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FOR RELEASE: March 10, 2005
CONTACT: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
405/271-5601

New Dietary Guidelines Help Americans Stay Healthy

The new edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 places stronger emphasis on reducing calorie consumption and increasing exercise, according to public health officials at the Oklahoma State Department of Health’s Women, Infants and Children Service.

The new guidelines were released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. They represent the best and most recent science-based advice for persons age 2 and older concerning how to promote health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases through nutrition and physical activity.

The new edition places stronger emphasis on reducing calorie consumption and increasing exercise. Eating a variety of healthy foods in appropriate amounts continues to be the main message of the Dietary Guidelines, but balancing nutrients is not enough for health. The 2005 guidelines recommend balancing calories between the amount a person eats and the amount of calories he or she burns. For moderately active people between the age of 31 and 50, calorie recommendations for women are 2,000 calories per day, and 2,400 to 2,600 calories for men.

In addition, the guidelines suggest consuming less saturated fat and cholesterol. Generally, saturated fats and cholesterol are found in foods coming from animals. Trans-fat should also be kept as low as possible. Trans-fats come from solid margarine and shortening, and are often in fried foods, flaky bread products, and cookies.

The guidelines provide the following key messages.

  • To reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases, get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity most days of the week.
  • To help control or reduce body weight, get approximately 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity activity on most days of the week.
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Two cups of fruits and 2 ½ cups of vegetables per day are recommended for a reference 2,000-calorie intake.
  • Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables each week. There are five vegetable groups to choose from. They are dark green, deep orange, legumes, starchy vegetables, and other vegetables.
  • Eat three or more whole-grain servings of breads and cereals daily.
  • Drink three cups of fat-free or low-fat milk each day. Other high calcium dairy foods are low-fat yogurt and reduced-fat cheeses.
  • Select and prepare lean meat, poultry, dry beans, and milk or milk products. Most fats should come from fish, nuts, and vegetable oils.

The Food Guide Pyramid is also being revised for release later this spring. It will clearly explain the language of the Dietary Guidelines without the scientific language. To obtain additional information and consumer brochures, visit this Web site: www.healthierus.gov/dietaryguidelines .

For more information about healthy eating, contact a nutritionist at the county health department in your area.

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