Latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans Released
February 3, 2011 -- The U.S. departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services have released the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the government’s nutritional guidance to promote health, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and reduce the prevalence of overweight and obesity through improved nutrition and physical activity. The committee that developed the guidelines considered several sources of evidence and expertise, including reports from the Institute of Medicine.
The new guidelines encourage Americans to eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and seafood. They also place greater emphasis on salt reduction for several population groups, and more strongly urge people to watch their calorie intakes and increase their physical activity. IOM has issued several reports that take on chronic disease, obesity, and other nutrition-related dangers.
The IOM’s Dietary Reference Intakes report series reviews the contributions of each nutrient to human health, summarizes the effects of excessive and inadequate intakes, and determines the amounts people need based on gender and age and the amounts that should not be exceeded.
Strategies to Reduce Sodium Intake in the United States says reducing sodium in foods requires new government standards for salt, which manufacturers and restaurants need to meet so that all sources in the food supply are involved. The goal is to slowly reduce the sodium content of the food supply in a way that goes largely unnoticed by most consumers.
Seafood Choices: Balancing Benefits and Risks recommends steps to help people select fish, shellfish, and other forms of seafood while avoiding the risks of mercury and other contaminants present in some species.
Weight Gain During Pregnancy: Reexamining the Guidelines updates the recommended range of pounds that pregnant women at various BMI levels should gain during pregnancy to ensure their health and that of their infants.
Preventing Childhood Obesity: Health in the Balance provides a comprehensive, multipronged strategy to encourage children to eat more healthy foods and less high-calorie, low-nutrient fare and to get them to move more. The report proposes steps that should be taken by communities, schools, health care providers, parents, and the business community.
Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity offers a menu of healthy eating and physical activity strategies that local governments should consider when pursuing efforts to tackle obesity in their communities.