WASHINGTON — The Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010, was released here Tuesday for public comment.
The scientific report is advisory in nature and based on guidance from an independent panel of experts. Its recommendations will inform federal policy on dietary guidance.
The report is unprecedented in addressing the obesity epidemic, described by the panel as “the single greatest threat to public health in this century,” said Penelope Slade-Sawyer, Health and Human Services’ deputy assistant secretary for Health Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, during a conference call Monday.
“Every section of this report was developed in a way that addresses the challenges of obesity," she said. "The committee noted that this was especially true for our children in whom the prevalence of obesity has tripled in the last 30 years."
The panel addressed questions about dietary intake and its relationship with the way children gain fat tissue, as well as the effects of sodium intake on blood pressure in children, Slade-Sawyer said.
It developed four major action steps for Americans:
• Reduce overweight and obesity of the U.S. population by reducing overall calorie intake and increasing physical activity.
• Shift food intake patterns to a more plant-based diet that emphasizes vegetables, cooked, dried beans, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Increase the addition of seafood and fat-free and low-fat milk and milk products and consume only moderate amounts of lean meats, poultry and eggs.
• Significantly reduce the intake of foods including added sugars and solid fats since these dietary components contribute excess calories and few if any nutrients. Reduce sodium and eat fewer refined grains, especially in foods with added sugar, solid fat and sodium.
• Meet the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.
A decrease in sodium consumption from current guidance levels of fewer than 2,300 milligrams per day to fewer than 1,500 milligrams is another recommendation.
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