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USDA, HHS Release Dietary GuidelinesUSDA, HHS Release Dietary Guidelines

January 31, 2011

2 Min Read
USDA, HHS Release Dietary Guidelines

WASHINGTONThe obesity epidemic weighed heavily on 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 emphasize the importance of increased physical activity and watching calorie intake, with an emphasis on choosing healthy foods including more produce, whole grains, lean protein sources and low-fat dairy items.

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. Interestingly, dietary supplements are mentioned most prominently for those specific populations:

  • Women who are capable of becoming pregnant should consume 400 mcg/d of synthetic folic acid from fortified foods and/or supplements, in addition to dietary folate.

  • Women who are pregnant should take an iron supplement, as recommended by an obstetrician or health care provider.

  • Adults over age 50 should consume foods fortified with vitamin B12 or take dietary supplements.

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. Information on the Dietary Guidelines is available online.

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