Los Angeles County (California) has implemented nutrition regulations in all county departments, affecting an estimated 37 million meals a year. While the exact composition of a balanced and healthy diet will vary depending on individual characteristics, cultural context, and dietary habits, the basic principles remain the same. In the first two years of life, optimal nutrition promotes healthy growth and cognitive development, while reducing the risk of being overweight or obese and developing non-communicable diseases later in life. Eating at least 400g (or five servings) of fruits and vegetables a day is essential for reducing the risk of non-communicable diseases and ensuring an adequate daily intake of dietary fiber.
Reducing salt intake to less than 5g a day could prevent 1.7 million deaths each year, but many people are unaware of how much salt they consume. Processed foods, such as ready meals, processed meats, cheese, and savory snacks are often high in salt content. Salt is also added to foods during cooking or at the point of consumption. Some food manufacturers are reformulating recipes to reduce sodium content, so it is important to check nutrition labels before buying or consuming a product.
Potassium may mitigate the negative effects of high sodium intake on blood pressure, so increasing potassium intake by eating fresh fruits and vegetables is recommended. In both adults and children, free sugars should be reduced to less than 10% of total energy intake. A reduction to less than 5% would provide additional health benefits. Consuming free sugars increases the risk of dental caries (tooth decay) and contributes to unhealthy weight gain, which can lead to overweight and obesity. Recent evidence also suggests that reducing free sugar intake reduces risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. The diet evolves over time and is influenced by many social and economic factors that interact in complex ways to shape individual dietary patterns.
These factors include income, food prices, individual preferences and beliefs, cultural traditions, geographical and environmental aspects (including climate change). Therefore, promoting a healthy food environment requires the participation of multiple sectors and stakeholders, including government and the public and private sectors. The “WHO Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health” was adopted in 2004 by the Health Assembly. The strategy called on governments, WHO, international partners, the private sector and civil society to take action at the global, regional and local levels to support healthy diets and physical activity. As an institutional policy, Los Angeles County's takeover motion specifically targets more than 100,000 county employees, customers who purchase food and beverages at county establishments, and populations whose meals are provided by Los Angeles County food centers and programs. Quarterly vendor revenues, product sales records, and nutritional information for vending machine snacks and beverages were collected to examine the level of compliance with the 100% healthy selling policy on a large urban agency in Los Angeles County. The Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Agriculture (USDA) invite the public to participate in this important event through a live broadcast.
When healthy foods aren't available, people can settle for foods with more calories and less nutritional value.
Healthy Eating Guidelines for Los Angeles County Residents: A Comprehensive GuideAs an expert in nutrition guidelines for Los Angeles County residents, I'm here to provide you with all the information you need to make sure you're eating healthily. Eating a balanced diet is essential for reducing your risk of non-communicable diseases such as obesity or heart disease. It's also important for promoting healthy growth in children.
Fruits & VegetablesEating at least 400g (or five servings) of fruits and vegetables a day is essential for reducing your risk of non-communicable diseases as well as ensuring an adequate daily intake of dietary fiber. Fruits & vegetables are also rich in potassium which can help mitigate the negative effects of high sodium intake on blood pressure.
Salt IntakeReducing salt intake to less than 5g a day could prevent 1.7 million deaths each year - but many people are unaware of how much salt they consume.
Processed foods such as ready meals or processed meats are often high in salt content - so it's important to check nutrition labels before buying or consuming a product.