Monday, February 10, 2014

Meatless Monday: How We (Americans) Eat

It has been just over 34 years since the US departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) released a set of 7 Dietary Guidelines Statements in a 20-page booklet entitled Nutrition and Your Health: Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which became the 1st edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. These guidelines represent the findings of a task force appointed in 1978 by the USDA and HHS to advise the public about current knowledge of the relationship of diet to health and disease.

The cover of the 1980 booklet outlines the task force’s call to action:

To commemorate this anniversary, Food Day called for Americans to heed the “Guidelines’ sensible advice,” which has been updated every five years ever since 1980. Here are the 2010 Guidelines, the most recent update. Food Day also shared “The American Diet: A Prescription for Ill Health,” a graphic illustration of how far we as a nation are from meeting these dietary goals.

Food Day is a nationwide celebration of healthy, affordable, and sustainably produced food and a grassroots campaign for better food policies. All year long Food Day advocates work to help people “Eat Real.” Their efforts culminate in the annual observance of Food Day, to be held this year on October 24. That leaves ample time for taking some action steps before the big day.

To see how well (or poorly) Americans are eating compared to the rest of the world, check out this interactive graphic from OxFam. Be sure to highlight the results for the USA so they appear in yellow. 

How are you doing?

Have a great week. Stay warm. Eat well. 

On Mondays I often blog on food, food issues, or gardening in support of Meatless Monday, one of several programs developed in the Healthy Monday project, founded in 2003 in association with Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications. Meatless Monday’s goal is “to help reduce meat consumption 15% in order to improve personal health and the health of our planet.”

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