Health experts are taking aim at obesity. Studies over the past decade continue to show that obesity contributes to a multitude of health issues, including cancer, diabetes and heart disease. But experts are alarmed at the rapid rate of in which Americans are packing on the pounds. Currently, 2/3 of Americans are overweight or obese. The increased weight problems amongst youths is discouraging, with 1/3 of all 2-19 year olds being overweight or obese.

The new dietary guidelines are put out every five years by the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services, and was developed by a 13-member board of scientists and nutritionists. The panel called obesity “the single greatest threat to public health in this century.”

Among the recommendations offered by the panel include:

  • No more than 1,500 milligrams a day of salt
  • More vegetables
  • More whole grains
  • Less fatty meats
  • Less salt
  • Less sugar
  • Children should be discouraged from drinking sugar-sweetened beverages
  • Limit saturated fats to less than 7% of overall calorie intake
  • More physical exercise