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JAMA Patient Page
February 2, 2016

Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2016 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA. 2016;315(5):528. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.0077

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are designed to help Americans choose and maintain a healthy diet.

Creating the Guidelines

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) are created by the US Departments of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Agriculture (USDA) and updated every 5 years. The goals of the DGA are to help Americans make healthier food and beverage choices throughout their lives, from childhood to adulthood (including pregnancy) to old age. Maintaining healthy eating patterns is a key part of preventing many chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. A Viewpoint summarizing new DGA (2015-2020) was published in the February 2, 2016, issue of JAMA.

Key Recommendations of the 2015 Guidelines

The DGA provides recommendations on the amounts and types of foods that should be consumed to establish and maintain healthy eating patterns. Specific recommendations are summarized in the Figure.

The DGA also recommends meeting the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. More information can be found online (see below) about both the dietary and physical activity guidelines.

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For More Information

To find this and previous JAMA Patient Pages, go to the Patient Page link on JAMA’s website at Spanish translations are available in the supplemental content tab.

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Article Information
The JAMA Patient Page is a public service of JAMA. The information and recommendations appearing on this page are appropriate in most instances, but they are not a substitute for medical diagnosis. For specific information concerning your personal medical condition, JAMA suggests that you consult your physician. This page may be photocopied noncommercially by physicians and other health care professionals to share with patients. To purchase bulk reprints, call 312/464-0776.

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: The author has completed and submitted the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest and none were reported.

Source: US Department of Health and Human Services and US Department of Agriculture. 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th ed. Washington, DC: US Dept of Health and Human Services; December 2015.

Topic: Diet and Nutrition