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Nutrition

Narrative

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends eating a variety of nutrient-dense foods while not exceeding caloric needs. For most people, this means eating a daily assortment of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, seafood and beans, and reduced fat milk products while limiting added sugar, sodium, saturated and trans fats, and cholesterol.1 Balancing a healthy diet with physical activity can help to prevent obesity and numerous chronic conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, which are leading causes of death in the U.S.

High salt intake can contribute to high blood pressure—a major risk factor for cardiovascular and kidney disease. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines recommends restriction of daily sodium intake to less than 2300 mg/day or further reduction to less than 1500 mg/day for persons who are aged 51 and older, Black, or have hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease. In 2005–2008, 83.1 percent of women exceeded the recommended maximum sodium intake—particularly non-Hispanic White and non-Hispanic Black women (89.2 and 83.9 percent, respectively), as well as those with higher household incomes (200 percent or more of poverty).

Fats that come from sources of polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fatty acids, such as fish, nuts, and vegetable oils, are an important part of a healthy diet. However, high intake of saturated fats and cholesterol, found mainly in animal-based foods, may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Most Americans should consume fewer than 10 percent of calories from saturated fats and less than 300 mg/day of cholesterol. Trans fat intake should also be kept to a minimum. In 2005–2008, 61.6 percent of women exceeded the recommended maximum daily intake of saturated fat—particularly non-Hispanic White and non-Hispanic Black women (64.6 and 58.1 percent, respectively). About 25 percent of women exceeded the recommended daily limit of cholesterol intake—particularly non-Hispanic Black and Mexican American women (33.2 and 32.9 percent, respectively). Differences in saturated fat and cholesterol intake by poverty status were not significant.

1 U.S. Department of Agriculture. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. January 2011. Accessed 03/29/11.

Graphs

Data

Women Exceeding the Recommended Daily Intake of Sodium, Saturated Fat, and Cholesterol,* by Race/Ethnicity,** 2005–2008
Race/Ethnicity Percent of Women
Sodium Saturated Fat Cholesterol
*Maximum recommended daily intake of sodium is less than 2300 mg/day or less than 1500 mg/day for persons who are aged 51 and older, Black, or have hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease (definition used here does not include lower threshold for chronic kidney disease due to lack of condition assessment); recommended intake of saturated fat is 10 percent of daily caloric intake or less; recommended daily intake of cholesterol is less than 300 mg/day.
**The samples of American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and persons of multiple race were too small to produce reliable results.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2005-2008. Analysis conducted by the Maternal and Child Health Information Resource Center.
Non-Hispanic White 83.1 61.6 25.5
Non-Hispanic Black 83.9 64.6 23.3
Mexican American 89.2 58.1 33.2
Other Hispanic 74.6 52.8 32.9
Total 69.1 46.5 22.5
Women Exceeding the Recommended Daily Intake of Sodium, Saturated Fat, and Cholesterol,* by Poverty Status,** 2005–2008
Poverty Status Percent of Women
Sodium Saturated Fat Cholesterol
*Maximum recommended daily intake of sodium is less than 2300 mg/day or less than 1500 mg/day for persons who are aged 51 and older, Black, or have hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease (definition used here does not include lower threshold for chronic kidney disease due to lack of condition assessment); recommended intake of saturated fat is 10 percent of daily caloric intake or less; recommended daily intake of cholesterol is less than 300 mg/day.
**Poverty level, defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, was $22,025 for a family of four in 2008.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2005-2008. Analysis conducted by the Maternal and Child Health Information Resource Center.
Less Than 100% of Poverty 68.9 56.5 26.8
100-199% of Poverty 81.7 59.9 25.9
200-299% of Poverty 86.0 66.5 26.7
300% or More of Poverty 86.8 62.9 24.3

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