Federal guidelines make common sense

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Eat less. Exercise more. It’s not exactly revolutionary thinking, but it’s yet another time that health officials have tried to drill into the heads of an increasingly obese nation the notion that we need to shape up.

The new federal dietary guidelines issued last week are fairly common sense. Eat more fruits and vegetables and whole grains; exercise from 30 to 90 minutes per day.

It’s the same advice our mothers gave us when they told us to eat our broccoli and go outside and play.

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But while it all sounds very easy, many of us know that losing weight can be fairly difficult to do.

Some restaurants and manufacturers are becoming more aware of the need for more nutritious foods, especially for young people.

Many of the fast food restaurants have begun offering fruit over fries or milk over soft drinks in children’s meals, and that’s a good step. Kraft Foods plans to curb advertising for cookies and other snack foods to children under 12. Many manufacturers are curbing or completely cutting out the use of trans fats, which can clog the arteries.

While the steps taken by these businesses are good ones, we need to realize that losing weight and getting fit has a lot more to do with personal responsibility &045; and finding a plan that works.

Likewise, the government’s guidelines are helpful, but those who are obese need more detailed instructions from personal physicians and dieticians to lose weight.

But anything the government &045; and everyone else &045; can do to emphasize the &uot;eat less, exercise more&uot; mentality can only help our country’s growing problem.