The myth of moderation

What is moderation? Just knowing that Americans ate 617 calories more per day in 2008 than in 1970 (okay, I realize some of you weren’t even born yet) means each of us potentially could be 68 pounds heavier now. Overweight is the new thin and obesity the new overweight. We are just so darned used to seeing bigger portions and less healthy fare, and bigger bodies, it leads to heavier bodies as the norm.

Many RDs and nutritionists counsel “everything in moderation.” The old Greek inscription “Meden Agan” or “Nothing in Excess” somehow got translated into ‘everything in moderation.’ It hasn’t served us well.

Areas we no longer eat in moderation are added sugar (242% above the recommended limit), refined grains (200%), sodium (229% above the limit), saturated fat (158% over), and solid fats (281% over the top). Whew. That figures out to be mongo mounds of desserts, meats, high fat and processed food.

70% of us don’t exercise.

That all being the case, it’s only fair that we really do need to scale back on those items I just listed. Because we definitely don’t binge on asparagus and Brussels’ sprouts, it’s only fair to say we need to way up the ante on fruits and vegetables, whole grains as well. Agreed? Well, after seeing that we eat 42% of the recommended fruit intake, 59% veggies, 15% whole grain and only 40% of the fiber we need, it’s a no brainer. This paradigm shift has to happen.

Everything in moderation is the old Nothing in Excess. Moderation is no longer an option. It will not allow us to meet our goals. Let’s move on to change in a big way!

Adapted from The myth of moderation: Do all foods really fit? by Jeff Novick, MS RD, Weight Management Matters, Spring 2011.





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