2005 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report
I. Purpose, History and Process:
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) establish the
direction for all government nutrition programs, including research,
education, food assistance, labeling, and nutrition promotion. The DGA
also provide the foundation for food and nutrition legislation and the
government's position for debating standards and reports such as Codex Alimentarius, or the World Health Organization's global health report.
The DGA allows the government to speak with one voice when presenting
advice for healthy Americans ages two years and over about making food
choices that promote health and prevent disease. All federally-issued
dietary guidance for the general public is required to be consistent
with the Dietary Guidelines.
The first edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans
was released in 1980. Beginning with the 1985 edition, USDA and HHS
appointed a Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee of prominent experts
in nutrition and health to review current scientific and medical
knowledge and recommend revisions to the Secretaries. Section 301 of
the National Nutrition Monitoring and Related Research Act of 1990 (7
U.S.C. 5341) requires the Secretaries of HHS and USDA to jointly
publish a report entitled, Nutrition and Your Health: Dietary
Guidelines for Americans, at least every five years. The Fifth
Edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans was released in
II. Key Findings of the 2005 Dietary Guidelines
The Committee concluded that the following nine recommendations
incorporate its key scientific findings:
- Consume a variety of foods within and among the basic food
groups while staying within energy needs.
- Control calorie intake to manage body weight.
- Be physically active every day.
- Increase daily intake of fruits and vegetables, whole grains,
and non-fat or low-fat milk and milk products.
- Choose fats wisely for good health
- Choose carbohydrates wisely for good health.
- Choose and prepare foods with little salt.
- If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation.
- Keep food safe to eat.
III. Highlights of Specific Recommendations of the
- Most Americans need to increase their consumption of vitamin E,
calcium, potassium, and fiber.
- Many Americans need to increase their intake of vitamins A and
C, and magnesium.
- A few special nutrient recommendations apply to the elderly,
women in the childbearing years, and groups susceptible to vitamin D
- Iron Women of childbearing age can reduce the risk
of iron deficiency by eating foods high in iron (preferably meat,
poultry, fish, shellfish) and/or consuming iron-rich plant foods.
- Folic Acid To reduce the risk of a pregnancy being
affected by a neural tube defect, daily intake of 400
µg of synthetic folic acid (from
supplements or fortified food) is recommended for women who are
capable of becoming pregnant and those in the first trimester of
- Vitamin B12 The goal for those
over age 50 is to eat foods fortified with vitamin B12,
such as fortified breakfast cereals, or to take vitamin B12
supplements to achieve a B12 intake of at least 2.4
mcg/day (this equals about 40% of the Daily Value expressed on food
- Vitamin D The elderly, persons with dark
skin, and persons exposed to insufficient UVB radiation are at risk
of being unable to maintain vitamin D status. Persons in these
groups may need substantially more than the 1997 Adequate Intake for
vitamin D from vitamin D-fortified foods and/or vitamin D
Energy Balance/Calorie Control:
- Calories/Carbohydrates/Fats — To stem the obesity epidemic,
most Americans need to reduce the amount of calories they consume.
When it comes to weight control, calories do count — not the
proportions of carbohydrate, fat, and protein in the diet. The
healthiest way to reduce calorie intake is to reduce one's intake of
saturated fat, added sugars, and alcohol — they all provide calories
but they don't provide essential nutrients. For most people, a
reduction of 50 to 100 calories per day will prevent weight gain, but
a reduction of 500 calories or more per day is a common goal in weight
loss programs. Controlling portion sizes helps limit calorie intake,
especially when eating energy-dense foods (foods that are high in
calories for a given amount).
- Physical Activity — 30 to 60 minutes of moderate physical
activity per day is recommended to prevent weight gain, but 60 to 90
minutes of physical activity per day is recommended to sustain weight
Physical Activity: 30 minutes of at least
moderate physical activity on most days provide important health
benefits in adults. More than 30 minutes of
moderate to vigorous physical activity on most days provide even more
health benefits. Vigorous intensity physical activity (e.g., jogging
or other aerobic exercise) provides greater benefits for physical
fitness than moderate physical activity, and it burns more calories
per unit time.
