The CDC Works Hard To Reduce Preventable Chronic Disease
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) works to reduce the four main risk factors for preventable chronic diseases: tobacco use, poor nutrition, lack of physical activity, and excessive alcohol use. This article will address the impacts of poor nutrition.
❗️Only 1 in 4 infants is exclusively breastfed through 6 months of age.
❗️14% of children aged 1 to 2 years and 16% of pregnant women are iron deficient.
❗️Fewer than 1 in 10 US adults and adolescents eat enough fruits and vegetables.
❗️60% of young people and 50% of adults consume a sugary drink on any given day.
❗️US diets are too high in added sugars, sodium, and saturated fats.
❗️The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015–2020 provides information on healthy eating patterns for Americans aged 2 years or older. Check out this website for more information:
Good nutrition is essential for keeping Americans healthy across their lifespan. A healthy diet helps children grow and develop properly and reduces their risk of chronic diseases, including obesity. Adults who eat a healthy diet live longer and have a lower risk of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. Healthy eating can help people with chronic diseases manage these conditions and prevent complications.
Most Americans, however, do not have a healthy diet. Although breastfeeding is the ideal source of nutrition for infants, only 1 in 4 is exclusively breastfed through 6 months of age as recommended. Fewer than 1 in 10 adults and adolescents eat enough fruits and vegetables, and 9 in 10 Americans aged 2 years or older consume more than the recommended amount of sodium.
In addition, 6 in 10 young people aged 2 to 19 years and 5 in 10 adults consume a sugary drink on a given day. Processed foods and sugary drinks add unneeded sodium, saturated fats, and sugar to many diets, increasing the risk of chronic diseases.
CDC supports breastfeeding and healthier food and drink choices in settings such as early care and education facilities, schools, worksites, and communities.
𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗛𝗮𝗿𝗺𝗳𝘂𝗹 𝗘𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗰𝘁𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗣𝗼𝗼𝗿 𝗡𝘂𝘁𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻
𝗢𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘄𝗲𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗢𝗯𝗲𝘀𝗶𝘁𝘆
Eating a healthy diet, along with getting enough physical activity and sleep, can help children grow up healthy and prevent overweight and obesity. In the United States, 19% of young people aged 2 to 19 years and 40% of adults have obesity, which can put them at risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. In addition, obesity costs the US health care system $147 billion a year.
𝗛𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘁 𝗗𝗶𝘀𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗦𝘁𝗿𝗼𝗸𝗲
Two of the leading causes of heart disease and stroke are high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol. Getting too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure. Current guidelines recommend getting less than 2,300 mg a day, but Americans consume more than 3,400 mg a day on average. Over 70% of the sodium that Americans eat comes from packaged, processed, store-bought, and restaurant foods. Eating foods low in saturated fats and high in fiber, along with regular physical activity, can help prevent high blood cholesterol.
𝗧𝘆𝗽𝗲 𝟮 𝗗𝗶𝗮𝗯𝗲𝘁𝗲𝘀
People who are overweight or have obesity are at increased risk of type 2 diabetes compared to those at a normal weight because, over time, their bodies become less able to use the insulin they make. More than 84 million US adults—or 1 in 3 people—have prediabetes, and 90% of them don’t know they have it. In the last 20 years, the number of adults diagnosed with diabetes has more than doubled as the US population has aged and become heavier.
An unhealthy diet can increase the risk of some cancers. Overweight and obesity are associated with at least 13 types of cancer, including endometrial (uterine) cancer, breast cancer in postmenopausal women, and colorectal cancer. These cancers make up 40% of all cancers diagnosed.
𝗗𝗲𝗳𝗶𝗰𝗶𝘁𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝗕𝗿𝗮𝗶𝗻 𝗙𝘂𝗻𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻
The brain develops most quickly in the first 1,000 days of life, from the start of pregnancy to the child’s second birthday. Having low levels of iron during pregnancy and early childhood is associated with mental and behavioral delays in children. Ensuring that iodine levels are high enough during pregnancy also helps a growing baby have the best brain development possible.
𝗧𝗼 𝗿𝗲𝗰𝗮𝗽, 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗨𝗻𝗶𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗲𝘀:
𝟯 𝗜𝗡 𝟰 𝗜𝗡𝗙𝗔𝗡𝗧𝗦
𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗲𝘅𝗰𝗹𝘂𝘀𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗹𝘆 𝗯𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘀𝘁𝗳𝗲𝗱 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝟲 𝗺𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗵𝘀.
𝟵 𝗜𝗡 𝟭𝟬 𝗔𝗠𝗘𝗥𝗜𝗖𝗔𝗡𝗦
𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘀𝘂𝗺𝗲 𝘁𝗼𝗼 𝗺𝘂𝗰𝗵 𝘀𝗼𝗱𝗶𝘂𝗺.
𝗮 𝘆𝗲𝗮𝗿 𝗶𝘀 𝘀𝗽𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗼𝗻 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘁𝗵 𝗰𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗼𝗯𝗲𝘀𝗶𝘁𝘆
Proper nutrition begins at birth and good habits are best learned during childhood. Parents should set the right course for children by introducing fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and legumes beginning at age 2 and continuing through adolescence.
While it’s easy to give kids Pop Tarts, bagels, donuts, and sugary cereals for breakfast, macaroni and cheese or packaged meals for lunch or dinner, and sugary desserts like cupcakes, brownies and ice cream for snacks, these foods are setting the table for poor eating habits and obesity down the road. Schools aren’t doing kids any favors either by routinely serving pizza for lunch.
Adults and children alike need to reduce the consumption of processed foods, high sugar and high sodium foods, and foods high in saturated fats. Nutrition education is important but following through on the education is what truly makes the difference in achieving and maintaining good health throughout life.
Parents, grandparents, and schools need to do their part by providing healthy foods for our children. Fast foods and sugary treats are OK on occasion, but these should never be staples of our diet.
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