Los Angeles County (California) has implemented nutrition regulations in all county departments, affecting an estimated 37 million meals a year. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health recently released a report on the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages among children and adolescents in the county, which revealed large disparities in consumption among different racial, ethnic, geographical, and socioeconomic groups. The report concluded with recommendations to reduce disparities in the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages among children in Los Angeles County. In South Los Angeles, neighborhoods with a higher proportion of African-American residents had fewer healthy food options and more fast-food restaurants than in west Los Angeles, an area of the city with a lower percentage of African-Americans.
This lack of access to healthy foods can lead to people settling for foods with more calories and less nutritional value. The report emphasizes the importance of providing everyone with the same degree of protection against environmental and health hazards, as well as the same access to the decision-making process for a healthy environment in which to live, learn and work. In order to ensure that Los Angeles County residents are following dietary guidelines that are beneficial to their health, it is important to consider the following:
- Eat a variety of foods from all food groups. Eating a variety of foods helps ensure that you get all the nutrients you need.
- Choose nutrient-dense foods that provide essential vitamins and minerals without adding too many calories.
Examples include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products.
- Limit added sugars. Added sugars are found in many processed and packaged foods and can contribute to weight gain and other health problems. It is important to read labels and limit added sugars as much as possible.
- Limit saturated fats. Saturated fats are found in animal products such as red meat, poultry skin, butter, cheese, and other full-fat dairy products.
Eating too much saturated fat can increase your risk of heart disease. It is important to limit saturated fats as much as possible.
- Choose healthy fats. Healthy fats are found in plant-based foods such as nuts, seeds, avocados, and olive oil. Eating healthy fats can help reduce your risk of heart disease.
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can help reduce your risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.