- At least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous
physical activity on most days is recommended for children
to maintain good health and fitness and for healthy weight during
- Short bouts (e.g., 10-minute bouts) of moderate activity can
count toward total physical activity goals.
- During leisure time, it is advisable for all individuals, to
limit sedentary behaviors such as television watching and video
viewing and replace them with activities that require more movement.
Fats: To decrease their risk of an elevated LDL cholesterol, most
Americans need to decrease their intakes of saturated fat and trans
fat, and many need to decrease their dietary intake of
cholesterol. Recommended goals are less than 10% of calories from
saturated fat and less than 300 mg of cholesterol per day for adults
with an LDL cholesterol <130 mg/dL. Trans fat intakes should be
about 1 percent of energy intake or less.
- Saturated Fats Saturated fat consumption should be kept as low as possible. Dietary intake of saturated fat is much higher than that of
trans fat and cholesterol. Intakes of all three fats should be decreased, however, decreasing intake of saturated fat is most beneficial because it is consumed in greater amounts.
- Trans Fats — The Committee recommended that trans
fatty acid consumption by all population groups be
≤1% of energy intake. Since
trans fatty acids are produced in the hydrogenation of vegetable
oils and account for more than 80 percent of total trans fat in the
food supply, the food industry has a large role to play in helping
consumers decrease their trans fat intake.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids — To benefit from the potential
cardioprotective effects of EPA and DHA, the Committee recommended
weekly consumption of two servings of fish, particularly fish rich
in EPA and DHA. However, it is advisable for pregnant women,
lactating women, and children to avoid eating fish with a high
mercury content and to limit their consumption of fish with a
moderate mercury content. The report also stated that other rich
food sources of EPA and DHA may be beneficial, although more
research is needed.
- Total Fat — Recommended total fat intake is between 20%
and 35% of energy.
Carbohydrates: Recommended total carbohydrate intake is
between 45% and 65% of energy. The IOM set a Recommended Dietary
Allowance of 130 grams per day for adults and children.
- Fiber Intake: Most Americans of all ages need to
increase their fiber intake. The recommended intake of dietary
fiber is 14 grams per 1000 calories.
- Sugar Intake: Reducing intake of added sugars
(especially sugar-sweetened beverages) may be helpful in weight
control and aid in achieving recommended nutrient intakes. A
combined approach of reducing the frequency of consuming sugars and
starches (e.g., limiting snacking on foods that contain these
carbohydrates) and optimizing oral hygiene practices is advised to
reduce dental caries incidence.
Selected Food Groups: Fruits, vegetables, whole
grains, and milk products are carbohydrate-containing foods, and they
all are important to a healthy diet.
- Fruit/Vegetable Intake: To meet nutrient adequacy
recommendation, a range of 5-13 servings of fruits and vegetables
each day is recommended for daily energy intakes of 1200-3200
calories. For a 2000 calorie daily energy intake, 9 servings (4 ½
cups) are recommended.
- Whole Grains Intake: The goal for whole grain intake is
at least three servings (equal to 3 ounces) per day, preferably by
eating whole grains in place of refined grains.
- Milk Intake: For people who require 1600 kcal/day or
more, the goal for milk and milk products is 3 cups of non-fat or
low-fat milk or the equivalent per day. The goal is 2 cups per day
for those with lower calorie needs.
- Nearly all Americans consume substantially more salt than is
recommended. Decreasing salt (sodium chloride) intake is advisable to
reduce the risk of high blood pressure. Expressed in terms of sodium,
the general goal is for adults to consume less than 2300 mg of
sodium per day.
- Many persons will benefit from reducing their salt intake even
more. Such persons include hypertensive individuals, blacks, and
middle- and older-aged adults.
- At the same time, individuals are encouraged to increase their
consumption of foods rich in potassium. Potassium lowers blood
pressure and blunts the effects of salt on blood pressure.
- Since sodium added during the processing of foods provides more
than three-fourths of total intake, the food industry has a large role
to play in helping consumers decrease their sodium intake.
Alcohol Intake: The consumption of alcohol can have beneficial or
harmful effects depending on the amount consumed, the age and other
characteristics of the person consuming the alcohol, and specific situations.
