Buy this Article for $7.95

Have a coupon or promotional code? Enter it here:

When you buy this you'll get access to the ePub version, a downloadable PDF, and the ability to print the full article.

Authors

  1. Hogbin, Myrtle RD
  2. Lyon, Joan MS, RD
  3. Davis, Carole MS, RD

Abstract

This article provides a brief history of dietary recommendations for healthy Americans published during the last 30 years by the federal government, the National Academy of Sciences, national health organizations, and the World Health Organization and uses the major topics of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2000 as a reference to compare the current legion of dietary advice that is promulgated to the public.

 

Dietitians and nutritionists have been giving dietary advice to Americans for more than a century. 1,2 During that time, the research base supporting dietary recommendations expanded considerably. 3,4 Hunger and malnutrition during the early 1900s and inadequate nutrient intake from the 1930s to the 1960s were major influences. In the 1970s and 1980s, the focus shifted to overconsumption of specific food components, such as total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol, and their roles in chronic disease. During the 1990s, overweight and obesity increased to epidemic levels, which led to an emphasis on healthy weight and physical activity.

 

This article provides a brief history of dietary recommendations for healthy Americans published during the last 30 years by the federal government, the National Academy of Sciences, national health organizations, and the World Health Organization (Table 1). Current dietary recommendations from major scientific reports based on expert consensus are identified. The intended purpose and methods used to construct the recommendations vary greatly and affect the outcomes.

 

National standards, dietary guidelines, and dietary recommendations define aspects of a health-promoting diet, but they do so differently. In the context of this article, they are all considered dietary recommendations. Tables 2, 3, and 4, identify dietary recommendations for Americans without chronic disease. They are categorized using the 2000 Dietary Guidelines for Americans5 as the framework for comparison. This method was chosen to show how various recommendations support common goals. Some dietary recommendations for specific age-gender groups, major nutrition-related health initiatives, and emerging nutrition issues are also identified. Finally, suggestions for how health professionals might use dietary recommendations are provided.