From Frugivore — In most discussion of the United States’ so-called obesity/health crisis, Americans emerge as weak-willed gluttons. Mainstream coverage, focused as it is on finger-wagging fatties and decrying diets laden with meat, sugar and processed goodies, misses a significant contributor to the unhealthful way most Americans eat–a food industrial complex dedicated to profit over health; one willing to obscure sound nutritional information that interferes with the monetary bottom line; and, worse, a government willing to abet the behavior.

Exhibit A – The recent foofarah about the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and Meatless Mondays. It you missed it, here’s what went down: Last month, in a leaked internal newsletter, the USDA encouraged employees to participate in Meatless Mondays, a global effort to get people to reduce meat consumption.

Not so radical, right? Indeed, the increase in America’s meat consumption over recent decades is more shocking. According to a 2010 National Institutes ofHealth study that, incidentally, drew from some USDA data, meat consumption in the United States has nearly doubled in the last century. And Americans eat nearly twice the meat that the European Union and other developed countries consume; 58 percent of that is red meat.

Our heavy meat consumption (more than 270 pounds, per person, per year) may play a role in the increase of lifestyle diseases, like diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. The American Diabetes Association says “a low-fat, vegan diet improves glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors.” The American Heart Association associates a well-planned vegetarian diet with “lower risk of obesity, coronary heart disease (which causes heart attack), high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus and some forms of cancer.” The American Cancer Society’s nutritional guidelines call for “limiting processed meats and red meats.”

And there’s more. Earlier this summer, the United Nations urged that citizens of the world move toward vegan diets (no animal products) to help save the world from “hunger, fuel poverty and the worst effects of climate change”.

(Continue Reading @ Frugivore…)

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  • Mademoiselle

    I’ve heard the best way to control people is to constantly change the rules. That’s how the food industry is in my opinion. There’s always a brand new super food to spur consumption, and a brand new cancer-causing food of death to keep everyone scared of sticking with the old food. We’re all obese, but if you ate everything the USDA promotes as good for your health, you’d be bed-ridden. It’s a very warped relationship between the people that eat and the people that decide what everyone should eat.

  • omfg

    ultimately, people are responsible for themselves. thinking you can trust companies that exist to make money off your choices and the government whose goal is to ensure the profitability and success of said companies is naive.