The lowest all-cause and coronary heart disease mortality rates occur at an
intake of one to two drinks per day. Morbidity and mortality are highest among
those drinking large amounts of alcohol.
- Those who choose to drink alcoholic beverages should do so
sensibly, and in moderation.
- Abstention is an important option; approximately one in three
American adults do not drink alcohol.
- Moderation is defined as the consumption of up to one drink per
day for women and up to two drinks per day for men. One drink is
defined as 12 ounces of regular beer, 5 ounces of wine (12%
alcohol), or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits.
- Drinking alcoholic beverages should be avoided before or when
driving, or whenever it puts anyone at risk.
- In some situations, alcohol should be avoided: DGAC added
breastfeeding women to the list of examples.
Food Safety: The most important food safety problem is
microbial foodborne illness. The behaviors in the home that are most
likely to prevent a problem with foodborne illnesses, are:
- Cleaning hands, contact surfaces, and fruits and vegetables.
(This does not apply to meat and poultry, which should not be
- Separating raw, cooked, and ready-to-eat foods while shopping,
preparing, or storing.
- Cooking foods to a safe temperature.
- Chilling (refrigerating) perishable foods promptly.
Avoiding higher-risk foods is an important protective measure
against foodborne illness. In the case of listeriosis, higher-risk
groups such as the young, pregnant women, the elderly, and those who
are immunocompromised should re-heat frankfurters and deli meats to a
IV. Next Steps:
Dietary Guidelines Policy Document:
- The Committee report is posted at
www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines. The August 27, 2004 Federal
Register notice announced the availability of the report and a
30-day public comment period.
- A joint working group of HHS and USDA scientists will prepare
the draft 2005 Dietary Guidelines policy document based upon
the DGAC report. An independent scientific peer review of the draft
policy document will also be performed by a separate group of
Federal government scientists.
- The Dietary Guidelines policy document will be finalized
and cleared through the Departments in December 2004.
- In January 2005, Secretaries Thompson and Veneman will jointly
release the sixth edition of Nutrition and Your Health: Dietary
Guidelines for Americans.
Dietary Guidelines Communication Materials:
- In July, the Departments awarded separate communications
contracts to Porter Novelli, Washington, DC: HHS/Office of Disease
Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) for the Dietary
Guidelines communications and USDA/Center for Nutrition Policy
and Promotion (CNPP) for the Food Guidance System.
- HHS and USDA staff are working closely to coordinate message
development between the Dietary Guidelines and the Food
- HHS issued a Federal Register notice soliciting existing
communications research pertinent to the development of messages and
materials for the 2005 Dietary Guidelines. This provides an
opportunity for organizations to bring to our attention research
they believe will inform our communication efforts.
- USDA issued a Federal Register notice soliciting public comment
by August 27th on the proposed Food Guidance System plan
and expects HHS and other Federal agencies to provide comments along
with the general public. Communication efforts associated with Food
Guidance System and Dietary Guidelines are being coordinated.
V. Members of the 2005 Dietary Guidelines Advisory
Janet King, Ph.D., R.D., Children's Hospital Oakland Research
Institute, Oakland, CA.
Lawrence J. Appel, M.D., M.P.H., Johns Hopkins University School of
Medicine, Baltimore, MD
Yvonne L. Bronner, Sc.D., R.D., L.D., Morgan State University,
Benjamin Caballero, M.D., Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg
School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Carlos A. Camargo, M.D., Dr.P.H., Harvard University, Boston, MA
Fergus M. Clydesdale, Ph.D., University of MA, Amherst, Amherst, MA
Vay Liang W. Go, M.D., University of California at Los Angeles, Los
Penny M. Kris-Etherton, Ph.D., R.D., Pennsylvania State University,
University Park, PA
Joanne R. Lupton, Ph.D., Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Theresa A. Nicklas, Dr.P.H., M.P.H., L.N., Baylor College of Medicine,
Russell R. Pate, Ph.D., University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
F. Xavier Pi-Sunyer, M.D., M.P.H., Columbia University College of
Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY
Connie M. Weaver, Ph.D., Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
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