ABSTRACT Deciding what to eat can be difficult. There are multiple different diets which are popular today, and all of them say different things about which foods optimize health, and which foods are destructive. The situation become more complicated when the suggestions are all purportedly based on relevant science, and all have had demonstrated positive impacts on overall wellbeing. Even when we do have good information, financial factors, geography, and time constraints can prevent us from acting on it. In an attempt to portray the difficulties involved in eating well, I start by analyzing what each of six diets - The Paleo Diet, The Perfect Health Diet, the vegetarian diet, the vegan diet, the Mediterranean Diet, and the Traditional Asian Diet - says about what we should be eating. I then explore what the science says about what we should be eating, and whether this science lines up with the diets, by discussing an extensive review of books and literature on nutrition. Lastly, in order to gain an understanding of factors which discourage us from eating well, I tracked my consumption habits for a week using My Fitness Tracker, and noted any reasons that I chose to eat or not eat certain foods. I supplemented this with a discussion of the shortcomings of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, and the types of factors that prevent people from acting on information. In conclusion, diets should be praised for attempting to align American eating habits with the best scientific information, but the vast amount of information and the difficulty involved in eating well may ultimately prevent people from doing so.
- What we should eat, and why we don't
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Statement of Responsibility
by Grant Whitson