2010 Dietary Guidelines Released

It is official - the Dietary Guidelines for Americans is now released in a 112 page document, boiled down from over 600 pages by the Dietary Guidelines Committee which is comprised of brilliant scientists who worked over 2 years to summarize peer-reviewed scientific studies about what we eat and how it impacts our health.

Main points:

Balancing Calories

  • Enjoy your food, but eat less
  • Avoid oversized portions

Foods to Increase

  • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables
  • Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk

Foods to Reduce

  • Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread and frozen meals — and choose the foods with lower numbers
  • Drink water instead of sugary drinks

DIRECT DOWNLOAD for 112 page copy from USDA

Executive summary

http://dietaryguidelines.gov

www.nel.gov

http://nutritioneducationstore.com - for great posters, PowerPoint shows and more for the Dietary Guidelines messages for 2010

In case you did not have time to watch the introduction live online from the USDA website, we typed the introduction  to read quickly:

Introduction:

Obesity causes a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, certain cancers 7 out of 10 deaths - 3/4 of nations healthcare costs are chronic diseases - these costs weigh heavily on business owners, government budgets, ability to grow as a nation - cannot be a good student or as productive or innovative if your health conditions are debilitated. This has the biggest cost on America's prosperity.

The Dietary Guidelines want to give Americans the tools they need to prosper - the information is based on the latest science and research and we are updating all of this all the time. The four key messages:

  • less calories
  • moving more
  • healthier diet
  • less sodium, sugar and saturated fat

If we are to become stronger and better as a country we have to be healthier for healthier students and workers

These guidelines have obstacles:

grocery store - harder to read nutrition facts labels especially for people in a hurry - we are working on updating that information to make it easier to find

going out to eat - harder to make healthy choice - nutrition information will be more readily available on menu boards - calories on front of menu

finances - the new healthcare law reduces financial barriers to preventative care - high cholesterol, high blood pressure

food deserts - easier to get chips or high calorie foods while fruits and vegetables are 2 miles away, not safe to play outside it is tough for kids to get exercise - the recovery act is helping neighborhoods and cities to make healthier choices - healthier school lunches and better neighborhoods

We understand statistics are families and human beings - workers who want to be better

These are not always the easiest things to do and sometimes they are financial challenges

With this edition of DGA we are putting best information in people's hands - we want to be healthier, better, more productive and more competitive.

(END of introduction) - you can also watch and download here

Our comments:

There was an interesting question after the introduction: Why won't the USDA come out and say stop eating so much meat and cheese - why do you say "solid fats" when you should really come out and say Porter House steak or cheese? This is a good point - but the USDA is the United States Agricultural system and they have chosen to provide a more positive message: eat more fruits and vegetables, vary your protein (and keep lean) and control your calories; lessen solid fats, added sugars and sodium. They want to lower obesity, bring more fruits and vegetables to rural areas and welfare programs and improve the school meal programs. The Guidelines are the base of public policy. The Center for Science in the Public Interest has a great commentary - you can read it here.

Here are a few of our opinions, after reading all of the 600 pages of the Dietary Guidelines committee, the 112 page report and the 2005 dietary guidelines. Overall they did an excellent job to focus EVERYONE on the most important task at hand - reduce overweight and obesity in our country to save money and make the US more competitive in the global market. We strongly agree that everyone needs to lower the calorie density of their diets, move more and balance calories. They also need to lower sodium and hopefully the new guidelines will help manufacturers take a better look at the sodium levels in their foods. There is an excellent summary of the ill effects of high sodium here.

What is the difference between MyPyramid and Dietary Guidelines education materials?

  • MyPyramid materials offer a good overview of what you need in your diet to get adequate nutrients in calories allotted. Recommendations are based on the food groups in MyPyramid. This is a visual lesson for general audiences and children that need basic nutrition information. MyPyramid is going to get a "graphic update" soon as announced by the Secretary of State. We will keep you posted.
  • Dietary Guidelines materials offer a comprehensive review of what today's consumers need to do to eat better based on dietary surveys and the most recent nutrition research. It is a report card approach for "what we are doing now and where we need to go from here based on the science." For example, the Dietary Guidelines explain how individuals need to limit sugar and they show that 50% of the sugar most people eat comes from beverages. They explain that you need to eat more dark green and orange vegetables. And you need to cut sodium in half based on what most people are eating.

What is the difference between the 2005 and 2010 Dietary Guidelines?

  • MyPyramid was introduced in 2005 and this was the year of the report card which summarized what we should be doing and what we are doing.
    • Underconsumption items such as fruits and veggies, exercise and whole grains were emphasized.
    • Overconsumption items such as sugar, refined grains and saturated fat were shown
    • and the benefits of exercise plus recommendations for amounts based on science are outlined
  • 2010 brings another report card and tighter recommendations.
    • The actual committee report is over 600 pages and the DGA 2010 is 112 pages. While the 2010 report validates the 2005 recommendations, it sets out to address obesity and to lower sodium recommendations to 1500 mg per person for half the population with that also being the optimal number for all individuals; it emphasizes high-fiber, high-nutrient foods and brings about the discovery of a new acronym called SoFAS. Many people eat 1/3 or 1/2 of their calories each day from the SoFAS category.
    • For the first time the 2008 Physical Guidelines are presented and they help everyone realize it doesn't take much you just have to get out of the chair for 2.5 hours per week.

What did you think of the guidelines? Are you posting any good blog entries? Share below!

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