Since joining the ‘Fit Pix’ effort, many Fit Pix participants have taken major strides to make healthy beverage purchases the easy choice for consumers. Numerous restaurants have changed their kids’ menus to include 1% milk instead of soda. Many participating convenience stores have moved water to eye level making water the easiest beverage to find. Simple changes like these nudge customers to choose a healthy drink and in time can make a positive difference in their health. Recently, the Center for Science in the Public Interest has made the case to add ‘Water’ to the Federal MyPlate program, reflecting the same values embodied in the Fit Pix Program.
Every five years the federal government issues dietary guidelines to provide practical advice for healthy eating. In the past, the guidelines have encouraged us to eat more whole grains and less saturated fat, sugar, and sodium.
In anticipation of the new guidelines, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSIPI) is making a push for the guidelines to ad ‘water’ to the MyPlate guide (MyPlate is the USDA’s visual dietary guide which replaced the ‘Food Pyramid’). Promoting water as the beverage of choice takes aim at sugar sweetened beverages that contribute to increased diabetes, heart disease, obesity and other health problems. Lorrene Ritchie, director of the UC Nutrition Policy Institute states, “Don’t take anything away, but add H20.” Ritchie and dozens of other nutrition and health professionals around the country submitted a “Best of Science” letter outlining the harmful effect of sugary beverages. “We don’t have all the answers to overcoming obesity, but the research on sugar-sweetened beverages is very clear,” Ritchie said. “When you drink beverages like soda, sports drinks or punch, the sugar gets absorbed very rapidly and the body doesn’t recognize the calories. The result is excess calories and weight gain.”
-Final 2015 Dietary Guidelines are due to be issued in late 2015.–
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