Gradual Changes in Food Choices Result in Improvements in Overall Diet Quality
Making small, gradual changes in food choices can result in improvements in people's diet quality and help consumers better meet the recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, according to research supported by the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service and Baylor College of Medicine.
In a study designed to use a technique called menu modeling "to evaluate actual and recommended food intake patterns using specific foods readily available in supermarkets including canned, frozen and convenience products," the researchers developed 35 different daily menus geared toward women ages 31 to 50 that they named "baseline," "transitional" and "goal." For example, soft drinks were replaced with a yogurt drink and 80-percent lean ground beef was replaced with 95-percent lean.
According to the researchers: "Results from the nutrient and food group analysis for each target menu indicated that small, incremental changes in food choices dramatically improved the quality of the menus and met current dietary recommendations for key nutrients when averaged over seven days."
The researchers concluded: "With awareness of how small changes may influence health, Americans may be motivated to make gradual changes in their diet patterns, reaping measurable health benefits and reducing the burden on the national health care system."
|Contact: Jennifer Starkey|
American Dietetic Association