No group is meeting the mark when it comes to a healthy diet
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/05/2012 -- The U.S. Dietary standard is apparently not being met by real Americans' eating habits, according to research recently done. What is more, some groups are apparently worse than other in staying near to the health marks required.
Researchers have stated that children and the elderly eat closer to a recommended diet than middle-aged and younger adults. The studies show that women have a better diet than men, while Hispanics show a stronger dieting type than both African Americans or Anglo Americans.
"I think it's a really important piece of science because it demonstrates what many of us suspected for a long time: there are many profound disparities in the American diet," said Gary Bennett, who was not involved with the new work but does study obesity prevention at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.
The research covered a large sample size wherein 8,272 Americans stated what they ate in the course of a day. The tallies were then compared to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) suggests for a single-day.
Each set of people were assigned a score from zero to 100, and was based upon a percentage of the recommended a food groups.
In the research, it was shown that both adults and children, as macro-groups, scored 56 respectively. Seniors scored a 65, which meant they did a better job following the USDA standards. No group came close to a 100 score.
"Regardless of socioeconomic status, age, race and education, the American diet as a whole needs to be improved," said the study's lead author Hazel Hiza, of the USDA's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) in Alexandria, Virginia.
Hiza, who helped publish the findings, found further differences when looking at race and income.
Hispanics scored higher than both African and Anglo Americans across most food groups. Hispanic children were closer to the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables than their African American counterparts.
Bennett cautions Hispanics not to assume that their diets are universally better than other groups.
Family income was also indicative of results.
“What we know very clearly is that kids, who are in those lowest poverty groups, are doing OK, but not their parents," said Bennett. "This is a win for some of our policies, but it is also the case that some of these parents are sacrificing their diets for the benefit of their kids."
Robert Post, deputy director for the USDA CNPP, stated to Reuters Health that those interested can find tools to help meet dietary standards at ChooseMyPlate.gov, including a tool that tracks diet and exercise.
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