Poor diet, lack of physical activity, and tobacco use are the three leading causes of disease and early death in the US. The percentage of American adults who are obese has increased from 10% in 1990 to 35% in 2013 (CDC). In Skagit County, 27% of adults are currently obese(source). Lack of healthy foods and excessive intake of foods high in fat, sugar and salt contribute to obesity and related chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Over time, rates of chronic diseases have been steadily increasing across the nation, especially among low-income and minority groups and those with lower education levels.
Because more than one-third of children and more than two-thirds of adults in the United States are overweight or obese, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans places stronger emphasis on reducing calorie consumption and increasing physical activity. Improving our eating habits is not only good for every individual and family, but also for our country.
Healthy Eating Tips from ChooseMyPlate.gov
- Make half of your grains whole grains. Grain products include bread, pasta, oatmeal, breakfast cereal, tortillas, and grits.
- Vary your veggies. Choose vegetables rich in color like cherry tomatoes, sweet potatoes, or collard greens.
- Focus on fruit. Fruits may be fresh, canned, frozen, or dried, and may be whole, cut-up, or pureed.
- Get your calcium-rich foods. Routinely include low-fat or fat-free dairy foods with meals and snacks.
- Go lean with protein. Protein foods include both animal (meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs) and plant (beans, peas, soy products, nuts, and seeds) sources.