among persons who are 51 and older and those of any age who are African American or have hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease.)
  • Eat more fish and non-meat proteins. (“Increase the amount and variety of seafood consumed by choosing seafood in place of some meat and poultry.” “Choose a variety of protein foods, which include seafood, lean meat and poultry, eggs, beans and peas, soy products, and unsalted nuts and seeds.”)

And so, yes, we are advised to shift away from meat towards plant-based foods and oils, and we should move away from sodium, which is to say processed food, and to be fair, the complete document, which is a good read, says much more about managing weight and following the DASH eating plan.  But if you look at the Dietary Guidelines since 1980, you’ll see that little has changed overall.  This seems to be a case of 'simple, but not easy' for Americans to achieve.


Your thoughts….

Why doesn't the public seem to heed the Dietary Guidelines?



Comments


It's weird to me that Americans have a document like this at all. Around here the government's health guidelines mostly just refer to having check-ups for lung diseases, cancers and osteoporosis. Though most Hungarians are still skinny especially the women. Imagine being looked at overweight above a BMI of 22. In fact, when my BMI was 21,56, a doctor during a check-up when I was having an illness looked at told me that I should go on a diet. When I asked him why he just looked at me with eyes that said "what do you think". Most women actually do wear a 0 around here. It's not because they eat healthy. Most skinny women I know have never been on a diet in their life, eat a lot of pizza, fast food and the like and barely get a work-out. My mom has been skinny all her life and she never worked out, never dieted. So I suppose such a guideline would not have a lot of following around here. That being said, there are overweight people, but most of them are men and they just don't care. Why would they, when they can get gorgeous skinny women with practically no effort? There are just so many of them.



It is the carbs that put on weight and cause disease.

No one believes that or wants to believe that.

Can you imagine what would happen to the agri-food industry if everyone gave up most carbs, especially processed ones.

Those agri giants that get wealthy off the backs of consumers would have much less to peddle.

They need people to be addicted to processed foods-even simple things like pasta let alone prepared and fast food meals.

 

I urge anyone and everyone in the health, diet and nutrition business to read Gary Taubes "Good Calories-Bad Calories.

It is not a light read but it is a stellar work going into reach of past decades and how this mess of obesity and disease came about.

 

It should be a must read for every nutritionist and health practitioner.

That being said many people do not liking bucking the status quo..but I see that it is changing as more diets such as Paleo and Protein Power (as well as Atkins )are becoming more popular with actual results.

 

Those who want to remain ignorant-go ahead..but unless you take the time to read and or do some research your head is in the sand.

 

 



That's it, I'm moving to Hungary :)



I know a Bulgarian woman who fits the description you have written.  She just doesn't eat much compared to Americans.  She does eat pizza, but only one slice.  She usually has homemade yogurt (she taught me how to make it) for lunch with a few almonds.  She does go to the gym.

These are things most American women in their late 30's don't do.  Svetlana is a size 0 and it seems effortless, but if I had to do that all the time, it would not be.  I don't think she follows our " pyramid" diet however.



addendum

The guidelines are simple because no one has put any real thought into them.

They are not based on reliable research and results.

People don't follow the guidelines or fail to become healthy "trying" to follow them-because they are unrealistic.

No one is going to starve themselves to lose pounds..it does not make sense from any point of view.

 

How many people have actually researched "why" fat and saturated fat are considered bad?

Do you have any idea of how your body metabolizes protein, fat and carbohydrates? If not I urge you again to research that and find out.

It may take a leap of faith to try a low carb diet (yes higher fat and protein)to see how it effects you.

Do your homework and research and proceed with caution and consult if you are older or have any medical conditions.

I'm sure you will approach this way if actually do the research.

 

 



Bottom line people, eat less, exercise more. it's pretty easy. I have been overweight my whole life. I know as a kid it was because i had no guidance from my parents. we ate whatever we wanted, processed or not, BUT who do I have to blame as an adult? ME. It's taking many years of failed diets to realize that maintaining and optimum weight is NOT done through a diet. It's done through portion control, making a choice in what i put in my mouth & exercise.



At the end of the day it's calories in calories out. Eat less weigh less.



