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Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention: Solving the Weight of the Nation – Institute of Medicine – But Don’t Get Your Hopes Up…

Released: May 8, 2012
Type: Consensus Report
Topics: Food and Nutrition, Public Health, Children, Youth and Families
Activity: Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention
Board: Food and Nutrition Board
Two-thirds of adults and one-third of children are overweight or obese. Left unchecked, obesity’s effects on health, health care costs, and our productivity as a nation could become catastrophic.

The staggering human toll of obesity-related chronic disease and disability, and an annual cost of $190.2 billion for treating obesity-related illness, underscore the urgent need to strengthen prevention efforts in the United States. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation asked the IOM to identify catalysts that could speed progress in obesity prevention.

The IOM evaluated prior obesity prevention strategies and identified recommendations to meet the following goals and accelerate progress

- Integrate physical activity every day in every way
- Market what matters for a healthy life
- Make healthy foods and beverages available everywhere
- Activate employers and health care professionals
- Strengthen schools as the heart of health

On their own, accomplishing any one of these might help speed up progress in preventing obesity, but together, their effects will be reinforced, amplified, and maximized.

The Institute of Medicine released its almost 500 page report today on what they propose to solve the accelerating obesity epidemic.  As expected, it was a disappointment, as it apparently based it’s nutritional goals on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010, as summarized in the table below…  Pretty close to what we feed cattle to fatten them up for market!

So gird your loins guys, they are saying that we need to eat more whole grains and carbs, and throw out all that bad saturated fat!  And forget about butter and coconut oil, they don’t like them either…

They did highlight a campaign against sugar-based drinks, so that’s good.  And they did recommend eating less refined carbs.  But they said to replace them with whole grains!   As per Tom Naughton:   “Head. Bang. On. Desk.”

Table 2-4. Recommended Macronutrient Proportions by age (from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010)

Young children (1–3 years)                                          45–65% carbs  5–20% protein  30–40%  fat

Older children & adolescents (4–18 years)            45–65% carbs  10–30% protein  25–35%  fat

Adults (19 years and older)                                           45–65% carbs  10–35% protein  20–35%  fat

Source: Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids.

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