Diet & Nutrition
HHS and USDA Released New Dietary Guidelines on 01.07.2016
Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia M. Burwell and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack released a joint announcement on January 7th 2016 about the updated nutritional guidelines that encourage Americans to adopt a series of science-based recommendations to improve how they eat to reduce obesity and prevent chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans is the nation’s trusted resource for evidence-based nutrition recommendations and serves to provide the general public, as well as policy makers and health professionals with the information they need to help the public make informed choices about their diets at home, school, work and in their communities.
The announcement quotes Secretary Burwell as saying, “Protecting the health of the American public includes empowering them with the tools they need to make healthy choices in their daily lives. By focusing on small shifts in what we eat and drink, eating healthy becomes more manageable. The Dietary Guidelines provide science-based recommendations on food and nutrition so people can make decisions that may help keep their weight under control, and prevent chronic conditions, like type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.”
The newly released 8th edition of the Dietary Guidelines reflects advancements in scientific understanding about healthy eating choices and health outcomes over a lifetime. This edition recognizes the importance of focusing not on individual nutrients or foods in isolation, but on the variety of what people eat and drink—healthy eating patterns as a whole—to bring about lasting improvements in individual and population health.
“The Dietary Guidelines for Americans is one of many important tools that help to support a healthier next generation of Americans,” said Secretary Vilsack. “The latest edition of the Dietary Guidelines provides individuals with the flexibility to make healthy food choices that are right for them and their families and take advantage of the diversity of products available, thanks to America’s farmers and ranchers.”
The specific recommendations fit into five overarching guidelines in the new edition:
- Follow a healthy eating pattern across the lifespan. Eating patterns are the combination of foods and drinks that a person eats over time
- Focus on variety, nutrient-dense foods, and amount
- Limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats, and reduce sodium intake
- Shift to healthier food and beverage choices
- Support healthy eating patterns for all
Healthy eating patterns include a variety of nutritious foods like vegetables, fruits, grains, low-fat and fat-free dairy, lean meats and other protein foods and oils, while limiting saturated fats, trans fats, added sugars and sodium. A healthy eating pattern is adaptable to a person’s taste preferences, traditions, culture and budget.
The guidelines suggest Americans should consume: