New 2010 Dietary Guideline Report

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Thirteen independent experts have finally concluded their work and presented their Report on Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. The 2010 Advisory Committee worked for two years to update the guidelines and the group consists of individuals nationally recognized for their knowledge in the fields of nutrition or health and are affiliated with universities throughout the country. Their initial task was to "provide science-based advice for Americans, in order to promote health and to reduce the risk for major chronic diseases through diet and physical activity." The report recognizes that we have an overweight and obese American population that is already dealing with chronic diseases instead of predominantly healthy individuals that are seeking to maintain health, which was the original intention of the guidelines when they were first introduced in back in 1980.

Congress mandates the Dietary Guidelines be reviewed and updated every five years by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The guidelines provide the basis for federal nutrition education, food assistance programs, and decisions about national health objectives. These new updated guidelines will be used as the basis for meal planning for the National School Lunch Program as well as the Elderly Nutrition Program. The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) incorporate the guidelines into their educational materials while the Healthy People 2010 objectives for the Nation will include the developed 2010 Dietary Guidelines. The updated guidelines will be used to "help policy makers, educators, clinicians, and others speak with one voice on nutrition and health to reduce the confusion caused by mixed messages in the media." Here are some highlights of the updated guidelines and how you can provide feedback before the guidelines are approved and published later this year.

Although the guidelines have predominantly focused on adults, this report takes a wider look at the importance of nutrition throughout the lifespan and provides specific attention to particular populations of concern such as children, pregnant and lactating women, and older adults. The Advisory Committee has recommended a nutrient-dense total diet approach to meeting dietary needs. While there is no standard "American" or "Western" diet, it is clear from the committee's findings that typical food patterns do not resemble the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The latest National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) revealed that Americans consume "too many calories and too much solid fats, added sugars, refined grains, and sodium and too little dietary fiber, vitamin D, calcium, potassium, and unsaturated fatty acids such as omega-3s or nutrients found predominantly in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat milk products and seafood."

  • Physical Activity - There is clear evidence that physical activity assists with weight stabilization. The updated recommendation suggests children and adolescents participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day. It is suggested that adults participate in 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75-150 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity or a combination each week to maintain body weight over time. Overweight and obese adults desiring to lose substantial weight should combine the above physical activity recommendation with calorie restrictions. Research indicates that for adults that have successfully lost substantial weight and do not wish to regain it, physical activity needs increase to more than 300 minutes a week of moderate-intensity or 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity or a combination of the two.
  • Calories and nutrients - Americans are overweight and obese because they consume an abundance of tasty, energy-dense, micronutrient poor foods and beverages. It is necessary for Americans to ensure energy intakes match energy needs and for many people this requires lowering overall energy intake. Nutrient-dense foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and milk products need to be selected often to help address nutrients of concern, which are vitamin D, calcium, potassium, and dietary fiber. Women of reproductive age also need to consume folate and iron rich foods while older individuals have a need to increase foods rich in vitamin B12. The Committee does not highlight health benefits from daily multivitamin/mineral supplements for healthy people. Breakfast and smart snacking were found to be beneficial for some people to meet nutrient recommendations especially when they are nutrient-dense selections.
  • Fatty acids and cholesterol - Dietary fat and cholesterol contribute to morbidity and mortality rates related to disease for Americans however, consumption has not changed significantly since 1990. Americans should continue to limit saturated fatty acid intake to less than 7 percent of calorie intake (or no more than 10 percent of energy) and continue to select monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fatty acids to meet their dietary fat needs. Dietary cholesterol should continue to be limited to less than 300 mg per day for healthy people and lower for those at risk for heart disease. Americans should still avoid industrial sources of trans fatty acids and limit natural sources as much as possible. Cholesterol-raising fats, redefined as saturated fats (excluding stearic acid) and trans fatty acids, should be limited to less than five percent of estimated energy needs. Seafood is encouraged weekly with two, four-ounce edible portion sizes recommended for the marine fatty acid source benefits.
  • Sodium, Potassium and Water - Americans continue to consume too much sodium and not enough potassium which contributes to negative health consequences such as increased blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. Water sustains life and adequate amounts are needed regularly except under unusual circumstances however, there is no evidence that Americans consume too little or too much.
  • Alcohol - Alcohol consumption provides mixed health responses with moderate intake lowering risks of diabetes and heart disease but increased risk of breast and colon cancer as well as unintentional injuries. The Committee recommends that if alcohol is consumed it should only be by adults and in moderation. They define moderation based on average intake over the course of a week or month with a daily intake threshold. Their recommended average consumption is one drink per day over a week's time or no more than three drinks in a single day for women and an average consumption for men of no more than two drinks per day average with no more than four drinks in a single day. They define one drink as 12 fl. oz. or regular beer, 5 fl. oz. of wine, or 1.5 fl. oz. of distilled spirits.
  • Food Safety and Technology - Food safety was highlighted in the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans but since that release, concerns have escalated related to the number of product recalls from disease-causing bacteria and non-food substance contamination. American's are encouraged to improve personal food safety education and handling especially related to hand sanitation, use of thermometers, limiting cross-contamination and on the risks of consuming risky foods. The Committee also identified a need for improved communication and information related to benefit vs risk information for seafood safety and choices.
In their conclusion, the Committee also outlined the following healthier dietary behaviors.

