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New 2015-2020 US Dietary Guidelines Have Been Released


New 2015-2020 US Dietary Guidelines Have Been Released
  Jan. 12, 2016


In recent times nutrient deficiencies and the prevalence of many infectious diseases have been significantly reduced. Conversely, the rates of chronic diseases related to poor quality diet and physical inactivity have actually increased. Nearly half of all American adults suffer from one of these types of conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease or obesity. Thankfully, a large body of evidence clearly shows that following a healthy eating pattern (combined with regular physical activity) can greatly reduce the risk of chronic disease throughout all stages of the lifespan. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans reflects this evidence through its recommendations. The Dietary Guidelines is required under the 1990 National Nutrition Monitoring and Related Research Act, which states that every 5 years the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and of Agriculture (USDA) must jointly publish a report containing nutritional and dietary guidelines for the general public. It is designed to help all individuals =2 years of age consume a healthy and nutritionally-adequate diet.

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines provides five all-encompassing Guidelines that encourage healthy eating patterns, recognize that individuals will need to make shifts in their food/beverage choices to achieve a healthy pattern, and acknowledge that all segments of our society have a role to play in supporting healthy choices.

Here are the new 5 major Guidelines presented in the executive summary with supporting details:

  1. Follow a healthy eating pattern across the entire lifespan: This will help support a healthy body weight, limit the threat of creeping obesity with age, and reduce the risk for chronic disease.
    • A healthy eating pattern includes: a variety of vegetables from all subgroups, whole fruits, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat dairy, a variety of protein foods (animal and vegetable), and healthy oils
    • A healthy eating pattern limits: saturated fat (<10% of daily calories), trans fat (none if possible), added sugars (<10% of daily calories), sodium (<2,300 mg per day) and alcohol (up to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men)
  2. Focus on variety, nutrient density, and proper quantity: To meet nutrient needs within calorie limits, choose a variety of nutrient-dense foods across and within all food groups in recommended amounts.
  3. Limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats and reduce sodium intake: Cut back on foods and beverages that are rich in these nutrients, and cut out selections that do not fall within a healthy eating pattern in any respect.
  4. Shift to healthier food and beverage choices: Choose more nutrient-dense foods and beverages within all food groups in place of less healthy options. Consider personal preferences to make these shifts easier to accomplish and maintain.
  5. Support healthy eating patterns for all: Everyone has a role to play in helping to create a support system for healthy eating patterns in all settings nationwide including homes, schools and other communities.

In conjunction with the above recommendations, Americans of all ages should meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans to help promote optimal health and further reduce the risk for chronic disease. The relationship between diet and physical activity contributes to the potential for life-long caloric balance and consequent management of a healthy body weight.

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