For this week’s recognition of American Heart Month, the Healthy Kids Challenge WOWS Newsletter points out that we are not being heart smart when we fall for “Portion Distortion.” Bigger servings can mean too much of everything - including calories, sugar and fat - all things that can impact heart health.
“More and less” is a simple concept that many Americans can use to develop healthier habits. Let’s look at the stats to see how to apply the concept.
Need for More
We know that physical activity and eating fruits and veggies are heart healthy habits. However, recent CDC and Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015 quoted “stats” show that we haven’t been making the grade:
- Half of the total U.S. population consumed less than 1 cup of fruit and less than 1.5 cups of vegetables daily.
- 76% of the U.S. population did not meet fruit intake recommendations, and 87% did not meet vegetable intake recommendations.
- 51% of adults 18 years of age and over do not meet Physical Activity Guidelines for aerobic physical activity.
- 79% of adults 18 years of age and over do not meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for both aerobic physical and muscle-strengthening activity.
Need for Less
- In 2007-2010, Americans over-consumed added sugars and solid fats, which are high in calories.
- Added sugars account on average for almost 270 calories, or more than 13 percent of calories per day in the U.S. population. Teens and men consume the most added sugars.
- Solid fats consumed as part of foods or added to foods, account for more than 325 calories or more than 16 percent of calories per day, on average for the U.S. population, but provide few nutrients.