Every five years, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans are jointly issued and updated by the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services. They exist to help Americans make informed food choices, maintain a healthy weight, and promote overall health.
One Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development researcher finds, however, that it is not possible to conclude whether dietary variety has an adverse impact on body weight and therefore limits the development of clear national nutrition guidelines.
“What we found is that there is no consistent evidence showing that greater food variety increases the risk of obesity,” says Maya Vadiveloo, a doctoral student within Steinhardt’s Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health.
Vadiveloo’s latest research, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, examines the associations between dietary variety and measures of body adiposity (body fat) including body mass index (BMI), waist and hip circumference, and percentage of body fat. In a comprehensive review of literature spanning nearly 15 years, Vadiveloo and colleagues conclude that while the majority of the studies suggest that dietary variety increases energy intake, the
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