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USDA Releases 2010 Dietary Guidelines

WASHINGTON— America’s obesity epidemic weighed heavily in the development of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, released today by USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The new guidelines place stronger emphasis on reducing calorie consumption, increasing physical activity and choosing healthy foods, including more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein sources, and fat-free and low-fat dairy items while limiting sodium, saturated and trans fats, added sugars and refined grains.

“The 2010 Dietary Guidelines are being released at a time when the majority of adults and one in three children is overweight or obese and this is a crisis that we can no longer ignore," said Tom Vilsack, U.S. secretary of agriculture. “These new and improved dietary recommendations give individuals the information to make thoughtful choices of healthier foods in the right portions and to complement those choices with physical activity. The bottom line is that most Americans need to trim our waistlines to reduce the risk of developing diet-related chronic disease. Improving our eating habits is not only good for every individual and family, but also for our country."

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines include 23 key recommendations for the general population, and six additional recommendations for specific population groups.

Commenting on the new Dietary Guidelines, Dr. Lorelei DiSogra, United Fresh vice president of nutrition and health, said: “Today’s announcement is a huge step toward encouraging healthier eating habits across the country, and we couldn’t be happier. By making an overarching recommendation like ‘half a plate,’ the 2010 DGA provides clearer guidance to Americans that, no matter what their age or calorie intake requirement, everyone needs to strive to have fruits and vegetables make up half of what they eat at each meal. In late 2004, in preparation for the release of the 2005 Dietary Guidelines, the National Cancer Institute did scientific consumer research to demonstrate that the half a plate message was the most effective way to communicate the amount of fruits and vegetables American should eat. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines really put fruits and vegetables front and center as a critical step toward creating a healthier America."

The Guidelines form the basis of nutrition education programs, federal nutrition assistance programs such as school meals programs and Meals on Wheels programs for seniors, and dietary advice provided by health professionals. USDA and HHS will release consumer-friendly advice and tools, including a “next generation" Food Pyramid, in the coming months.

Click here to read the 2010 Dietary Guidelines.

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