WASHINGTON - On Monday the government released its latest advice on what Americans should be eating and new recommendations to limit salt intake.
Required by law every five years, the departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services jointly issued an updated version of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the federal government's guidance to promote health, reduce the risk of chronic diseases and reduce the obesity through improved nutrition and physical activity.
"The 2010 Dietary Guidelines are being released at a time when the majority of adults and one in three children is overweight or obese and this is a crisis that we can no longer ignore," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "These new and improved dietary recommendations give individuals the information to make thoughtful choices of healthier foods in the right portions and to complement those choices with physical activity. The bottom line is that most Americans need to trim our waistlines to reduce the risk of developing diet-related chronic disease. Improving our eating habits is not only good for every individual and family, but also for our country."
The new 2010 guidelines focus on balancing calories with physical activity and encourage Americans to consume more healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fat-free and low-fat dairy products and seafood, and to consume less sodium, saturated and trans fats, added sugars and refined grains.
"Helping Americans incorporate these guidelines into their everyday lives is important to improving the overall health of the American people," said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
USDA and HHS will release more consumer-friendly advice and tools, including a next generation Food Pyramid, in the coming months. Below is a preview:
- Enjoy your food, but eat less.
- Avoid oversized portions.
- Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
- Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.
- Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals €" and choose the foods with lower numbers.
- Drink water instead of sugary drinks.
To learn more about the issues coming down the pipe for retailers as they relate to nutritious offers in convenience stores, read the February NACS Magazine cover story, "Uncover Nutrition."