BOX 3-4

2000 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

  • Aim for Fitness

    • Aim for a healthy weight

    • Be physically active each day

  • Build a Healthy Base

    • Let the Pyramid guide your food choices

    • Choose a variety of grains daily, especially whole grains

    • Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables daily

    • Keep food safe to eat

  • Choose Sensibly

    • Choose a diet that is low in saturated fat and cholesterol and moderate in total fat

    • Choose beverages and foods to moderate your intake of sugars

    • Choose and prepare foods with less salt

    • If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation

SOURCE: USDA and DHHS, 2000.

“good foods” versus “bad foods, even taking a purely nutritional perspective. Energy intake and dietary quality are determined by the total amounts and combination of foods consumed. A given food or beverage may have multiple nutritional quality dimensions and will have a differential impact on the overall eating pattern depending on what other foods are eaten. Nevertheless, the frequency of consuming certain types of foods is an indicator of the likelihood that the overall quantity and quality of foods will be appropriate, particularly in growing children for whom the nutrient density of diets (i.e., adequacy of vitamins and minerals per unit of energy intake) is important.

Based on current scientific evidence, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans provide nutritional advice to the American public on how to attain a balanced diet (defined in this report as an overall dietary pattern that provides all the essential nutrients in the appropriate amounts to meet nutritional needs and support life processes such as growth in children without promoting excess weight gain7) (Boxes 3-4 and 3-5; also see Chapter 5 and Appendix B).

Based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the Healthy Eating


The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans are currently under revision and the sixth edition will be released in 2005. The Food Guide Pyramid is an educational tool that depicts qualitative dietary guidance based on the principles of balance, proportionality, and moderation.

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