Americans are some of the most overfed and yet undernourished people on the planet, and it shows.
The United States ranks 40th in the developed world for life expectancy even though we spend far more per person on health care than any other country. A new study from the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine says that the life-expectancy gap between the US and other developed countries is only getting larger.
Shocked? We should be!
Proper nutrition and healthy lifestyle plays an important role in helping prevent many major diseases (like heart disease, diabetes and even cancer), but getting proper nutrition in our modern world can be a challenge.
Let's take a look:
Our bodies cannot produce many of the nutrients we need, so they must be found in the food we eat and the supplements we take every day. Additionally, if the food we are eating is lacking nutrients, then supplementing can really be beneficial in staying healthy.
Most people say that they eat well, but research shows that 80 percent of Americans are not eating enough servings of fruits and vegetables.i We are also not getting enough Omega- 3 oils (EPA/DHA), antioxidants, B vitamins or a host of other nutrients our bodies need.
The nutritional content of our food has changed. A 2004 study of common crops showed a decline in the nutrient content between 6 and 38 percent over the past 50 years.ii
The amount of processed food that we eat has been on a steady climb ever since the invention of the refrigerator. Today, most of us eat more processed food than non-processed food. Convenience has become more prized than quality.
Our high stress and fast paced lives increases our needs for nutrients, especially the B vitamins.
The world is a much more toxic place than it used to be. Our bodies are exposed to more pollutants and under more oxidative stress than ever before. We need optimum nutrition in order to help our bodies battle these stresses.
None of us are perfect, there are days when you might eat well, but then days when you don't. A multivitamin, along with other key nutritional supplements can be the insurance policy you are looking for to fill in those nutritional gaps that may leave us vulnerable.
Krebs-Smith SM, Guenther PM, Subar AF, Kirkpatrick SI, Dodd KW. Americans do not meet federal dietary recommendations. J Nutr. 2010;140:1832–1838.
Davis DR, Epp MD, Riordan HD. Changes in USDA food composition data for 43 garden crops, 1950 to 1999. J Am Coll Nutr. 2004 Dec;23(6):669-82. PMID: 15637215.
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