Better choices, healthier lives

August 2017

General Practitioners

Country of origin: USA

Q: What are the differences between the 2010 DGA and the 2005 DGA?

A: There are a number of differences, including the emphases on managing body weight through all life stages and on proper nutrition for children.

The 2010 DGA incorporate research on eating patterns for the first time. Also, the eating patterns presented now include vegetarian adaptations.

A new section in the 2010 DGA (Chapter 6) acknowledges the influence of the broader food and physical activity environment on Americans and their daily food, beverage, and physical activity choices. This section calls for improvements to the environment through system-level changes and coordinated efforts from all sectors that influence these choices.

The 2010 key recommendations indicate which food groups to eat more or less of, rather than providing an exact amount of food that should be eaten from each food group. This approach is directional rather than quantitative. Although the 2010 key recommendations do not specify exact quantities of what to eat, an entire chapter (Chapter 5) and several appendices discuss eating patterns that include quantities.

The 2010 DGA also provide revised guidance on reducing daily sodium (salt) intake. Americans should consume less than 2,300 mg of sodium (salt) each day. That amount is lowered to 1,500 mg for people who:

Are age 51 and older
Are African American
Have high blood pressure
Have diabetes
Have chronic kidney disease.
About half of the U.S. population, including children and the majority of adults, fall into one of the groups that should limit their daily sodium (salt) intake to 1,500 mg.

Additional differences include:
A key recommendation for increasing seafood intake
Addressing eating behaviors (e.g., breakfast, snacking, fast food) and the association of screen time with increased body weight
The identification of specific foods that should be limited because they are substantial sources of sodium (salt), saturated fat, cholesterol, trans fat, and added sugars
A focus on nutrients that are important to public health (potassium, dietary fiber, calcium, and vitamin D)
A new appendix table that includes key consumer behaviors and potential implementation strategies for professionals
New guidance for alcohol consumption for breastfeeding women

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