Original Post by: dbrissette

Bottom line people, eat less, exercise more. it's pretty easy. I have been overweight my whole life. I know as a kid it was because i had no guidance from my parents. we ate whatever we wanted, processed or not, BUT who do I have to blame as an adult? ME. It's taking many years of failed diets to realize that maintaining and optimum weight is NOT done through a diet. It's done through portion control, making a choice in what i put in my mouth & exercise.


true



To quote Michael Pollan..." Eat Food (whole foods! not processed "food"), not too much, mostly plants."  There is a guideline that makes sense.



Your last paragraph, "in Summary" seems to have a personal bias in it... "we are advised to shift away from meat towards plant-based foods and oils..." seems a little off to me... Shifting away from "meat" can rob the body of nutrients it needs to be balanced and healthy.

Better stated would be "be more selective about the Proteins consumed, lean meats, with healthier upbringing in addition to increasing amount and variety of seafood, poultry and the variety of protein based plant foods..."

I eat a lot of meat, however it is all wild game and fish the comes directly from the wild to my plate.  Wild game hunters and fishing people are a great source to acquire and exchange healthier meat.  Ocne I made a habit of 100% wild game consumption, my numbers fell that the Doctors were very impressed. Yes it helped in my weight loss also.



Interesting



Food in America is a big bussiness and they make hundreds of billions each year.That being said use common sence when you read food guides or any thing alce.These big bussiness use the food and drug adminstration for their own gain.They loby and pay big bucks to get what they want to be put on the guidlines.They are not looking after our health WAKE UP AMERICA. Money is running this  country now and they do not care about you as people just what they can get from you.It is all about money in the food and health industury.

Take care of yourself and do the research for what is good for your health do not wait on big bussiness to use you and make money.Go back to the farmers diet and look at how they exersized daily they lived into their 80s and 90s without good healthcare.We can live even longer with good healthcare and their diet and exersize program.



You only need to walk through the supermarket to understand why the public is not eating according to the guidelines.  There are rows and rows and rows of processed foods.  No one needs that stuff, yet we buy it and eat it because it's there, it's easy, and we're tired and stressed from all the other b.s. going on in our wonderful (not) lives.

I agree that food is big business in the states.  



I had great aunts that lived a rural life and lived well into their 90's.

They cooked everything and even baked pies with chicken fat.

NONE of them were ill or died from diabetes complications or heart disease.

They were all slim, active and alert well into their mid 90's.



I believe that we, the public, should make a concerted effort to force manufacturers to reduce the amount of sodium in processed foods. Weight is a problem we can choose to address. But all the salt in processed foods is criminal.



The salt is there because everything is "fat" free or reduced fat..and the sad truth is..as long as that is a healthy fat..

(no hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated-such as many margarines)

which many many fats are..

substituting with salt /sugars is a crime based on mythical diet beliefs that ALL and MOST fats are evil..

of course we have many many sheep who think eating grain and grass is a better idea than meat and fat.

 

grain is Baaaaaaddddd for you. baaaaa

 



Original Post by: svitak5

I believe that we, the public, should make a concerted effort to force manufacturers to reduce the amount of sodium in processed foods. Weight is a problem we can choose to address. But all the salt in processed foods is criminal.


All we the public need to do is not buy those processed foods - or do buy the ones with less sodium.  I am very uncomfortable when the government tells businesses what they must do, but I am all for the public (you and me) using the profit margins to drive the health-conscious business decisions.  If Campbell's sees a surge in sales of lower-sodium foods, they will absolutely follow that trend. Remember when foods like Tab, or Snackwells came out?  They sold like crazy (not saying they were healthy LOL) - but businesses jumped on board because there was money to be made.  IMO, the bottom line is nutritional education wherever and whenever possible, allowing the consumer to make his/her own decisions--even if they are the wrong ones; and living our lives as an example to others. It all starts HERE.



