HHS and USDA Release New Dietary Guidelines for Americans

January 08, 2016|11:12 a.m.| Jane Esworthy

According to CDC, more than 90 percent of children and 89 percent of adults aged 19 and older consume too much sodium. The newly released 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting sodium to less than 2,300 milligrams per day for people over the age of 14 and 1500 milligrams for younger individuals. Evidence links excess sodium intake to high blood pressure and other health problems. The guidelines encourage Americans to improve how they eat to reduce obesity and prevent chronic diseases like Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.

The new guidelines recognize the importance of focusing on healthy eating patterns, instead of on individual nutrients or foods in isolation, in order to bring about lasting improvements in individual and population health. Overall, the guidelines recommend limiting added sugars, sodium, and saturated and trans fats in diets. Specifically, they recommend that individuals consume less than 10 percent of their daily calories from saturated fats and less than 10 percent of their daily calories from added sugars. Healthy eating patterns should include a variety of nutritious foods like vegetables, fruits, grains, low-fat and fat-free dairy, lean meats, and other protein foods and oils. The guidelines also state that moderate coffee consumption (three to five 8 ounce cups per day, or providing up to 400 milligrams per day of caffeine) can be incorporated into healthy eating patterns.

“The Dietary Guidelines for Americans is one of many important tools that help to support a healthier next generation of Americans,” says Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. “The latest edition of the Dietary Guidelines provides individuals with the flexibility to make healthy food choices that are right for them and their families and take advantage of the diversity of products available, thanks to America’s farmers and ranchers.”

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines was informed by the recommendations of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, which was composed of prestigious researchers in the fields of nutrition, health, and medicine, and by consideration of public and federal agency comments. Since 1980, HHS and USDA have been jointly responsible for ensuring that advancements in scientific understanding about the role of nutrition in health are incorporated into the Dietary Guidelines, which is updated every five years.

For more information about nutrition and a healthy diet, please see the Sodium Reduction page on ASTHO's website.

2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans at a Glance (graphic)
Source: Health.gov

2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans at a Glance (graphic)