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Dietary Guidelines 2010: What’s New?

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans provide science based advice to promote health and reduce the risk of chronic disease through optimal diet and regular physical activity. The guidelines are reviewed, and if need be, updated every 5 years by a committee of experts referred to as the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC).  The report is due out later this year, but prior to their official release; the proposed guidelines are made available for public comment. They can be reviewed in their entirety at www.dietaryguidelines.gov.

 

While there does not appear to be any drastic changes from the 2005 guidelines, the evidence continues to mount that dietary factors have a tremendous impact on our health. The leading causes of death for the past two decades have been tobacco use and poor diet and physical inactivity. The numbers of deaths related to poor diet and inactivity is increasing and may soon overtake tobacco as the leading cause of death. The report confirms that poor dietary intake is linked to numerous disease and conditions including cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes. The DGAC called obesity the “single greatest threat to public health in this century”.

 

To fight what the DGAC calls a “highly obesogenic” environment, they make several recommendations including: shift to more plant based diet that emphasizes fruit, vegetables, legumes whole grains, nuts and seeds. When consuming animal products, choose more seafood, low and fat free dairy products and eat only moderate amounts of lean meats, poultry, and eggs. Special emphasis should be placed on reducing the consumption of added sugars and solid fats (butter, marbled meats) which now make up 35% of the calories in the American diet. They also recommend that we get at least 2 ½ hours of moderate exercise per week such as brisk walking or 1 ¼ hours of vigorous exercise such as jogging per week.

 

While these guidelines are nothing new to H3 alums, the report is very comprehensive, and provides practical suggestions for implementing the guidelines. So why wait until they are officially released, check them out today.

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