I am a fairly active 54 year old male.  Calorie Count says I can maintain my wieght eating 2,400 calories a day.  I was at 160 in college, and got up to 186 this Christmas.  I wanted to get back down to 165. Calorie count said "eat 1700 calories a day for 40 weeks to lose 20 pounds."  WHAT A CROCK!  Most days I can get by on 1,000 calories. One or two days a week I eat 2,000 cal. I am losing about 5 pounds a week.  (10.5 pounds in two weeks). It just isn't that tough if you cut out the sugar and other carbs.  Yesterday I had coffee, a bowl of Special K, a Protein Shake, an 8 oz salmon filet, and a few almonds. It was 1030 calories. With that diet I DO need to take a vitamin supplement, but I am not starving... just not stuffing my face with chips and ice cream and bagels. The whole exercise thing is a crock as well.  Work your butt off in the gym for an hour and you lose maybe 300 to 500 calories.  That is one turkey sandwich.  The problem is that working out that hard makes you HUNGRY.  So work out to build muscle tone, but if you want to lose weight, do it like the Yoga folks; slow easy stretching and a super low cal diet.  Get your weight where you want it, then return to your standard daily calorie recommendation.



Has anyone researched Acid & Alkaline or the PH of the human body ? After some research it appears to me that measuring your PH on a daily basis will lead you to the correct foods and Liquids. I have checked the PH on most bottled water to find it all very acidic. There are very few companies that sell Alkaline water. Since there seems to be a direct link between Acid, or low PH bodies and serious disease, cancer, heart disease, etc., I would like to hear your experience on this subject. Most alkaline foods include fruits and vegetables ( The Healthy foods) we are all aware that we should consume more of these foods and less meats. What so many people are not aware of is the ACID water (most bottle watter) is not healthy for our consumption.

Your thoughts

Bob 



Original Post by: jsmoshier

Your last paragraph, "in Summary" seems to have a personal bias in it... "we are advised to shift away from meat towards plant-based foods and oils..." seems a little off to me... Shifting away from "meat" can rob the body of nutrients it needs to be balanced and healthy.

Better stated would be "be more selective about the Proteins consumed, lean meats, with healthier upbringing in addition to increasing amount and variety of seafood, poultry and the variety of protein based plant foods..."

I eat a lot of meat, however it is all wild game and fish the comes directly from the wild to my plate.  Wild game hunters and fishing people are a great source to acquire and exchange healthier meat.  Ocne I made a habit of 100% wild game consumption, my numbers fell that the Doctors were very impressed. Yes it helped in my weight loss also.


Most of us in suburbia cannot find wild game and fresh fish for our protein sources.  You cannot find venison anywhere unless you know a butcher who knows a hunter who wants to share his meat.  That's pretty rare in downstate New York.  We used to be able to find ostrich in the supermarket, which is lean, quality protein, but now they do not carry it anymore.  It would be great to have the time and resources to eat from the land, but it is not realistic.  The best we can do is make educated choices for our diet, and make a real effort to avoid the trappings of Madison Avenue by not running out to buy the next big thing.



Well I used to live with a girl who counted a small pizza as a snack, worked as an accountant and her only exercise was dog walking 3 times a day for 30 minutes. Which consisted of taking the dog to the dog park 5 minutes away and standing around until it ran for 20. She had a BMI of 18. Believe me, I'm sure she never ate less than 3000kcal a day. Someone explain to me, how come that girl never gained a pound. And she's not the only one I know like that.



Americans do have a love affair with food.  Over a course of time other countries are slowly entering into the same battle as Americans have with the health crisis.  This is due to global trading and its accessibility to export/imports with more availability to the general world market.   The change in country politics have opened up more opportunity to free enterprise which was once shunned  (i.e. Soviet Empire) and has slowly increased in more “Americanized” fast food places reaching across oceans in new global markets.    Additionally due to technology changing the way our products are made requiring less physical work.  A robot can now make a car, computer, plastic products, and gross domestic and foreign products faster with less human interaction. 

Our world is changing.  The way we do business is changing.  The way we accessibility to food is changing.  It wasn’t that hard not to be overweight if you were standing in a line in the Soviet Union 25+ years ago just to score a loaf of bread.  It wasn’t that hard to eat homemade pies from chicken grease if you were out in the field at 4AM herding cows, feeding chickens, plowing fields, milking cows … heck just to hitch up a horse to buggy is work itself.   We still want to continue with the same eating habits (or worst) but our secondary lifestyles can’t support the caloric intake in minus the caloric intake out.  Make no mistake other countries may have advantage because they have not been as prosperous as the USA but this is a global epidemic and before it’s over unless you are in a 3rd world country were you’re lucky to just eat period this will affect you. 

 One thing I would like to add even though Americans do have an obesity issue we have done a wonderful job kicking our tobacco habits in the last 40 years.  The reason Europeans have lung check up’s is because they all smoke like a house on fire.  Sure they are skinny but how good can you look with wrinkles, grey skin (from lack of oxygen), yellow teeth  and the smoker’s voice and wheeze … I can lose weight … but there isn’t enough plastic surgery in the world that can turn around a person who has smoked all their life.

Eat Less + Exercise More = Lost Weight (stop smoking and you'll even look better)



Original Post by: zelda_of_arel

Well I used to live with a girl who counted a small pizza as a snack, worked as an accountant and her only exercise was dog walking 3 times a day for 30 minutes. Which consisted of taking the dog to the dog park 5 minutes away and standing around until it ran for 20. She had a BMI of 18. Believe me, I'm sure she never ate less than 3000kcal a day. Someone explain to me, how come that girl never gained a pound. And she's not the only one I know like that.


It is impossible to eat that much and be that skinny unless something is medically wrong with you such as an overactive thyroid.  One other explanation is if she was secretly bailing hay from sun up to sun down.  Other than that - my guess if she was consuming that many calories then I would suspect she was/is bulimic.  No matter what she looked like physically or what she weighed it's unhealthy to obsess about food and consume that many calories.  I would have advised her to seek medical attention.  That is not normal.



Be very careful with your comments-I followed a diet of less than 1200 cals for a year (started 5'8 female 135 pounds )and ended up less than 100 pounds with anorexia.

Everyone is different-please don't hand out irresponsible advise-you are no better than the FDA.



The lung-check is for TBC. In order to work with people you are required by law to have yourself check for TBC every 2 years. When I worked at a hotel, I had to as well. But also the government sends out a call to have your lungs checked for it every 5 years.

Smoking has been cut back a lot in recent years in Hungary. We have many laws against public smoking now, though the restaurants are still protesting against baning it there. Also, I see many young people giving up smoking. In fact, just last year my whole team gave up smoking. There were only 2 people to start with, but they did as well. Smoking is not cool anymore. In the UK and in Spain they smoke a lot more, but I was in Scotland this last year and the only person I saw smoking was a woman from Poland who was just trying to quit. I've never smoked in my life.
The smog is not as bad as in the US either. No big cars and most people use the public transportation. The roads are small. A lot of people walk or drive a car. Only rich people move out into the suburbs, most people live in the city in tall apartment buildings.



Original Post by: fyfx68

Original Post by: zelda_of_arel

Well I used to live with a girl who counted a small pizza as a snack, worked as an accountant and her only exercise was dog walking 3 times a day for 30 minutes. Which consisted of taking the dog to the dog park 5 minutes away and standing around until it ran for 20. She had a BMI of 18. Believe me, I'm sure she never ate less than 3000kcal a day. Someone explain to me, how come that girl never gained a pound. And she's not the only one I know like that.


It is impossible to eat that much and be that skinny unless something is medically wrong with you such as an overactive thyroid.  One other explanation is if she was secretly bailing hay from sun up to sun down.  Other than that - my guess if she was consuming that many calories then I would suspect she was/is bulimic.  No matter what she looked like physically or what she weighed it's unhealthy to obsess about food and consume that many calories.  I would have advised her to seek medical attention.  That is not normal.


In Hungary, that is normal. I know many women like that. Maybe it's the genes. I was living with the girl in a small apartment with one tiny bathroom. She was not bulimic. I have the nose of a bloodhound. She consumed about 4l of Coke (not diet) a day.



Original Post by: zelda_of_arel

It's weird to me that Americans have a document like this at all. Around here the government's health guidelines mostly just refer to having check-ups for lung diseases, cancers and osteoporosis. Though most Hungarians are still skinny especially the women. Imagine being looked at overweight above a BMI of 22. In fact, when my BMI was 21,56, a doctor during a check-up when I was having an illness looked at told me that I should go on a diet. When I asked him why he just looked at me with eyes that said "what do you think". Most women actually do wear a 0 around here. It's not because they eat healthy. Most skinny women I know have never been on a diet in their life, eat a lot of pizza, fast food and the like and barely get a work-out. My mom has been skinny all her life and she never worked out, never dieted. So I suppose such a guideline would not have a lot of following around here. That being said, there are overweight people, but most of them are men and they just don't care. Why would they, when they can get gorgeous skinny women with practically no effort? There are just so many of them.