  • Prepare, serve and consume smaller portions when dining at home and select smaller portion sizes when eating away from home.
  • Eat a healthy breakfast each day and when snacking select nutrient-dense options that are minimally processed.
  • Limit idle time in front of the screen, (television or video) and limit eating while watching television.
  • Monitor your body weight, food intake portions and nutrition content, and physical activity levels to achieve and maintain desired weight goals.
  • Eat a variety of nutrient-dense foods throughout the day to meet daily calorie requirements.
According to the USDA press release on Tuesday, the public is invited to provide public comments after reviewing the report. Written comments will be accepted from June 15, 2010 to July 15, 2010 and may be mailed to Carole Davis, Co-Executive Secretary, Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, Room 1034, Alexandrea, VA 22302. Public comments may also be made online at the USDA Dietary Guidelines website until 5:00 pm EDT on July 15, 2010. Oral testimony may be offered at a public meeting in the Jefferson Auditorium of the US Department of Agriculture's South Building, 1400 Independence Ave starting at 9:00 am EDT on July 8, 2010. Following the review of comments, the USDA and HHS will consider them as they translate the Advisory Report of the Committee into the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will jointly release the 2010 Dietary Guidelines policy at the end of 2010.

What do you think of the highlights of the report? What do you think of the outlined dietary behaviors? What do they remind you of?

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Well, I hope that the guidelines in the report for alcohol consumption are NOT the guidelines at SparkPeople. If we all followed the daily outer limits, we'd be a nation of alcoholics, which might be the goal for the wine/beer/liquor lobbyists. From my research, the health benefits of a daily glass of wine are NOT compounded by drinking 4 times as much every day. Neither can I figure out which nutrients we are no devoid of as to require drinking 3 - 4 alcoholic drinks per day!

And when I consider the problems I see with just this section of the report, it makes me wonder how much of the research they based the report on was actually based on good, hard science. Report
Of course their recommendations remind me of SparkPeople Nutrition guidelines! It's about time the rest of the country caught up! Report
It is hard for me to plan the meals and shopping list. However, the more I read the more I realize that these are essential elements for success. I am also resisting exercise. But my resistance is waning. I'm there. Report
I read labels, but if I didn't, I'd be buying what many people think is healthy food, when it's not. Some of the most popular canned soups and even broths are loaded with MSG in addition to all the sodium yet they claim to be healthy. Popular yogurts say they are low fat and sugar free but they are loaded with poisonous aspertame. We need to educate ourselves and then make the healthiest choices that we can, and spread the word to friends and family,as not everyone has the time to do research or stand in a store reading labeIs Report
What do I think? I think Spark People has already been helping me make these changes. I haven't read the entire report yet, but the sections I did read didn't hold many surprises for me. I guess that's because SP does such a great job of keeping me informed of the latest information available on nutrition and fitness. Report
Whatever happened to pe? So many kids spend so much time playing video games. At least, while at school, they would get some physical workout. And I agree that pe teachers should be well versed in nutrition. Additionally, school breakfasts and lunches should have nutritional value. For some kids, what they eat at school is their main meal~so why not make it a healthy one??!!! Report
While I am not at all opposed to the government issuing advisory guidelines (and I found the above summary interesting reading), the only way that our nation's health care/obesity-related crisis is going to improve is when individuals take charge of their own health. I think it's all about personal responsibility - each individual is responsible to educate themselves and make their own healthy choices.

