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As if we're not obese enough, authorities want to raise the daily calorie recommendations

Monday, December 14, 2009 by: E. Huff, staff writer
Tags: calories, obesity, health news

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(NaturalNews) The Times of London is reporting that recommended daily caloric intake levels in the UK could be increased by 16 percent. Britain's Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition has concluded that its current daily limits of 2,000 calories for women and 2,500 for men may be too low.

The study reevaluated the criteria utilized for assessing how many calories are burned off by physical activity and came to the conclusion that their prior standards were wrong. Nutrition experts made the determination that some adults may be safe consuming an extra 400 calories a day without gaining weight.

Confusion immediately set in among concerned health advocates who were quick to point out that roughly 60 percent of British adults are overweight due to unhealthy eating habits and inadequate exercise. That the agency would suggest increasing caloric intake when the National Health Service expends roughly 4.2 billion pounds, or $7 billion, a year dealing with obesity-related health problems was perceived as counterintuitive.

Conflicts of opinion about how to handle the findings are sure to be problematic. Some assume the Food Standards Agency will continue with the recommendations it has always given in order to remain consistent. After all, to suggest that what it had been promoting all these years is false would cause many people to be up in arms over the change.

National Obesity Forum spokesman Tam Fry urges caution over the notion that adults can safely pack on another 400 calories without worry. He urges people to think rationally and sensibly about their food choices and to evaluate what is best for them in their current condition of health.

The report failed to properly analyze what types of calories could be increased, making the faulty assumption that a calorie is a calorie no matter from what source it is derived. This skewed perception about healthy eating ignores the content of what is eaten.

The types of foods and fats consumed play a much larger role in obesity than do the number of calories consumed. Healthy oils like coconut, hemp, and olive oil are highly effective at helping people maintain proper weight levels. Whole foods eaten in moderation, even those naturally high in fat, also serve to maintain a healthy weight. Modified foods that are artificially low in fat or fat-free, such as nonfat milk, can actually contribute to weight gain.

There are multiple approaches to cutting excess weight and staying thin but the goal of any diet should be to incorporate as much whole, healthy, and natural food as possible.

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