2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans: What You Need to Know

By: Maria White, Associate

Florida – January 15, 2021 – The newest edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (Guidelines), published jointly by the United States Department of Agriculture ("UDSA") and the Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS"), was released just before the New Year. Published every five years, the Guidelines are science-based recommendations designed to foster healthy dietary patterns for all Americans. The Guidelines are not only intended to inform individual citizens, but are also widely used by healthcare professionals, policy makers, and provide the nutritional foundation for Federal nutrition programs.

The 2020-2025 edition contains a few notable additions including:

  • Recommended healthy dietary patterns for infants and toddlers;
  • dietary guidance for pregnant and breastfeeding women;
  • specific limits for added sugars, saturated fat, sodium, and alcoholic beverages for men and women; and
  • lists "fortified soy alternatives" among the five essential food groups, a nod to the increasing popularity of plant-based dietary patterns.

Additionally, for the first time the Guidelines encourage individuals to enjoy food and beverage choices which reflect personal preferences, cultural traditions, and budgetary considerations while adding a call to action for every American to "Make Every Bite Count" by choosing more nutrient-dense foods rather than focusing on "taking away bad foods".  To this end, the Guidelines make recommendations of daily intake for more familiar food groups like fruit, vegetables, grains, and proteins, and encourage limiting excessive sodium, fat, and sugar.

As more than half of American adults suffer from one or more diet-related chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes, obesity, and some types of cancer, encouraging healthy dietary patterns is more important than ever. As stated in the Executive Summary: "The scientific connection between food and health has been well documented for many decades, with substantial and increasingly robust evidence showing that a healthy lifestyle—including following a healthy dietary pattern—can help people achieve and maintain good health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases throughout all stages of the lifespan." The newest edition of the Dietary Guidelines is an excellent, research-based step forward in the effort to encourage a healthy and strong population.

The 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines can be found here.

For more information regarding the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, or for assistance with any food law matter, please contact GrayRobinson’s Food Law Group at foodlaw@gray-robinson.com or (866) 382-5132.

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