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  • To sum it up in one word: Overeating. The biggest nutrition problem is obesity. Americans spend billions of dollars yearly trying to lose weight. The United States is now trying to put a larger emphasis on preventative care (such as nutrition) to cut back on the medical costs caused by diseases related to obesity and poor nutrition (such as some cancers, Heart disease, Diabetes, etc.). Most people in the U.S. also have one or more risk factors that predict premature death and illness:
    • 1/3 have elevated cholesterol
    • 1/3 have hypertension
    • More than 30% are obese
    • More than 65% are overweight
    • 10% are diabetic
  • Diseases of affluence are epidemic among people who eat the standard American diet:
    • 1/2 die prematurely of heart disease
    • 1/2 of men develop life-threatening cancer
    • 1/3 of women develop life-threatening cancer
    • Over age 60, 30% have gallbladder disease
    • One in seven suffers with serious Arthritis
    • 60% complain of bad breath (halitosis)
    • Most have gastrointestinal troubles (indigestion to constipation)
  • Americans consume too many macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, and protein) and too few micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals like antioxidants).
  • Much of the food Americans consume has been over-processed and stripped of nutrients. Some nutrients are are added back in to some foods, but those don't necessarily make the food as healthy as a whole, unprocessed food. There is an overabundance of refined and processed carbohydrates and fat in our diets, which not only leads to dangerous weight gain, but also contributes to diabetes, which is at epidemic proportions in the US, even among children. Burgers, rolls, pizza, sodas, french fries, etc., have unhealthy levels of processed carbohydrates or fat. And with the elimination of most physical activity by both adults and children, our bodies do not need the extra calories or the extra carbohydrates. Eating junk food, including refined or processed carbohydrates, fats, and chemical preservatives, does not fill our nutritional needs, so we crave more food and we keep eating. We become addicted to refined or processed carbohydrates, often without being aware of it. Over-consumption of pre-prepared and junk foods are the biggest nutrition problem. The problem is that they bring us an excess of sugar and fat and artificial colors, flavors, additives, etc., and a lack of vitamins minerals.
  • The standard American diet is deficient in calcium, iodine, vitamin C, vitamin E, fiber, folate, magnesium, zinc, and potassium. In fact:
    • 98% of Americans eat potassium-deficient diets because they don't eat enough plants
    • 95% of Americans don't get enough fiber
    • Over 92% of Americans are deficient in one or more vitamins. That doesn't mean they are receiving less than the amount they need for optimal health. That means they receive less than the MINIMUM amount necessary to prevent deficiency diseases.
    • Up to 80% of Americans are deficient in magnesium.
    • Almost 75% don't get enough zinc
    • 70% don't get enough vitamin E
    • 50% don't get enough vitamin D
    • 40% don't get enough iron
    • Up to 40% don't get enough vitamin B12
    • 37% don't get enough vitamin C
  • Much of the food Americans consume is packaged so that it can be shipped long distances and not spoil on the shelf. Besides the fact that all that packaging and shipping hurts the environment, the food is often less healthy than fresh food.
  • Most Americans do not eat enough fresh fruits and vegetables, leading to deficiencies in vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
  • We haven't been taught good habits. Consider the virtue of moderation, smaller meal sizes, as well as keeping meals well balanced. Meals with moderate amounts of healthy food and good helpings of vegetables are not the norm for the average American. They may have never learned to cook or how to make good food choices. Going out to eat, eating ice cream, doughnuts, chips, meat, sweets, candy, and junk food of all kinds is a problem. Go to the store and buy some oatmeal, broccoli, bananas, apples, lettuce, carrots, potato, rice, and lentils and other basic simple foods.
  • Our food is making us sick. Too much cholesterol, saturated fat, dairy products, and sugar contribute to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Half of men, ages to 65 to 74, and 39% of women, ages 75 and older, must take expensive statin drugs just to stay alive on the standard American diet.
  • The more we know, the more we can fix the general nutrient-deficient diets we eat in America.
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Q: What sort of nutrition problem is most common in Americans today?
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