January 12, 2021
The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services recently released new dietary guidelines for 2020 through 2025, highlighting the key role nutrition plays in overall health at every age.
Updated every five years, the guidelines serve as an important reference point for policymakers and health care professionals. The newly released guidelines include a call to action to “make every bite count” and stress the importance of creating healthy eating patterns.
“Each stage of life is distinct and has unique needs that affect health and disease risk,” the report notes. “Early food preferences influence food and beverage choices later. And the science has evolved to focus on the importance of a healthy dietary pattern over time.”
There are four key guidelines in the report:
The guidelines are not a rigid set of rules, but provide an overall roadmap to healthy nutrition and emphasize that it is “never too late to start and maintain a healthy dietary pattern.” The core nutritional recommendations for added sugars, sodium, and alcohol have remained unchanged from the previous report. The latest report recommends:
The new guidelines encourage health professionals to prioritize nutrition education with patients, increasing the focus on vegetables and other nutrient-dense foods over other refined options. The guidelines also recommend limiting soda, sports drinks, sweetened coffees, and teas in favor of chilled, plain water or sparkling water with a squeeze of fruit for flavor.
HAP supports efforts to increase access to healthy foods for residents across the commonwealth and works with the state’s hospitals and health systems to ensure patients have access to healthy options.
For more information, contact Beth Murray, HAP’s readmissions project manager.
Tags: Public Health | Health disparities
Click on topic below for category-specific news articles.
Support a healthier Pennsylvania.