Make Half Your Plate Pears!

The new Dietary Guidelines for Americans are here! Every five years, the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services update the Dietary Guidelines, guidance that focuses on nationwide health promotion and disease risk reduction based on current nutritional science. Not surprisingly, the latest guidelines focus on trimming waistlines though physical activity and proper nutrition, including increasing consumption of nutrient-dense foods, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. The guidelines form the basis for federal nutrition policy, but also provide specific messages to improve consumer health.

One of these consumer messages, and in my opinion the most effective message, is to make half your plate fruits and vegetables. The most recent data reveals that 72% of men, 64% of women, and 32% of those younger than age 20 in the United States are overweight or obese.1,2 The obesity epidemic is driven by many factors, including excessive consumption of processed and convenience foods. Half a plate of filling, nutrient dense produce is easy to visualize and easy to attain, and likely swaps out calorie-dense foods for better nutrition. So don’t wait, start your very next meal with a pear!

1 Flegal KM, Carroll MD, Ogden CL, Curtin LR. Prevalence and trends in obesity among U.S. adults, 1999-2008. JAMA. 2010;303(3):235-241.
2 Ogden CL, Carroll MD, Curtin LR, Lamb MM, Flegal KM. Prevalence of high body mass index in U.S. children and adolescents, 2007-2008. JAMA. 2010;303(3):242-249.

illustration credit: Produce for Better Health Foundation

About Amy Kweller MS, RD

As a Registered Dietitian, I have a professional relationship with pears. But as someone who loves great food, I also have a personal relationship with pears! So there is no better way to spend my time than blogging about this lovely fruit. I will blog about pears from farm to table; healthy living, cooking, and recipes; the therapeutic benefits of pears and a wholesome diet; and how pears can fit into your lifestyle. I have a background in clinical and community nutrition, and teaching others how to lead healthy, fulfilling lives is my goal and passion – so send me your questions. My hope is that everyone who visits this site will find something that lingers long after the browser closes, and I expect that will be a deeper love of pears!

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