The long awaited Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) 2010 have been released! Back in June, we blogged about the completion of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee report. This scientific report was written for the Federal government as the basis for developing the DGA. As previously mentioned, the DGA are updated every five years by the Secretaries of the United States Department of Agriculture and Health and Human Services. They form the basis of Federal nutrition policy, education, outreach, and food assistance programs used by consumers, industry, nutrition educators, and health professionals by providing advice for making food choices that promote good health, a healthy weight, and help prevent disease for Americans ages 2 and over.
So what's recommended in 2010 (2011; yes, the release was a bit delayed)? Well, there are 23 key recommendations for all Americans and 6 recommendations for specific population groups (e.g., pregnant/breastfeeding women, older adults). Click here to read them. The two major themes are:
Also, the DGA recommend that nutrient needs should be met primarily through consuming foods (vs. fortified foods and dietary supplements) and that following a healthy eating pattern like the USDA Food Patterns (MyPyramid) and DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) Eating Plan is the best way to meet individual dietary needs.
Sound like a lot of the same? Here are a few specific differences from the DGA 2005:
And here are some controversies I've heard:
While I agree that these new DGA are not earth shattering, I do think they provide significant updates like focusing on weight management and acknowledging barriers to healthy eating in our environment. The 95-page policy document is hefty to print out but contains great resources for health professionals working with clients on improving eating habits. Numerous charts including, "Top 25 Sources of Calories Among Americans," "Three Ways to Make at Least Half of Total Grains Whole Grains," and "Key Consumer Behaviors and Potential Strategies for Professionals" provide easy-to-read and share information that is both important and interesting.
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