Our country is facing a growing epidemic of chronic, largely preventable disease affecting 117 million Americans. Sadly, that number is projected to increase unless we as a nation take immediate action.
The Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee helped guide the US Department of Agriculture and Health and Human Services' final 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
The report's most compelling point identifies a primarily plant-based diet as "more health-promoting and associated with lesser environmental impact." The recommended dietary pattern emphasizes increased consumption of vegetables, fruits, plant-based proteins and whole grains with a decrease in consumption of foods high in calories and saturated fat, most commonly found in animal-based foods, along with added sugar and refined grains.
By moving these draft suggestions into final recommendations, our government has the potential to impact America's future - and our waistlines. One-third of American children are overweight or obese, with the increased risk of joining the two-thirds of US adult population in that category. Being outside of one's ideal body weight increases the likelihood of developing preventable diseases such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and certain cancers.