Eating and physical activity patterns that are focused on consuming fewer calories, making informed food choices, and being physically active can help people attain and maintain a healthy weight, reduce their risk of chronic disease, and promote overall health. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 exemplifies these strategies through recommendations that accommodate the food preferences, cultural traditions, and customs of the many and diverse groups who live in the United States. By law (Public Law 101-445, Title III, 7 U.S.C. 5301 et seq.), Dietary Guidelines for Americans is reviewed, updated if necessary, and published every 5 years.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) jointly create each edition. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 is based on the Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 and consideration of Federal agency and public comments. Dietary Guidelines recommendations traditionally have been intended for healthy Americans ages 2 years and older. However, Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 is being released at a time of rising concern about the health of the American population. Poor diet and physical inactivity are the most important factors contributing to an epidemic of overweight and obesity affecting men, women, and children in all segments of our society. Even in the absence of overweight, poor diet and physical inactivity are associated with major causes of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Therefore, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 is intended for Americans ages 2 years and older, including those at increased risk of chronic disease.
Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 also recognizes that in recent years nearly 15 percent of American households have been unable to acquire adequate food to meet their needs. Many other Americans consume less than optimal intake of certain nutrients even though they have adequate resources for a healthy diet. This dietary guidance and nutrition information can help them choose a healthy, nutritionally adequate diet. The intent of the Dietary Guidelines is to summarize and synthesize knowledge about individual nutrients and food components into an interrelated set of recommendations for healthy eating that can be adopted by the public.
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