News and Document archive source
copyrighted material disclaimer at bottom of page

NewsMinenature-healthhealthdiet — Viewing Item

New diet guide puts emphasis on weght loss { January 13 2005 }

Original Source Link: (May no longer be active)

January 13, 2005
U.S. Diet Guide Puts Emphasis on Weight Loss

WASHINGTON Jan. 12 - The federal government issued new dietary guidelines for Americans on Wednesday, and for the first time since the recommendations were introduced in 1980, they emphasize weight loss as well as healthy eating and cardiovascular health.

The guidelines, which follow several years of reports that Americans are fatter than ever, recommend eating many more fruits and vegetables, more low-fat milk, more whole grains and increasing exercise to as much as an hour and a half a day. But some critics question whether they will make any difference in an increasingly fat America.

In announcing the guidelines Wednesday, Ann M. Veneman, the agriculture secretary, and Tommy Thompson, the secretary of health and human services, sounded more like diet gurus than cabinet members. Ms. Veneman said that Americans spent $42 billion a year on diet and health books, indicating the nation's desire to slim down. Mr. Thompson characterized the guidelines as the government's version of a diet book.

"Tonight eat only half the dessert," Mr. Thompson said. "And then go out and walk around the block. And if you are going to watch television get down and do 10 push-ups and 5 sit-ups."

The food industry has already begun to offer more products with whole grains, fewer calories and smaller sizes.

Even critics of government nutrition policies applauded many of the changes, including recommendations that Americans eat less added sugars and less trans fats. But some said they were disappointed that no limits were set for the amount of those substances people should eat.

For example, the guidelines recommend that consumers limit trans fat, partly hydrogenated vegetable oils that have been found to be worse for the body than even saturated fat. But while the advisory committee report that was the basis for guidelines capped intake of trans fat at 1 percent of total calories, that limit was not included in the recommendations.

That was a clear victory for food manufacturers who rely on hydrogenated oils for a variety of processed foods, and who lobbied against the numeric limit. While many companies are eliminating trans fats from their products, the Agriculture Department has estimated that they are in 40 percent of processed foods.

The guidelines were a matter of intense lobbying by industry and advocacy groups over the past year.

The advisory committee, which recommended more dairy products, cited a report, partly financed by the dairy industry, that found that low-fat dairy products helped people lose weight.

After lobbying by the sugar industry, the Department of Health and Human Services helped persuade the World Health Organization in 2003 to eliminate a recommendation that sugar account for no more than 10 percent of calories.

But the final recommendation on sugar in the guidelines is actually a bit stronger than the one in the advisory committee report, which said only to choose carbohydrates wisely. The new guidelines say people should consume foods and beverages with little added sugars.

Dr. Richard Adamson, the vice president of scientific and technical affairs for the American Beverage Association, a trade group, said in an interview Wednesday that there was no proof that people gained weight because they consumed added sugar or lost weight when they cut back. Dr. Adamson said he objected to the guidelines' assertion that studies indicated that beverages with sugar and other caloric sweeteners made people gain weight.

But Dr. Kelly Brownell, director of the Yale Center for Eating and Weight Disorders and a prominent food industry critic, said that over all, he was pleased. "These guidelines are a clear step ahead of where previous ones were," Dr. Brownell said. "The issues on weight control are more specific than in the past, specifically with exercise and the suggestions on limiting added sugars and caloric sweeteners and things like soft drinks."

Still, he said, specific guidelines for sugars and trans fats would have been better.

Among the changes in the guidelines is a call for whole grains to make up half the grains in people's diets, at least three ounces every day. The daily servings of fruits and vegetables rose to nine, from five. The guidelines recommend three cups of low-fat or fat-free dairy products a day, up from two cups.

Saturated fat and cholesterol recommendations remain the same: 10 percent of calories from saturated fat and less than 300 milligrams a day of cholesterol. But while the government previously recommended that fat account for no more than 30 percent of total calories, the current recommendation is a range of from 20 percent to 35 percent.

Maximum levels of sodium have been reduced from 2,400 milligrams a day to 2,300, which is about one teaspoon a day.

