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We have been following the progress of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines since the beginning of last year. They published the rough draft in the summer and we read 600+ pages of the committee's summary of scientific, peer-reviewed research since 2005.

Anyway, the research keeps going in one direction in our opinion. That is, the data is consistently showing that diet and exercise are so important for better health to avoid the debilitating chronic illnesses that keep most Americans from enjoying their golden years and cause a huge amount of money spent on healthcare dollars every year. The thing that makes us shake our head is that the market seems to go in the opposite direction. More fast food, more packaged food, and foods that are labelled health foods that don't make sense to us. What is really needed for better health always comes back to the same simple message that seems so difficult to put into place:


  • fruits,
  • vegetables,
  • cooked whole grains,
  • beans/legumes and

some fish and skim dairy.

Less added:

  • sugar,
  • fat and
  • salt.

We did find the most amazing resource from the USDA that is sort of buried in all of the material about the guidelines on the USDA site. Visit Visit the NEL library and click on the top left DGAC 2010 Tab and you will find a wonderful summary of really hot topics from the Dietary Guidelines Committee

The most important things for today's consumer, in our opinion, are listed:

Do sugared drinks and juice cause weight gain? What about for kids?

What is calorie density - does it matter in the war against the bulge?

What about sodium?

What about different types of protein?

Do you need food safety?

Here is our gem of the day under Energy Balance and Weight Management for Calorie Density:

Conclusion for Calorie Density

Strong and consistent evidence indicates that dietary patterns that are relatively low in energy density improve weight loss and weight maintenance among adults.

GRADE: Strong

Overall strength of the available supporting evidence: Strong; Moderate; Limited; Expert Opinion Only; Grade not assignable

For additional information regarding how to interpret grades, click here.

BUT then there is more - look at the link below to take you directly to the research that supports this finding:

And the summary of the actual articles:

Four randomized controlled weight loss trials (RCT) found that lowering food-based energy density is linked with significantly higher weight loss (De Oliveira, 2008; Ello Martin, 2007; Rolls, 2005; Saquib, 2008). In these RCTs, the average weight loss resulting from lower dietary energy density ranged from 0.8kg to 1.5kg across studies. Dietary energy density was reduced by either increasing fruit or vegetable intake (De Oliveira, 2008; Ello Martin, 2007; Saquib, 2008) or soup consumption (Rolls, 2005).

In case you are not familiar with calorie density, it is a way of classifying foods according to their calories by pound. Our best article that explains that is our "Pound of Melon"  that was one of the most popular with thousands of hits and you can watch a preview of our PowerPoint show that explains it and has a fascinating organization of food according to it.

Here is the information for the release of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines - we will keep you posted and all items in our store will be immediately updated as needed:

WASHINGTON, Jan. 24, 2011 - US Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will announce the new 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans on Monday, January 31, 2011. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans Policy Document is the federal government's evidence-based nutritional guidance to promote health, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and reduce prevalence of overweight and obesity through improved nutrition and physical activity. The Policy Document assists policy makers, nutrition professionals, food assistance program administrators, food industry, scientists and academics, and the nutrition-focused media with a consistent, science-based foundation for their nutrition efforts.

The release of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 will be webcast live starting at 10:00am ET on Monday, January 31, 2011. Visit or click below to watch the release. Members of the media are invited to attend the event in person and must RSVP here by Thursday, January 27, 5:00pm ET.

NOTE: A downloadable/printable version of the Policy Document will be available immediately following the January 31 press conference. Consumer materials which support and reflect the Dietary Guidelines will be released at a later date.

Press Conference Materials (available starting at 10:00am on January 31, 2011):

USDA Press Release
Executive Summary
Fact Sheet
Q and A

Post-Press Conference Materials (available immediately following the press conference):

Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 (Policy Document)

Visit our store to see brand new educational materials for the 2010 Dietary Guidelines

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. We believe this is a great approach and visual lesson for general audiences and children that need basic nutrition information.
  • Dietary Guidelines materials offer a comprehensive review of what today's consumers need to do to eat better. It is a report card approach for "what we are doing now and where we need to go from here based on the best 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. And that you We believe these are very comprehensive and the golden standard for a healthy diet. The exercise information is also more comprehensive here. The Dietary Guidelines is a comprehensive program that can be used for multiple classes and does better with a more educated audience.

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 report is over 600 pages now and while it validates the 2005 claims, it further tweaks sodium upper limit recommendations to 1500 mg per person, it emphasizes high-fiber, high-nutrient foods and brings about the discovery of a new acronym called SoFAS.
    • Even more shocking is the fact that many people eat 1/3 or 1/2 of their calories each day from the SoFAS category. Together these two shows from 2005 and 2010 can help you bring the science to everyone's table along with the report cards that are so generic - they are generic because we are all eating the same supply of processed foods, restaurant foods, fun foods, over-advertised foods and digital media.
    • 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.
    • Today's hurried public needs 4 things to remember and we have fun quizzes and the 3 things you need to lower and the three things you need to increase for an out the door what you need to know and do right now talk.
    • You can break these down into great lunch and learn topics, marry the two shows for a stellar overview or just show one right now for a great nutrition lesson that is based on science.
    • The Dietary Guidelines Committee is based on highly-credentialed scientists who compile the latest peer-reviewed research so Americans can benefit from their unbiased expertise on the most up to the minute science for nutrition research.
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