Sensible plan from USDA

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 26, 2011

Unhealthy diet is unquestionably a problem in the United States—and especially in the South, where obesity rates climb above those in other parts of the country. Just this week, a new Centers for Disease Control report linked inactivity to obesity and diabetes. Guess what? A third of us in Covington County are inactive.

So, updated nutritional guidelines released recently by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services should prove good reminders of things we need to do. They aren’t groundbreaking, but are good reminders:

• Consuming more calories than we burn means we’ll gain weight. i.e., eat less or exercise more, or both. It’s important to maintain that healthy balance at each stage of life, including childhood.

• Reduce calorie intake from solid fats and added sugars.

• Use salt sensibly.

• Drink 12 cups of water a day, not including flavored water and drinks. Diet drinks are still drinks, and remember that the elderly need even more water.

• We need more fruits, vegetables and whole grains in our diet.

• Choose reduced-fat dairy products.

Let’s hope the reminder in the form of revised nutritional guidelines helps people across the country live healthier lives.