I think it's the lifestyle/cultural differences. Being Hungarian myself but growing up in the US and struggling with my weight all my life (I am finally winning the battle), it MUST be a cultural difference. Hungarians walk WAY more in their daily life due to so much more access to public transportation, so in spite of eating like crap, they stay skinny. All my friends and family back in Hungary watch their weight, however. They all walk in the city constantly--this isn't to lose weight, it's just a part of daily life--but they definitely watch what they eat. But yes... when I go back to visit I always notice how nearly all women are skinny. Unfortunately, being 5'2" and just barely 125lbs NOW (highest at 148lbs), I don't think it's genes. My parents (both Hungarian) are in great shape for their age, but they definitely watch what they eat. Well, not WHAT so much as how much.

So having spent a good amount of time growing up in the US and in Hungary, I would say that the cultural difference is: the necessity to walk places to get somewhere in Hungary & smaller portions in restaurants, compared to what you get in the US. And food is also much cheaper for the population in the US than it is in Hungary, so it's easy to gorge on huge portions for cheap. Gross.



Original Post by: zelda_of_arel

Well I used to live with a girl who counted a small pizza as a snack, worked as an accountant and her only exercise was dog walking 3 times a day for 30 minutes. Which consisted of taking the dog to the dog park 5 minutes away and standing around until it ran for 20. She had a BMI of 18. Believe me, I'm sure she never ate less than 3000kcal a day. Someone explain to me, how come that girl never gained a pound. And she's not the only one I know like that.


I was like that too my whole life..I at very fatty food because I loved it..especially butter and fatty meat.

 

I am 60 now with no heart or health problems.

I gained weight when I thought I should eat "healthier" and traded my 10 % cereal cream in coffee for lattes with milk (higher carbs) and decreased my butter from 1 lb a week to 1 lb a month.

about a month ago i decided to go back to cream and butter and cut out most carbs..no processed foods at all.

i have lost over 15 lbs, am NEVER hungry and eat what I want when I want..with very light activity.

I am SO glad I went back to my natural instinct and natural way of eating..before it was too late.

If you won't take the time to read Gary Taubes

watch this video

BIG FAT LIES on youtube

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4362041487661765149#

 



Soy products???  Are they kidding?  Read about soy online.  It's manufactured crap from the government and it gives you Thyroid problems, including cancer.  The government only cares about money.....  I  wouldn't use any guideline that the government gives.  They've been giving guidelines for years and look where we are today........



Original Post by: jacster35

Be very careful with your comments-I followed a diet of less than 1200 cals for a year (started 5'8 female 135 pounds )and ended up less than 100 pounds with anorexia.

Everyone is different-please don't hand out irresponsible advise-you are no better than the FDA.


Why would you even WANT to diet at that height and weight??!!

That itself is THE problem.

I am also 5'8" and perfectly fine at that weight..even when fit at 145 not an ounce of fat on me.

You must use common sense.



Original Post by: aboutime60

It is the carbs that put on weight and cause disease.

No one believes that or wants to believe that.

Can you imagine what would happen to the agri-food industry if everyone gave up most carbs, especially processed ones.

Those agri giants that get wealthy off the backs of consumers would have much less to peddle.

They need people to be addicted to processed foods-even simple things like pasta let alone prepared and fast food meals.

 

I urge anyone and everyone in the health, diet and nutrition business to read Gary Taubes "Good Calories-Bad Calories.

It is not a light read but it is a stellar work going into reach of past decades and how this mess of obesity and disease came about.

 

It should be a must read for every nutritionist and health practitioner.

That being said many people do not liking bucking the status quo..but I see that it is changing as more diets such as Paleo and Protein Power (as well as Atkins )are becoming more popular with actual results.

 

Those who want to remain ignorant-go ahead..but unless you take the time to read and or do some research your head is in the sand.

 

 


It is not the carbs... it is the bad carbs, and the overloading of carbs with no exercise.  Carbs are useful and necessary.  But like anything, moderation and good food choices make a world of difference.



