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Will New Dietary Guidelines Shift Americans Toward Healthy Eating Patterns?

FoodMinds InfographicOn January 7, health professionals and policymakers heralded the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), updated to reflect current nutrition science. The DGAs provide evidence-based healthy eating principles for the public to reduce the risk of chronic disease and maintain a healthy weight. The document is published jointly by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) and Dept. of Health and Human Services (DHHS) every five years, and this newest edition will serve as a foundation for nutrition policy and programming through 2020.

According to a word content analysis conducted by FoodMinds, one of the most marked evolutions in the DGAs is the emphasis on overall healthy dietary patterns across the life span. To me, this holistic approach to healthy eating represents a shift in how we’re talking about nutrition and health. Continue reading

Five Food Trends for 2012 and Beyond

Food TruckOn the food front, Americans may be finally accepting that we are what we eat and start walking the walk. Even our new taste for Nordic cuisine is fueled, perhaps, by images of the lean, robust, and outdoorsy. But what other things are trending on the food front for 2012–13? Keep Reading

It’s Time for Common Sense about Flavored Milk in Schools

Chocolate milk (as well as other flavored, sweetened milk) has recently become a prime target in the national debate over childhood obesity. That debate has led to outright bans in school lunchrooms—or to switches from flavored milk sweetened with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) to formulas flavored with more expensive sugar. Keep Reading

Can the Food Industry Make Us Skinny?

Since the 1977 Dietary Goals for Americans, we have had U.S. dietary advice to eat less fat, less sugar, less sodium—and meanwhile we have gotten fatter. The food industry continues to do its job and respond to the latest nutrition advice to prevent chronic disease. In the 1980s, everyone was counting grams of fat and a whole industry of low- fat, tasty products was born. All the effort to create a new low-fat category of most products did not make us skinnier; in fact, it made us fatter. Keep Reading

One Year After ‘Let’s Move’ Debut: Have We Moved?

Let's MoveIt has been an American tradition that First Ladies choose a cause to champion. Nancy Reagan advised us to just say no to drugs, Hillary Clinton advocated for healthcare reform, and former librarian Laura Bush promoted increasing literacy. Michelle Obama has chosen reducing childhood obesity through good nutrition and physical activity as her goal. Her “Let’s Move” campaign began in February 2010 as a broad-based effort to raise a healthier generation of children. Keep Reading

Menu Labeling Not Likely to Shrink Waistlines

We all like to eat out. Nearly half of all food dollars go to food prepared outside the home. From fine dining to fast food to takeout, we spend a lot of money eating out. Americans’ prodigious restaurant habit has fattened the coffers of dining establishments in addition to our waistlines. Some people see a connection between the two trends. They believe that displaying the calories of each menu item will convince us to pick the leaner foods. Keep Reading

New Dietary Guidelines Address Fiber, Whole Grains

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans policy document is the federal government guide for improving health through science-based nutritional advice. Two general concepts dominate this release:      

  • “Maintain calorie balance over time to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.”
  • “Focus on consuming nutrient-dense foods and beverages.”

Keep Reading