One of my concerns about the cost of government health care is - and I know it sounds harsh - but why should my tax dollars pay health care costs for those individuals who refuse to make changes to improve their health (i.e., quit smoking; for the morbidly obese to lose substantial amounts of weight, etc.). Report
Most people eat like they are storing up nuts for the winter, and they look it. Even when people reduce, they cut the portions down while eating the same things: Bread, starchy vegetables, meat, nuts, etc. Then people gorge on sugar ans salt, which just compounds the problems. What really has to be brought home is we need to be eating waaaaaay more fresh food. 5 servings of fruits and vegetables is too few; it should be at least 10. But sadly there are no subsidies for the growers of these foods, rather it's the corn and soybean growers who get most of the government support, and that shapes the American dietary. Eating healthy is a political statement. Report
It's a nice step up, but unfortunately TONS of people are totally ignorant of the guidelines or they are so set in their ways, that they just don't care. :( Report
Wow! This is good. I want everyone to go to your local public school website and look at the breakfast/lunch menu posted. I am a teacher and I see first hand what the cafteria is serving our kids. The vast majority is processed foods. It comes from a box. High salt content and calories galore!. Most kids only want to sit in front of their ipods, xbox, iphone, DS, PSP. or computer. Everyone needs to be more physically active in the USA- I think some people believe that they can pay another person to do that for them too. You can't outsource physical activity. Jamie Oliver bring him on. He is needed here! Report
I have to agree that the greatest gift we can give ourselves and our children is teaching good eating habits and what better way to do it than by our own examples! Jamie Oliver . . . WOOT WOOT to you for taking on the challenge of helping the community with the rep as the most unhealthy city and turning it around!

It saddens me to walk through my kids' High School and see the vending machines full of junk. Fortunately, though, enough parents got together with the school board and demanded that soda vending machines and vending machines with unhealthy snacks be removed and that is being done. It's a start. Report
"limit eating while watching television."
Should be:
NO eating while watching television.

I gotta work on a way to get more potassium to balance it with sodium. It's hard to get though, I find. Can't believe more attention isn't paid to this mineral/nutrient, whatever, since we need so much everyday. I can only eat so many bananas! Happily, apricots, grapefruit and potatoes are fairly easy potassium sources. Report
interesting.... Report
Thanks for breaking it all down. I love SparkPeople! Report
I think the government should lay off. We're (the country) doing bad enough in other areas. I don't need them telling me what to eat. Report
Bring in Jamie and more exercise to the schools. Heavens knows those who didn't like physical education and make poor eating choices should all vote for it in the schools now for their children! But, with that said, it still all starts and ends at home. Good eating and exercising habits learned early is the greatest gift...not more stuff. Just my opionion.... Report
I hated PE class in school, so I certainly hope they don't bring it back. My children all went to activities after school such as JUDO, Soccer, and Swimming, so they got plenty of exercise. Report
Though this is a no-brainer, I confess that I have fallen into every pitfall discussed.
I will continue to change for the better. Report
It is good that the Guidelines are mandated to be updated every 5 years. That way as we gain knowledge, it can be put into the Guidelines. Thank you for this informative blog! Report
What do I think?

It all makes perfect sense! If more people became accountable to themselves instead of indulge whenever they want and actually tracked what they ate, we'd be a much slimmer nation...American OR Canadian wouldn't matter! Report
I would like to see gym/P.E. as a mandatory class in all schools for all grades. And, Gym/P.E. teachers need to be better educated in working with those students who are picked on or teased - or chosen last. Those issues can be a problem for students wanting to fully participate in gym. Report
I ran into that concept of "nutrient-dense" foods from some diet guru many years ago and it became my mantra when making food choices (what will give me the biggest nutrition bang for my buck?) My doctor boyfriend could never understand it and said the important thing with weight loss is just quit eating, only calories matter. He never understood the concept of exercise either and said I wouldn't have to waste so much time exercising if I'd just quit eating. Everytime I see that warning about consult with your physician before beginning a diet and exercise program, I have to crack up--nutrition and fitness are not subjects that are taught in medical school and unless a doctor is into fitness in his own life, he can be woefully ignorant about these subjects. I'd rather consult with a good nutritionist and personal trainer. Report
Thanks for summarizing this for us -- goodness knows I would never read the full report. I just hope more schools start paying attention and start getting more vegetables into their lunches, and more schools and parents start thinking about physical activity! I know food manufacturers won't be changing much, so it's going to be up to us to make the changes. Report
In 2005, physical activity was added to the Food Guide Pyramid and that was a huge improvement! I'm glad that the guidelines are updated and improved ever so often seeing how they're used in government programs for the population. If one wants to use the guidelines, they're there...if you don't want to...don't.

