The Dietary Guidelines for Americans serve as the cornerstone for nutrition policy in the United States. Mandated by Congress to be reviewed every 5-years, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans provide food-based nutrition guidance for Americans ages two (2) years and older to help promote overall health and reduce the risk of disease and obesity. The document produced jointly by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), serves as the cornerstone of nutrition policy in the U.S. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans encourage Americans to focus on eating a healthful diet – one that focuses on foods and beverages that help achieve and maintain a healthy weight, promote health, and prevent disease. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are derived from the report of an appointed academic committee consisting of nationally recognized experts in the field of nutrition and health. The current 2010 report, found at www.dietaryguidelines.gov emphasizes three major goals for Americans:
- Balance calories with physical activity to manage weight
- Consume more of certain foods and nutrients such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free and low-fat dairy products and seafood.
- Consume fewer foods with sodium (salt), saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, added sugars, and refined grains.
Outside of being the nation’s recommendation when it comes to health and nutrition, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans also shape all Federal government nutrition assistance (e.g. SNAP and WIC), education and food labeling programs. They also provide a reference for private sector consumer marketing and education. If you would like more simplified dietary recommendations, visit www.choosemyplate.gov which illustrates the five food groups that are the building blocks for a healthy diet using a familiar image—a place setting for a meal. MyPlate (which replaced the old Food Pyramid in 2010) was developed from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Check it out!
Also check out my Top Ten Ways to Lose Weight and Be Healthy for more healthy tips!