Adults Eat Same Junk Food While Eating More Fruit & Vegetables
Lifestyle medicine is a preventative science, exploring how to improve people's health with simple (but often challenging) changes in lifestyle. The science evolves, finding peculiar differences between people with more study. Here's an interesting one, adults keep eating the same amount of junk food even when they're eating more fruits and vegetables. That's in contrast to kids; when they're eating more fruits and vegetables it "crowds out" less healthy food.
"Eat healthy" campaigns in America usually promote fruits and vegetables, but this info about adults could mean it's not helping people eat less processed sugar and salt. So, although people may eat more fruits and vegetables, adding to a balanced diet, they're also still eating the same foods that contribute to diseases like diabetes. The quick take? Explicit messages about limiting sugar and salt aren't being sent and that could make an important difference.
Kids eating more fruits and vegetables also has an interesting side effect, it spreads to their parents. When kids had fruit available for free at their schools, parents also started eating more at home. Again, parents weren't necessarily eating less junk food, but they were getting a more balanced diet. So, although kids were a vector for fruits and vegetables, adults need something else to stop eating so much sugary and salty food.
Here's the human and financial toll of failures to help people change their lifestyles; about 34 million people have diabetes along with 88 million others who have been diagnosed with prediabetes; $1 of every $7 spent in the healthcare system today is spent on diabetes and its complications. 20,000 people could also avoid cancer every year if half the country were eating enough fruits and vegetables every day. These numbers are in America alone, and the global cost is increasing too.
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