90 percent of Americans fail to meet the government's nutritional guidelines.
60 percent of the calories Americans consume now come from processed food products providing loads of calories—along with huge profits for the few—but virtually no nutrition.
On average, Americans each consume twice the recommended level of sugar, mostly invisible in processed products. The industry has learned that some foods—especially sugars—can be even more addictive than drugs, tobacco, or alcohol. Our bodies are hard-wired for sweets so food manufacturers have deployed fifty-six types of sugar to add to their products.
Food is increasingly implicated in such major killers as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, stroke, and certain cancers.
Worldwide, poor diet is now the greatest contributor to early death—with red meat and sugary beverages among foods implicated in over a fifth of global mortality, reports the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.
The US unhealthy diets are responsible for as much as nearly half of all deaths from heart disease and metabolic disorders.
One such disorder is diabetes, which has become our seventh leading cause of death as well as the number one cause of kidney failure, lower-limb amputations, and adult blindness. Nearly half of American adults now are "pre-diabetic"—meaning we're on our way—or are suffering from full-blown diabetes. In the US, in just two decades the number of adults with diabetes has more than doubled. Over 90 percent of them suffer from "type 2" diabetes, in which the body is unable to keep blood sugar at normal levels.
Medical experts tell us it is up to us to behave: Lose extra weight, exercise, and eat less fat and sugar, while getting "plenty of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. It's also a good idea to limit red meat, and avoid processed meats," says the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
But why aren't our healthcare professionals also forcefully calling out the food industry itself for pushing unhealthy, ultra-processed food products and meat?
Americans have been warned that processed meat—sausage, bologna, hot dogs, etc.—was in 2015 deemed a carcinogen by the World Health Organization.
Processed meat still accounts for over a fifth of the meat Americans eat.
Opinion | America's Killer Diet | Frances Moore Lappé (commondreams.org)
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