Guidelines serve as a healthy reminder

Published 6:08 pm Friday, February 4, 2011

Unhealthy diet is unquestionably a problem in the United States—and especially in the South, where obesity rates climb above those in other parts of the country.

So, updated nutritional guidelines released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services were welcomed.

The guidelines aren’t groundbreaking but instead serve as reinforcement for some facts we should have already known:

•We should eat less salt. Even people not suffering from a chronic disease should reduce their daily intake by almost half, according to national averages.

•Drink 12 cups of water a day, not including flavored water and drinks. Diet drinks are still drinks, and remember that the elderly need even more water.

•If someone takes in more calories than he or she burns, that person will gain weight. So, it’s important to both reduce the number of high-calorie foods and make sure we’re getting enough exercise to keep the pounds off.

•We need more fruits, vegetables and whole grains in our diet.

Let’s hope the reminder in the form of revised nutritional guidelines helps people across the country live healthier lives.

For more information about the new guidelines, visit or visit the Chilton County Extension Office.