Original Post by: zelda_of_arel

It's weird to me that Americans have a document like this at all. Around here the government's health guidelines mostly just refer to having check-ups for lung diseases, cancers and osteoporosis. Though most Hungarians are still skinny especially the women. Imagine being looked at overweight above a BMI of 22. In fact, when my BMI was 21,56, a doctor during a check-up when I was having an illness looked at told me that I should go on a diet. When I asked him why he just looked at me with eyes that said "what do you think". Most women actually do wear a 0 around here. It's not because they eat healthy. Most skinny women I know have never been on a diet in their life, eat a lot of pizza, fast food and the like and barely get a work-out. My mom has been skinny all her life and she never worked out, never dieted. So I suppose such a guideline would not have a lot of following around here. That being said, there are overweight people, but most of them are men and they just don't care. Why would they, when they can get gorgeous skinny women with practically no effort? There are just so many of them.


It's actually not that weird.  Canada has dietary guidelines, and the food pyramid that is offered free at all places of health (doctor's offices, pharmacies, health units, etc.).

Most of it is focused on how many servings of what you should be eating each day (and what a serving size is), with some suggestions on what they "should" be - i.e. the example of a serving of protein would be chicken or chickpeas, and not a hunk of salami.  :)

Judging people by what happens on the other side of the world is pretty mean.  There's an obvious problem in the States with obesity and people not knowing what they should or should not be eating.  If there isn't in Hungary, GFY, but it's pretty harsh to judge based on that.  They're very different countries with different backgrounds and different cultures.

Respectfully, as a Canadian defending her neighbors to the south.  The gov't is clearly trying to help people make better decisions, and GOOD ON THEM!

Keep in mind that most Americans your age also had parents that were skinny their whole lives without dieting or excercising.  Times have changed.



Original Post by: aboutime60

Original Post by: jacster35

Be very careful with your comments-I followed a diet of less than 1200 cals for a year (started 5'8 female 135 pounds )and ended up less than 100 pounds with anorexia.

Everyone is different-please don't hand out irresponsible advise-you are no better than the FDA.


Why would you even WANT to diet at that height and weight??!!

That itself is THE problem.

I am also 5'8" and perfectly fine at that weight..even when fit at 145 not an ounce of fat on me.

You must use common sense.


Insensitive, much?

People who suffer from or have suffered from anorexia have a lot more to figure out psychologically than just "using common sense." To make it sounds so simple is quite laughable.

Agreed that I can't imagine why anyone would want to diet at that height/weight in the first place, but that is because you and I don't have an eating disorder.

Thats why it's called a disorder.



By the way--in response to the BLOG post itself, rather than comments (hehe)... I, for one, would like to clap my hands with delight in reading that the new guidelines have changed to encourage more protein intake from non-meat sources.

But that's because I'm a vegetarian. :D



The general problem with all health programs is that they are presented as an end in themselves, when in reality good health for most people is a means to their real ends. These ends may be called "success" "happiness" "wealth" etc. To be effective health and fitness programs have to be presented in this means to an end format.



Original Post by: tojohndillonesq

I am a fairly active 54 year old male.  Calorie Count says I can maintain my wieght eating 2,400 calories a day.  I was at 160 in college, and got up to 186 this Christmas.  I wanted to get back down to 165. Calorie count said "eat 1700 calories a day for 40 weeks to lose 20 pounds."  WHAT A CROCK!  Most days I can get by on 1,000 calories. One or two days a week I eat 2,000 cal. I am losing about 5 pounds a week.  (10.5 pounds in two weeks). It just isn't that tough if you cut out the sugar and other carbs.  Yesterday I had coffee, a bowl of Special K, a Protein Shake, an 8 oz salmon filet, and a few almonds. It was 1030 calories. With that diet I DO need to take a vitamin supplement, but I am not starving... just not stuffing my face with chips and ice cream and bagels. The whole exercise thing is a crock as well.  Work your butt off in the gym for an hour and you lose maybe 300 to 500 calories.  That is one turkey sandwich.  The problem is that working out that hard makes you HUNGRY.  So work out to build muscle tone, but if you want to lose weight, do it like the Yoga folks; slow easy stretching and a super low cal diet.  Get your weight where you want it, then return to your standard daily calorie recommendation.


Couldn't agree more. Yogic weight loss. I spent years spinning, ellitical-ing, and stairmaster-ing like a maniac which always sent me home hungry like a madman, always failing to slim down. I would subconsciously underestimate, I'm sure of it.

