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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.
This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine.
The Institute of Medicine was chartered in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to enlist distinguished members of the appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. In this, the Institute acts under both the Academy's 1863 congressional charter responsibility to be an adviser to the federal government and its own initiative in identifying issues of medical care, research, and education.
The study summarized in this publication was supported by funds from the National Research Council Fund, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Pew Charitable Trusts, Fannie E. Rippel Foundation, and Occidental Petroleum Corporation. The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation supported the preparation of Eat for Life.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Eat for Life: the Food and Nutrition Board's guide to reducing your risk of chronic disease / Catherine E. Woteki and Paul R. Thomas, editors.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
1. Nutrition. 2. Chronic diseases—Prevention. I. Woteki, Catherine E. II. Thomas, Paul R., 1953–. III. Institute of Medicine (U.S.). Food and Nutrition Board.
Copyright © 1992 by the National Academy of Sciences
No part of this book may be reproduced by any mechanical, photographic, or electronic procedure, or in the form of a phonographic recording, nor may it be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or otherwise copied for public or private use, without written permission from the publisher, except for the purpose of official use by the United States government.
This book is printed on acid-free recycled stock that is made from 70% de-inked fiber of which 10% is postconsumer waste.
Printed in the United States of America
The serpent has been a symbol of long life, healing, and knowledge among almost all cultures and religions since the beginning of recorded history. The image adopted as a logotype by the Institute of Medicine is based on a relief carving from ancient Greece, now held by the Staatlichemuseen in Berlin.
Cover art by Mercedes McDonald
An Editorial Note
This book is the result of the work of many people and draws on more than a decade of study by the Food and Nutrition Board. It brings together the most current information on nutrition, gleaned from an exhaustive collection of data and professional literature that was reviewed and evaluated by nutrition scientists. The goal of all this effort: to determine whether diet has any effect on chronic disease.
When the Food and Nutrition Board began planning a study of what is known of diet and its relationship to chronic disease, three books were envisioned. The first was a comprehensive review and analysis of the scientific literature, which culminated in a massive volume published in 1989 under the title Diet and Health. That report makes specific recommendations on dietary changes to maintain health and prevent disease.
The second book to come from this study focused on implementing the dietary guidelines that emerged from the scientific review. If reducing the risk of chronic disease is a national health goal and if dietary modification is likely to help in achieving that goal, the Food and Nutrition Board reasoned that government, the private sector, health professionals, and educators would need a strategy for implementation. This book appeared in 1991 under the title Improving America's Diet and Health: From Recommendations to Action.
The present book, Eat for Life, is the final volume. Written for individuals and families interested in improving their health, it is a practical guide on how to incorporate the dietary guidelines into everyday life.
Special acknowledgment is owed to a small group of supporters who believed that this book could be completed successfully without compromising the material it covers. Joseph Alper, working from the voluminous original report, wrote the first draft of what was to become Eat for Life. Catherine Woteki, Paul Thomas, and editorial consultant Roseanne Price, together with members of the Food and Nutrition Board, revised and completed the manuscript in its present form. The many drafts of the manuscript were typed and proofread by Donna Thompson, Ute Hayman, Pamela Turner, and Marcia Lewis. The National Academy Press gave encouragement and technical assistance throughout the project.
The final success of this large endeavor involving so many people may never be known. We can only hope that it will be observed in the growing trend toward good health that emerges from knowledgeable individuals eating well.