Council Says Calories Going Up, But No One's Counting : Shots - Health News Calories in need to go down, calories out need to go up, the International Food Information Council says.
NPR logo Council Says Calories Going Up, But No One's Counting

Council Says Calories Going Up, But No One's Counting

We want to lose weight, but we're just not counting calories. iStockphoto.com hide caption

toggle caption
iStockphoto.com

It's never been easier to count calories. From authoritative websites to nifty mobile apps — we can tally up our daily consumption in a snap.

But it seems lots of weight-conscious Americans don't quite have the concept down. New findings from the International Food Information Council's Food & Health Survey finds that only 12 percent of Americans can accurately estimate daily calories.

That's a problem—-given that 70 percent of survey respondents say they're concerned about their weight. And 77 percent do not meet the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' guidelines for physical activity.

"People need help understanding how to balance diet and physical activity choices to attain a healthy weight" says Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, a registered dietician with the IFIC Foundation.

Never before has there been so much focus on getting Americans to start moving and slim down.  The First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move Campaign has the ambitious goal of combatting childhood obesity

And then there's new dietary guideline recommendations. The expert panel that drafted the latest round says Americans need to rethink patterns of eating — from portion sizes to snacking habits. (Translation: Calories 'IN')

And work a little harder at burning off some calories through exercise. (Translation: Calories 'OUT'). IFIC happens to have some handy tips on this.

The reality is, there are no shortcuts to losing weight. There’s still no evidence that the cookie diet works!