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Medical News and Perspectives
February 23, 2005

Experts Charge New US Dietary Guidelines Pose Daunting Challenge for the Public

JAMA. 2005;293(8):918-920. doi:10.1001/jama.293.8.918

With recommendations calling for 9 servings of fruits and vegetables per day, a limit of 2300 mg of sodium per day, and 60 to 90 minutes of exercise on most days to lose weight, the 2005 US Dietary Guidelines released last month set ambitious goals for weight loss and healthy eating. But some experts say the recommendations may be too complicated for the average person to understand—or simply unattainable.

Past editions of the guidelines, which are revised every 5 years, targeted the public, but the new edition is intended for use by public policy makers, nutritionists, and health educators. The more than 40 recommendations are peppered throughout a 70-page document (posted online at http://www.healthierus.gov/dietaryguidelines/). The guidelines are based on a report by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, a panel of nutrition experts who reviewed the relevant literature. (The committee’s report is also available online at http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2005/report/.)

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