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Nutrition Year in Review 2011

By , SparkPeople Blogger

The American Dietetic Association conducted a survey this year to evaluate people's attitudes about nutrition and physical activity and found a variety of interesting statistics. One interesting finding was that today 46 percent of those interviewed actively seek information about nutrition and healthy eating compared to only 19 percent in 2000. TV and magazines are the top two sources people use to gather their nutrition information. The internet has increased 18 percent since 2008 to become the number three source especially for those between the ages of 25-44.
While there are plenty of poor nutritional options available, this year has also provided information and options to help you make healthier choices and changes. Here are some of the highlights from this year that you might have missed.

2010 Dietary Guidelines

The basic goal of the Dietary Guidelines is to help American's learn to make nutrient-rich food and snack choices balanced with a physically active lifestyle to maintain a healthy weight and reduce our risk of disease in favor of improved overall health. This outline of the guidelines can help you find areas your may need to focus.

5 Tips to Eat Right with Color

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables provides many health benefits such as lowering blood pressure and reducing risks of heart disease, cancer, and digestive problems. Not only do they provide many necessary vitamins and minerals, but also beneficial fiber as well. American's are encouraged to increase their intake of fruits and vegetables and these five tips can help.

New Proposed FDA Restaurant Labeling Regulations

In the spring, the U.S. FDA released news of proposed regulations for fast service restaurants and casual dining establishments as well as a proposed companion rule will apply to items sold in vending machines. This blog outlines some helpful tips for planning.

Benefits of Coupons without Being Extreme

There are a variety of tips to help you save money at the supermarket. Here are some coupon tips and resources to help you get the most from coupon savings without having to go extreme.

SoFAS Do Not Belong in the Kitchen

In the recently updated 2010 Dietary Guidelines, the term SoFAS is defined as solid fats and added sugars. We need to eat a diet balanced in carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats every day to supply the body with the vitamins and minerals necessary for health. If you are having trouble meeting your weight loss goals, check your diet for sources of SoFAS and get them out of your kitchen starting with these three basic keys.

National Food Icon Takes a New Shape

The new food icon, MyPlate was unveiled and replaces the often times confusing MyPyramid image as a visual cue and teaching tool. The intent of the new icon is to translate the main tips of the newly updated 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans into a visual that helps Americans build healthy diets, one meal at a time. No icon or visual can tell the whole story without education that offers specific recommendations and guidelines. Here are a couple guidelines to help you make your plate healthy and useful in reaching your weight and health goals.

Are Healthier Kids Menus Coming to Your Favorite Restaurant?

Healthy meals and snacks build healthy bodies. The journey begins during pregnancy, carries into childhood and throughout the teen years. Learn why the restaurant association and Healthy Dining finder have collaborated to support families and help children eat healthier.

How to Pack a Waste-free Lunch

With many landfills filling up reducing convenience packaging is necessary for all of us. Use these steps to create a waste-free lunch for children and adults alike who regularly pack their lunches.

Could New Dinnerware Be Your Key to Success?

Control over what goes on our plate is an important but difficult part of weight management. There are a variety of products that can take the guesswork out of portion control as well as everyday items that can be used as portion size visual cues. Now, new dinnerware has emerged to help families make proper portion control a daily success.

School Milk Gets a Makeover

Last year's passage of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 caused some school districts to remove flavored milks from their cafeterias. Unfortunately, research found that when flavored milk was removed from elementary schools there was a 35 percent drop in milk consumption. As part of the implementation of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, changes in nutrition requirements for fluid milk served at school were necessary by the start of this school year. Here is what is new in school cafeteria milk.

The 10 Healthiest Menu Items of 2011

We have seen many restaurants update their menus this year to provide patrons with healthier options. The new Kids Live Well campaign provides families with healthier choices when eating away from home to help kids maintain a healthy weight. Throughout 2011, we have highlighted some of the healthier fast food and casual dining options in our Food on the Run and Diet Friendly Dining reviews. Don't miss 10 of the healthiest menu options we've seen this year.

While there will always be high calorie, high sodium, SoFAS rich offenders tempting us, there are also plenty of guidelines, tools and tricks to help us make wiser choices. What new tip, trick or tool did you discover this year that has helped you find health success?

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