Healthcare Business News

New dietary guidelines take aim at obesity

By Jessica Zigmond
Posted: January 31, 2011 - 1:00 pm ET

The federal government is emphasizing fewer calories and more physical activity in its 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the government's evidence-based nutritional guidance to promote health and reduce chronic disease and obesity.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack released the guidelines on Monday, as HHS said this year's guide focused on calories and physical activity especially because more than one-third of children and more than two-thirds of adults in the U.S. are overweight or obese.

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Included in the Dietary Guidelines are 23 recommendations for the general populations and six additional recommendations for specific population groups, such as pregnant women. Suggestions include reducing daily sodium intake to fewer than 2,300 milligrams a day; consuming fewer than 10% of calories from saturated fatty acids by replacing them with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids; and consuming fewer than 300 milligrams per day of dietary cholesterol.

HHS and USDA said they will release consumer-friendly advice and tools—including a next generation Food Pyramid—in the coming months.

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