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Evolving stories About Growing Food in a Big City

USDA seeks public comments on new food guidelines

Cassandra West

By Susan Richardson The U.S. Department of Agriculture is taking public comments through July 15 on the proposed 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the basis for important policy decisions about the Food Pyramid, school meals, the WIC Program, and other nutrition programs managed by the USDA.  Written by 13 prominent independent experts in nutrition and health, the proposed guidelines outline four major steps for Americans to improve their diet and health. At the top of the list is reducing caloric intake and increasing physical activity to combat obesity, which the expert advisory committee calls the "single greatest threat to public health in this century."

Other proposed actions steps are:

  • Eat more vegetables, cooked dry beans and peas, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. In addition, eat more seafood and fat-free and low-fat milk and milk products, and moderate amounts of lean meats, poultry, and eggs.
  • Cut out most added sugars and solid fats. Foods with added sugars and solid fats have unneeded calories and few, if any, nutrients. Also, reduce sodium and eat fewer refined grains, especially desserts.
  • Meet the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. These guidelines require people to move more, which is important for overall health and helps burn calories to keep weight in check.
  • U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will submit final guidelines based on public input. To submit or review comments on the proposed guidelines, visit 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.