Per Capita Food Supply Trends: Progress Toward Dietary Guidelines

F ederal dietary guidance outlined in the 2000 edition of Dietary Guidelines for Americans and depicted in the Food Guide Pyramid is intended to help consumers choose diets that improve health, reduce their risk for dietrelated chronic disease, and meet their nutritional needs (fig. 1). The Food Guide Pyramid helps consumers put the Dietary Guidelines into practice by recommending the type and quantity of foods to eat from five major food groupsgrains (bread, cereals, rice, and pasta), vegetables, fruit, dairy (milk, yogurt, and cheese), and meat (red meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs, and nuts). The Pyramid also suggests that consumers use fats, oils, and sweets sparingly. The Dietary Guidelines recommend that Americans limit total fat intake to no more than 30 percent of calories, saturated fat intake to less than 10 percent of calories, and dietary cholesterol to less than the Daily Value of 300 milligrams a day listed on the Nutrition Facts Label. Information about consumers' eating patterns, if different from these recommendations, helps consumers make dietary adjustments and helps policymakers and nutrition educators target educational messages effectively. For example, analyses of food supply data, adjusted for spoilage and waste, by USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS) suggest that the average American diet is heavily weighted to added fats and sugars found at the tip of the Pyramid and falls short of recommendations for fruits and dairy products. And many consumers need to change the mix of foods in the meat, vegetable, and grain groups to meet recommendations for dietary variety and selected food components, such as fiber, total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol.

Issue Date:
Sep 09 2000
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Record Identifier:
Published in:
Food Review: The Magazine of Food Economics, Volume 23, Issue 3
Page range:

 Record created 2017-12-19, last modified 2018-01-22

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