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HHS updates dietary guidelines

Posted On Mon, January 31, 2011

With health officials concerned about the high rate of obesity and sedentary lifestyles among a significant percentage of Americans, the Department of Health and Human Services is putting a renewed focus on exercise and healthy eating habits.

In partnership with the agriculture department, HHS released a report today called the 2010 Dietary Guideline for Americans, which aims to reduce the nation's obesity rate by placing greater emphasis on calorie restriction and physical activity.

"These new and improved dietary recommendations give individuals the information to make thoughtful choices of healthier foods in the right portions and to complement those choices with physical activity," said Tom Vilsack, agriculture department secretary. "Improving our eating habits is not only good for every individual and family, but also for our country."

Included among the changes are 23 nutritional recommendations, like switching from whole milk to 1 percent or skim, emphasizing portion control during meals and making sure that half of a plate is devoted to vegetables.

With approximately 52 million Americans lacking health insurance, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, health officials hope that by practicing healthy habits, uninsured Americans can avoid sickness and disease. 

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