New Dietary Guidelines for Americans Issued for 2015-2020

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New Dietary Guidelines for Americans Issued for 2015-2020
New Dietary Guidelines for Americans Issued for 2015-2020

THURSDAY, April 7, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- New U.S. dietary guidelines have been released for 2015 to 2020, according to a health policy brief published online March 31 in Health Affairs.

T.R. Goldman, a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C., reviewed the most recent guidelines, which are officially known by their five-year range rather than a single year. The recommendations were formulated after extensive review of 300 studies, which were used to address 83 questions. In addition, 29,000 public comments were reviewed.

Goldman notes that although most of the new guidelines are consistent with previous advice, there are some differences. The guidelines' overall emphasis is on eating patterns, rather than individual food groups and nutrients. There is a newly introduced recommended limit for added sugars (10 percent of daily calories). Drinking three to five cups of coffee per day is considered part of a healthy eating pattern. The dietary cholesterol limit has been lifted and the recommendation that specific populations reduce their sodium intake from 2,300 to 1,500 mg/day has been removed. In addition, men and teenage boys are encouraged to reduce protein consumption.

"The guidelines undeniably shape the general perception of what healthy eating means, and that perception is ultimately reflected in the food sold everywhere," Goldman writes.

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