Panel: Obesity is century's greatest public health threat
- Reduce excess weight and obesity by cutting calorie intake and increasing physical activity.
- Shift to a more plant-based diet that emphasizes vegetables, cooked dry beans and peas, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Increase the intake of seafood and fat-free and low-fat milk and milk products, and eat only moderate amounts of lean meats, poultry and eggs.
- Significantly reduce intake of foods containing added sugars and solid fats, which contribute about 35% of the calories in the American diet. Cut sodium intake gradually to 1,500 milligrams a day and lower intake of refined grains, especially those with added sugar, solid fat and sodium.
- Meet the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Those recommend that adults get at least 2½ hours of moderate-intensity physical activity each week, such as brisk walking, or 1¼ hours of a vigorous-intensity activity, such as jogging or swimming laps, or a combination of the two types. Children and teens should do an hour or more of moderate-intensity to vigorous physical activity each day.
- Improve nutrition literacy and cooking skills, and motivate people, especially families with children, to prepare healthy foods at home.
- Improve the availability of affordable fresh produce through greater access to grocery stores, produce trucks and farmers' markets.
- Encourage restaurants and the food industry to offer health-promoting foods that are low in sodium; limited in added sugars, refined grains and solid fats; and served in smaller portions.