Reinforcing Satcher’s research, its USDA has released their
Dietary Guidelines for 2002. This report, compiled and researched
by 21 scientists from the United States and Canada, is aimed
not to help Americans lose weight, but to get into a healthier
lifestyle. Besides providing daily nutrition breakdowns of protein
(10 to 35 percent), fat (20 to 35 percent), and carbohydrates
(45 to 65 percent) based on a 2,000 calorie day, the USDA also
stated that Americans should exercise a minimum of one hour
each day—double the amount previously recommended.
Also new this year is researchers have found that calorie intake
should be proportional to one’s daily exercise, not height and
weight as thought before.
“You tell me what exercises you do, and I’ll tell you what
you can eat,” said George Brooks, professor of integrative biology
at the University of California at Berkley and a USDA researcher.
The key to living healthy, and eventually losing weight, is
burning off excess calories before they’ve had the chance to
turn into fat.
However, Joan Carter, spokesperson for the American Dietary
Association (ADA), says it might not be as easy as that.
“You might burn 180 calories if you walk an hour—but you haven’t
even burnt off half the calories of those biggie fries,” said
Carter. In fact, a recent ADA study found that people who lost
weight and kept it off for five years did so by burning 400
calories a day through walking four miles daily!
For many, busy schedules don’t allow an hour daily of rigorous
exercise. Therefore, Healthyhawaii.com, a site sponsored by
the State of Hawai‘i, suggests spreading exercise throughout
the day by parking in the farthest stall from one’s destination,
doing laps around the grocery store while shopping, or taking
the stairs rather than the elevator. The State of Hawai‘i has
launched a campaign to get islanders to start living and eating
healthier, since national statistics state that 34 percent of
Americans are overweight and an additional 27 percent are obese
(msnbc.com). Perhaps Healthyhawaii’s slogan is ideal when trying
to live healthy: “c’mon, you gotta start somewhere.”