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New Evidence-based Dietary Guidelines Emphasize Exercise, Individualized Approach

Internal Medicine World Report, June 2005,

New Evidence-based Dietary

Guidelines Emphasize Exercise,

Individualized Approach

WASHINGTON, DC—The US Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Agriculture have launched thejoint Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005, a revised collection of evidencebased recommendations designed to promote health and decrease the risk of chronic disease through nutrition and physical activity. This 6th edition of the guidelines

emphasizes reducing caloric consumption and increasing physical activity. “The

2005 guidelines emphasize physical activity and calorie control more than ever

before, and rightly so,” said HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson. “Nearly

two thirds of Americans are overweight or obese, and >50% of Americans do not get

the recommended amount of physical activity.” The report is based on recent scientific and medical information and provides advice on the proper dietary habits to promote

health and reduce the risk of major chronic disease. Included are 41 key recommendations;

23 are for the general public (Table), 18 for special populations. The guidelines are intended primarily for use by policymakers, health care providers, nutritionists, and developers of

educational materials and nutrition-related programs. A basic premise is that nutrient

needs should be met primarily through food consumption. Dietary supplements

and fortified foods may be useful sources of ≥1 nutrients that otherwise

might be consumed in less-than-recommended amounts. The guidelines provide the basis for

“MyPyramid,” part of an overall interactive dietary guidance system that replaces the

original Food Guide Pyramid introduced in 1992. MyPyramid emphasizes the need

for an individualized approach to improve diet and increase physical activity (www.

mypyramid.gov), and is designed to help individuals plan their dietary intake based

on age, sex, and level of physical activity. “Many Americans can dramatically improve

their health by making modest improvements to their diets and by incorporating

regular physical activity into their daily lives,” said Agriculture Secretary

Mike Johanns.