N° 9 | February 2007

The Healthiest Diet in the World

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Editorial

As I write this, I have on my desk the latest diet books. Each one claims to reveal the secret to lasting weight loss and maintenance. Most of them claim that a healthy weight can be obtained without much effort, and some even allege that weight loss can be achieved without dieting or exercise. If only they were right. We are all waiting for that miracle. With obesity now a worldwide epidemic, we need all the help we can get. In the United States, for example, 65% of adults are already overweight or obese. On average, adults are gaining almost 1 kg a year. If present trends continue, by the year 2040 nearly 100% of adults in the US will be overweight or worse. Among US children and adolescents, 34% are already overweight, almost double the rate of 20 years ago. There is no single cause for overweight and obesity; however, weight control is primarily a function of caloric balance. There is no substitute for the simple formula that ‘calories in must equal calories out’ in order to control weight. Calories count. Most of us need to eat fewer calories, be more active, and make wiser food choices. If it were easy, all of us would be thin. Although we come in different shapes and sizes, and may not all achieve thinness, all of us can be healthy. We can all eat a healthy diet and be more active. The scientific evidence is unequivocal. A healthy diet is one based on a sufficient amount of fruits and vegetables while staying within energy needs. The path to good health is to choose a variety of fruits and vegetables each day. The “miracle” is well known; it is an eating pattern based on fruits and vegetables, along with daily physical activity. Balance, variety and moderation are the keys to achieving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

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