Are Americans smarter about nutrition? The answer is “Yes”. It would appear that in spite of obesity rates still rising more and more Americans are becoming better educated about their diets and nutrition. The American Dietetic Association (ADA) has just released its annual report on the eating and exercise habits of Americans. This study has been performed yearly since 1991. Read on to see where you fall in the survey.
ADA Survey Findings.
* The 2008 findings revealed that those people who did not want to know about diet or exercise at all, known as the “Don’t bother me” group, had fallen significantly from 1 in 3, or 32%, in 2002 to 1 in 5, or 19%, in 2008.
* 43% of Americans surveyed revealed that they are “Already doing it”, meaning that they consider themselves to be following a nutritious diet and exercising on a regular basis. This figure has jumped from 38% in 2002.
* 38% of Americans “Know they should” but haven’t quite gotten into better patterns yet. This has also raised from 30% in 2002.
* Overall, 67% of those surveyed considered nutrition and diet to be very important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
* 61% considered exercise to be extremely important as well.
* More women then men thought that both exercise and diet were important to remain healthy.
* Americans of all ages thought that some form of physical activity was important for maintaining health.
* Interestingly enough, younger Americans considered nutrition to be far less important then the older age groups.
* Americans with a higher education of college or more considered nutrition to be more valuable than those who finished at high school.
* The surveyed Americans also revealed that many of them have altered their diets over the last 5 years. An impressive 50% were now eating more vegies, 48% more fruits, and 56% were eating more whole grains. Meat consumption was on a decrease with 41% eating less beef and 33% consuming less pork.
* The number of Americans seeking information on correct nutrition has more than doubled in the past 8 years jumping from 19% in 2000 to 40% of the population in 2008.
What is Smart Nutrition?
* Consume less refined sugars such as pastries, white breads and pastas, cookies, sweets, candies, sodas, and starchy vegetables such as potatoes. Deep fried and salty foods should also be kept to a minimum. Consult your doctor about individual appropriate alcohol consumption.
* Smart nutrition also involves understanding the need for regular workouts. Regular exercise ensures less heath problems such as heart disease and diabetes type 2, and aids in weight control.
The average adult should aim for:
* Fiber. Fiber can be found in whole grains and fruits and vegetables. Males should aim for 30 grams daily and women for 20 grams daily.
* Vegetables especially leafy greens, and the more colorful varieties will provide a rich and varied source of vitamins and minerals. Aim for 3-5 servings daily.
* Fruits provide many essential nutrients along with fiber. Fresh is best. Aim for 2-4 servings daily.
* Dairy products such as milk and yogurt are best consumed as calcium enriched and low fat for adults. Aim for 2-3 servings daily. One serve is 1 glass of milk.
* Protein such as fish, eggs, cheeses, meat, chicken and beef. Try to select low fat options such as fish, and cut off any visible fat. Aim for 4-6 ounces of protein daily. One egg, 1/2 cup tofu, or 1/4 cup cottage cheese are all equivalent to 1 ounce of protein.
Americans are becoming smarter about their nutrition. Many Americans know what they should be consuming, and many more are keen to further their education about healthy nutrition choices. Are you eating smart?