WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released its new 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
The USDA’s Guidelines, which are published once every five years, offer evidence-based nutritional guidance geared toward promoting health, reducing the prevalence of obesity and reducing the risk of chronic illnesses associated with obesity.
Among the tips in this seventh edition of the guidelines are suggestions that Americans fill half of their plates with fruits and vegetables when eating a meal, that they switch to fat-free or low-fat milk, that they drink water instead of sugary drinks, that they compare the sodium content of foods such as soup, bread and frozen meals and choose the foods with less sodium, and that they eat smaller portions across the board.
"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," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in an announcement.
"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 2010 Dietary Guidelines are available at www.dietaryguidelines.gov.