Previously, the government recommended a half hour of exercise a day. The new guidelines say that is a minimum and that 60 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous exercise is needed to keep from gaining weight. Sixty to 90 minutes are needed to lose weight. Activities could include walking, bicycling and hiking.

The biggest question is what impact these guidelines will have. They will be used to recreate or replace the food pyramid, the government's graphic depiction of a proper diet. The new version is expected in a month or two.

But whether consumers will use, or even be aware of, the guidelines remains to be seen.

"I don't think many people read them or understand them," Dr. Brownell said, "because the government puts very little muscle into marketing them. If you ask 10 people on the street do they know about this or previous guidelines no one will know anything, but if you ask them what candy melts in your mouth not in your hand, 9 out of 10 will know."

Federal school lunch programs, and other federal food programs, must abide by the guidelines. But Ellen Haas, a former Agriculture Department official, said about 30 percent of the government subsidized lunches at school did not follow government guidelines and were high in fat, salt and sugar.

At the moment the two agencies responsible for the guidelines, the Agriculture Department and the Department of Health and Human Services, have earmarked no money for promotion. Nor have they begun developing partnerships with private industry to disseminate the information in the guidelines.

Asked at a news conference introducing the guidelines whether the government had any plans to limit advertising and marketing of less-healthy food to children, Mr. Thompson called advertising a form of free speech and said the administration "would not in any way curtail people's freedom" to say what they wanted.

Kim Severson contributed reporting from New York for this article.

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

Adding milk takes the benefits out of tea
Almonds help lower cholesterol { July 23 2003 }
Any diet as long as you stick with it
Ape diet cuts cholesterol { July 23 2003 }
Athletes get ample protein from plant sources { February 23 2008 }
Atkins dead at 72 { April 17 2003 }
Atkins slips on ice
Broccoli can boost memory { September 27 2005 }
California approves soda junkfood ban { September 7 2005 }
Children under 2 drinking soda
Consumption bread plummeted over atkins
Diet cancer links revisited
Diet exercise stops diabetes for 14 years { May 22 2008 }
Diet linked to most preventable causes of death
Dietary panel industry ties { August 25 2003 }
Eat whatever except when depressed or not hungry
Eating fish reduces cognitive decline
Fighting cholesterol healthy diet
Firefighters in texas go vegan { March 26 2006 }
Green tea boost immune system { April 21 2003 }
Human evolution cant cope with fast food
Let food be thy medicine
Living foods better than western diet { February 13 2008 }
Low calorie diet study fruit flies { September 19 2003 }
Low calorie dietcontrols teens diabetes { February 24 2004 }
Medical record shows atkins diet guru overweight { February 11 2004 }
Mediterranean diet lengthens lives
Mediterranean diet live longer
Mental illness linked to bad diet { January 16 2006 }
Mushrooms and other natural ingredients for health
New diet guide puts emphasis on weght loss { January 13 2005 }
New research says soy at worst is still better { January 23 2006 }
Not eating all day saves heart { December 10 2007 }
Nuts lower blood pressure and relax blood vessels
Olive oil has pain relieving powers
Olive oil mediterranean diet best for nourishment
Olive oil wine may be key to longevity
Soy and goiter
Soy diet lowers cholesterol
Soy prevents osteoporosis after menopause
Soy veggies ward off lung cancer { September 28 2005 }
Study links high carb diet to weight loss
Study shows no benefit for lower cholesterol by drugs { August 31 2004 }
Sugar linked with mental problems
Tea drinking may protect against alzeimers
Toddlers eating fries and soda { October 25 2003 }
Too much sugar causing diabetes at young ages { May 24 2007 }
Two types of fat distinguish good and bad
Veg guiding light { June 10 2001 }
Vegans slow children
Vegetables could stem mental decline { October 23 2006 }
Vegetarian calcium better than milk
Vegetarian diet effective for heart as drugs
Vegetarian diet lowers cholesterol { July 23 2003 }
Vegetarians kill
Vegetarians score score higher IQ as 10 year old
Whole grains curb belly fat and inflammation
Whole grains reduces blood pressure
Whole wheat paste is healthier { September 21 2005 }

Files Listed: 59


CIA FOIA Archive

National Security
Support one-state solution for Israel and Palestine Tea Party bumper stickers JFK for Dummies, The Assassination made simple