Now, I walk and do push ups for my exercise, when I feel so inclined, and I just eat very little, and ONLY when I am truly hungry. I tell myself I need to wait to feel a few growls before going into the kitchen to get a snack or lunch. I also have cut out basically all sugar except from fruit and whatever sugar is in my vanilla almond milk and the honey that goes on my almond butter and rice cake breakfast! Lots of whole grains, lots of fibrous carbs to make sure I don't get fake 'low-carb' water weight loss.

Yay yoga!



I have just read through the comments.  All I can say is that people and their metabolisms are different.  For me, I love a low protein, high carb diet.  But I'm starting to have blood sugar issues.  My doctor recommended a low glycemic diet.  Then I went too low on carbs and started getting depressed and anxious.  And weight just doesn't come off easily for me.  My skinny husband is happy with a baked potato covered with mixed vegetables, but he can eat anything.  He had a food absorbtion test and scored low.  If I had one of those tests, I would probably have a record high reading.  But in a famine, he'll go first.

There are a lot of theories about our obesity epidemic.  The state of food production in this country is pretty pathetic.  I am most bothered by reports that when we do eat a tomato, for instance, it probably only contains 40% of the nutrients a tomato used to have.

 It is no surprise to me that I am obese.  Pregnancies, lack of discipline, availability of poor food choices, repeated stringent dieting, depression, medication have all contributed.  I am probably more disciplined about food now than I have ever been before in my whole life -- and still the pounds stay.  No easy answers.  But the food and desk-work world we live in doesn't help.  It does seem like a more energy sustainable culture with fewer agribusinesses and less high fructose corn syrup would be a step in the right direction.



The new Guidelines are qualitatively ok... but also the 2005-guidilines and the 2000-guidilines were QUALITATEVELY ok... but America is getting fat!

THE problem is the QUANTITY of ENERGY (CALORIES)...But ONLY few, very few people know how many calories they burn and they eat!

... and these new Guidelines DO NOT INDICATE how to solve the problem, although our days it is easy practicable!(see book :Eating healthy and dying obese).

Sothe advice to 'Consume less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fatty acids', is meaningless, als almost  NOWBODY knows exactly "the own 100 percent of calories. And this is THE KEY POINT!

There is NO FOOD, which makes you gaining weight!! You gain weight ONLY when you eat more than 100 percent of YOUR calories. That means, that 2000 calories per day can make you gaining weight and the same amount makes your colleague…slim! 

The INDIVIDUAL ENERGY REQUIREMENT is different from person to person... and as long you don't know yours, you might eat less and healthy ... and dying obese! By Contrast, if you know and follow it you will keep your 'slim weight' or reduce your ‘obese weight’... even eating,… fast food!! (see also comment on SUPERSIZEME's Homepage)

Finally what is missing in the new Guidelines is the obligatory advice, that everybody should know its own CALORIC NEED, in order to be able to regulate on a long term the own weight… even eating the favorite (caloric heavy) food!

Our Program is aimed to reduce obesity by 50 percent within 5 years... worldwide.... JOINT US!

Leoluca Criscione, Switzerland



Losing the weight this way is not the problem, anyone can. However keeping it off with this kind of eating is (in my experience) not going to happen. Sorry to disagree, but I've done it and lost it and now am re-losing it again for the umpteenth time. 

If I learned anything it was this.  Make changes that you can stick with and do it slowly because it is changing your life style of eating habits that keeps the weight off.

My best to you friend.



Dear Anitaroz

Iam sorry for you, my question is have you ever measured your METABOLIC RATE with a calorimeter, and make sure how much your body is able to burn?

We have written a book: EATING HEALTHY AND DYING OBESE, in which ALL thse aspects are mentioned! Have you seen my comment on SUPERSIZE ME homepage?  http://super-size-me.morganspurlock.com/forum/posts/id_74/Ea ting-healthy-and-dying-obese/

ALL THE BEST and ENJOY your meals!



I don't know why you feel sorry for me. I am losing weight and NOT feeling that can't continue these changes for the rest of my life. 

I have no health issues except the extra 50 pounds I am whittling away at.  I eat all the food groups, don't have to take a bunch of supplements or gross tasting protein bars and drinks.  I don't need to READ another BOOK or PROGRAM to help me figure out what I've done wrong in the past. I already know and have been living with it for many years. But, I also know how to fix it, which I am doing quite well at. 

