US Obesity Problem
Getting Worse
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Despite education programs and a host of different diet plans, the U.S. obesity problem keeps getting worse, nutritionists said on Thursday.
Some of the top U.S. weight-loss authors and experts, at an agriculture department-sponsored debate, said Americans needed to eat less, exercise more and consume less sugar.
``Refined sugar ought to be reduced (in diets) as well as the quantity of food,'' Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman said.
Barry Sears, author of ``The Zone,'' said food needed to be looked at from a different perspective as Americans continue to eat less fat but are still getting fatter.
``We need to view food as a potential drug ... as Americans are the fattest we have ever been,'' Sears said.
From the low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet to the plant-based diet and all-you-can-eat diet, experts argued their weight-loss strategies to be the most effective and least dangerous.
However, with such a diverse population in the United State, some nutritionists said these fad diets don't work in the long term.
``Controlling weight is a life-long plan and takes a long term solution, not a quick fix like diets,'' said Keith-Thomas Ayoob, professor at Albert Einstein College in New York.
``Diets that are too restrictive make it impossible for people to sustain in the long-term.''
Glickman said the Agriculture Department, which is in the midst of revising the federal dietary guidelines, will explore longer range studies on diets and how they breakdown in certain regions and populations.


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