I think SP does a good job in the area of nutrition but "Knowledge is Power" so the more we know about our health, the better.

Thanks for the article on the soon to be released updated guidelines! Report
I think that the government does need to step in on behalf of the consumer when it comes to things like trans fats or sodium contents. Remember that food manufactures are motivated by profits alone. They will often use an inexpensive ingriendent such as salt or MSG to enhance the flavor of their product. The fry's taste the same to me without the trans fats...and I have the power of the salt shaker in my hand when I want more salt in my ketchup. Report
I think the Government Guidelines since the 1960s have been completely off base. We've gotten more and more processed items into our food because the guidelines indicate we should scientifically add nutrients and items to our foods. Just look at baby formula. Whatever happened to natural milk? Americans would be healthier if they just ate natural foods and got off the Western diet of processed, scientifically enhanced food products. Not getting enough fiber? Take some fiber supplement. How about eating more fruit instead? Or how about the fact we're not getting a balanced diet because we try to artificially balance it with the nutrition fad of the week? Remember how our grandmothers (or great-grandmothers) cooked? They used butter, not margarine. Remember how margarine was touted out as the healthy alternative to butter, but margarine is full of trans fats. We know how good those are for us. Eat naturally, eat better. Report
Thanx for this informative blog. Report
That Chicken look great Report
Thank you for reading the report and informing us of what it had to say. Report
These aren't dictates, they're just guidelines and policies needed to make decisions for the public good and for spending public funds. As individuals, we are still free in this country to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, eat cheeseburgers, drink regular soda, send our kids to school with brown bag lunches instead of the school cafeteria, ignore safety warnings, etc. It's our choice.

Lots of people use and benefit from governmental food programs. I suppose that if someone doesn't want government "interference", they would naturally opt out of government funded programs and services, too. I like having a little safety net below me and my loved ones; and I'm happy that our government (we the people) provides it for others, too.

E pluribus unum.

Did anyone try reading the report.. I would like to say thank-you to Tanya Jolliffe for informing us of this. I just peeked and it looks like its a lot of downloading and a lot of reading.
I haven't checked to see how much exercise I do each week but I'm pretty sure I do more that the 300 so I'm good there.. as far as the rest of it I'm just learning what I should eat and shouldn't eat so I hope I'm learning the up to date stuff LOL I trust that sparkpeople are on top of this.. Report
I found the pdf files interesting to read and this is an excellent article for those who really want to improve your health. Yes SP has a lot of the same information and is a trusted site for weight loss. Report
Haha, glad you like the photo, but no recipe. You *can* find some awesome recipes here:
= Report
I'm agree with SHORTS1286. That meal looks perfect to me! Report
I'm with Shorts....that chicken looks tasty! Report
Is it me or is the Govt WAY too invovled in ppl's lives. Telling us what to eat how to teach our kids, what to drive, etc etc... Guidlines are one thing but dictating ppl's lives is another:P Report
Is it just me or did anyone else just click on this link because of the tasty looking chicken thingy in the picture? 8/

No just me? Ok then. :(

But while I'm here anyone have the recipe. . . ? *hopeful face* Report
All I can say is: Thank you Spark because of you I am on my way the healthier Report
I dont' mind advisory statements, but the gov. ordering Heinz to reduce the sodium in ketchup???? Way out of control, but it up before they change the recipe. My Mom is buying one of those huge restaurant dispensers for her brother, lol. Report
totally the same as SparkPeople. Recently my mom payed 290 for us to go to a one day session of Inspired Health in Kamloops, most of it if not all the good stuff was just a repeat of everything I'm learning on SparkPeople. Report
The Advisory Committee must be reading SparkPeople! Report
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