Again my point was... Changing a lifetime of bad choices is how to save yourself from being obese forever.

Life is good.



I think these guidelines are a reflection that our society has reached a crisis in the epidemic of preventable diseases such as diabetes.  It's not about how you look, but rather a risk of chronic diseases that are preventable if you eat right.  We have an addiction to salty, sweet tastes, so when we eat what our bodies are naturally supposed to eat, we don't like it.  It's like getting withdrawal from eating natural foods.  Essentially we're being asked to detoxify our body from the effects of chemicals that are in processed foods so that our body can be what it's supposed to be in its natural form.  Like alcohol, if you consume too much, it can lead to liver failure.  Everyone should do their part in becoming healthier, because it affects everyone in terms of our economy.  Preventable chronic diseases costs our country a lot of money.  If we eliminated even half, the healthcare costs would come down.  But no, we're a pretty spoiled and selfish culture, and it's usually about what I can do for me.  Or blame the government for letting corporations (like McDonalds) get us fat, when it's a self-restraint issue.  We're not even teaching our children self-restraint.



Original Post by: jenpnc

Original Post by: svitak5

I believe that we, the public, should make a concerted effort to force manufacturers to reduce the amount of sodium in processed foods. Weight is a problem we can choose to address. But all the salt in processed foods is criminal.


All we the public need to do is not buy those processed foods - or do buy the ones with less sodium.  I am very uncomfortable when the government tells businesses what they must do, but I am all for the public (you and me) using the profit margins to drive the health-conscious business decisions.  If Campbell's sees a surge in sales of lower-sodium foods, they will absolutely follow that trend. Remember when foods like Tab, or Snackwells came out?  They sold like crazy (not saying they were healthy LOL) - but businesses jumped on board because there was money to be made.  IMO, the bottom line is nutritional education wherever and whenever possible, allowing the consumer to make his/her own decisions--even if they are the wrong ones; and living our lives as an example to others. It all starts HERE.


I think you need to calm down and stop using this place as a platform to jump all over people. Honestly. Listen to yourself.

Eating is just like everything else in this world. It's not one-size fits all.



Watch Food Inc and Supersize Me. It's the garbage that the government allows to be put in our foods that are the main problem. Regardless if you eat all natural or what you still have to watch how much you consume.



Jenpnc

 

I am very uncomfortable when the government tells businesses what they must do,

Unfortunately it is the other way around..same as the oil and drug (phaarmacy) cartels..big business rules government.

as above if you DO see Food Inc you will be disgusted. 

 

You have to be a true conscious consumer and a warrior to first be aware of all that is behind what you consume..whether food or other..and make choices that have a much bigger impact than how many pounds you might shed. 

 

 I try as much as possible to go by the "happy "animal/plant mantra.

Organic is much more than fewer pesticides..it is a "whole" philosophy respecting life.



Wow, the preaching in these comments is over the top. Why do we all have to be doing the same thing? What works for everybody will be different, because everyone's body is different, and that is OK. One person loses with fewer carbs, the next with less fat, I think that's ok. Not everyone can eat high fat/high meat proteins and be healthy. I personally need a little more protein and a little less carb to be satiated. The guidelines are pretty broad so I think you can apply them to your own life/body pretty easily. These guidelines are necessary, IMO, because not everyone is interested in nutrition and fitness, and will not research it themselves- so I think it's good that the government issues a general statement about what is healthiest for most people.



Good comment, Fit and active:  They are "guide lines" not edicts.  Our government have been doing this for many years and changing the guidelines as new research shows new direction.  And by the way, people in our country get to make their own decisions and choose what and how they want to eat.  But a big difference in our country is that we are talking about over 320 million - of so many different cultures and races - and different styles of eating.  It's impossible to compare a country like ours to that of a much more homogeneous country like Hungary.   I've traveled extensively in Europe - and have relatives in Croatia that I visit bi-yearly.  And by far, the worst habit that I've observed in European countries is the incessant smoking.  I used to smoke too - I'm 73 years old - have gained and lost tons of weight - but now I haven't smoked for about 15 years and have just lost 50 lbs. by counting calories and following the guidelines set out by Caloriecount.com and I've been quite successful.  My mantra is healthy food, in normal amounts, at regular intervals - with no binge or mindless emotional eating.

 



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