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Updated Dietary Guidelines for Americans

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By Robert L. Herron, MA, CSCS*D, ACSM-CEP |

Every five years the Dietary Guidelines for Americans is updated by the Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services. The guidelines are written for professionals who work in health- or nutrition-related professions to:

  • Form the basis of Federal nutrition policy and programs
  • Support nutrition education efforts
  • Guide local, state, and national health promotion and disease prevention initiatives
  • Inform various organizations and industries 

Data summarized in the most-recent report outline the interrelationship between dietary habits and health, with 74% of adults in the US reported to be overweight or obese and 6/10 adults are living with one or more chronic disease.

The guidelines highlight important concepts including nearly everyone can benefit from better food choices and dietary requirements differ across lifespan. It is important to recognize that an overall pattern of better food choices is more important than obsessing over individual meals, nutrients, or food types – daily. Additionally, it is important people are able to apply these guidelines within the personal preferences, cultural traditions, and budgetary considerations. No group of people is a monolith and guidelines must account for individual differences that allow people to meet their needs.

This version of the guidelines will take us to 2025, so check them out and see how they can help support you in your profession.   

Robert L. Herron is Acting Director of Sport Exercise Science at the United States Sports Academy.  Robert is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® with distinction from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA-CSCS*D®) and a Clinical Exercise Physiologist through the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM-CEP®). rherron@ussa.edu

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