2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans
Written by Dr. Lindsey Haynes-Maslow and Catherine Hill
“Make every bite count” is the theme of the newly released 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Every 5 years a Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is selected to evaluate evidence-based nutrition studies and write a scientific report summarizing recommendations to the federal government. The U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) use this report, along with comments from the public and other federal agencies, to inform the new edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
The ninth edition’s goal is to promote health and prevent disease, as more than half of American adults have one or more diet-related chronic diseases, such as obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. These new Guidelines also provide a framework for federal nutrition programs, including SNAP and SNAP-Education, designed for the public. We all have a role to play in supporting all families and individuals in making healthy choices. This includes taking into account convenience and affordability of healthy food and beverage options. Four overarching messages create the backbone of the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans:
1. Promote a healthy dietary pattern at every stage of life. For the first time, the Guidelines include recommendations for every stage of life – infancy, toddlerhood, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, pregnancy, lactation, and older adulthood.
2. Customize and enjoy nutrient-dense food and beverage choices to reflect personal preferences, cultural traditions, and budgetary considerations. Another key addition to the new Guidelines is that just about everyone, and not just healthy individuals, can benefit from shifting towards a more nutrient-dense eating pattern.
3. Focus on meeting food group needs with nutrient-dense foods and beverages, and stay within calorie limits. A continued focus within the Guidelines is to promote nutrient-dense foods and beverages as they provide vitamins and minerals and have little added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium.
4. Limit foods and beverages higher in added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium, and limit alcoholic beverages. A healthy dietary pattern within calorie limits does not leave much room for extra added sugar, saturated fat, sodium, or alcoholic beverages.
Stay tuned as we dive deeper into these recommendations in the coming months at Steps to Health!.