Dietary Guidelines Alliance offers tools to help consumers understand new nutrition guidance

01/12/05

It's all about you messages help translate new 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Amercians

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 12, 2005) -- The United States Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Agriculture (USDA) today released the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The Dietary Guidelines Alliance – a partnership of public and private organizations dedicated to providing positive and simple messages to help consumers achieve healthy diets and active lifestyles – supports the government's recommendations and its efforts to develop clear, science-based nutrition guidance. Formed 10 years ago, the Alliance conducts extensive and ongoing research to provide consumers with practical advice on how to apply Dietary Guidelines to their lives.

"With obesity and overweight rates rising, it's critical we help people cut through the clutter and provide motivating tips so they can adopt the new guidelines in their lives," said Susan Borra, R.D., executive vice president and director of nutrition, International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation and a founding member of the Alliance. "We listen to consumers so we can create messages that reflect what they need and, ultimately, help increase the chance they'll follow dietary guidance."

To help Americans and the health professionals who educate them, the Dietary Guidelines Alliance developed It's All About You – a consumer-tested nutrition education program and toolkit that reinforces the power of small steps in building a more healthful diet. In fact, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) recognized the importance of this type of guidance in its technical report released in August 2004: "Small changes maintained over time can make a big difference in body weight."

"Research shows small steps can lead to substantial health improvements over time," said Sandra Schlicker, Ph.D., executive officer, American Society for Clinical Nutrition, also an Alliance member. "People can easily make choices, or small steps, to fit the guidelines in their daily routines, while still doing the things they want to do."

It's All About You messages also help people understand how to balance the foods they eat with regular activity, moderate portion sizes, and eat more nutrient-rich foods – recommendations that are encouraged within the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The It's All About You tips that were developed by consumers for consumers include:

  • Be Realistic: Make small changes in what you eat and the level of activity you do over time, since small steps work better than giant leaps.
  • Be Adventurous: Expand your tastes to enjoy a variety of new foods.
  • Be Flexible: Go ahead and balance what you eat and the physical activity you do over several days, instead of worrying about just one meal or one day.
  • Be Sensible: Enjoy all foods, just don't overdo it.
  • Be Active: Walk the dog, don't just watch the dog walk.

The Alliance continues to conduct consumer research and update the It's All About You education materials to help guide Americans with actionable messages. Health professionals can receive a copy of the It's All About You education kit by visiting http://www.ific.org/publications/other/allaboutyouom.cfm.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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