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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Linking Foods, Behavior and Metabolism to Promote a Healthy Body Weight

Location: Obesity and Metabolism Research Unit

Title: Translating the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 to Bring About Real Behavior Change

Authors
item Rowe, Sylvia -
item Alexander, Nick -
item Almeida, Nelson -
item Black, Richard -
item Burns, Robbie -
item Bush, Laina -
item Crawford, Patricia -
item Keim, Nancy
item Kris-Etherton, Penny -
item Weaver, Connie -

Submitted to: Journal of American Dietetic Association
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 6, 2011
Publication Date: January 20, 2011
Citation: Rowe, S., Alexander, N., Almeida, N., Black, R., Burns, R., Bush, L., Crawford, P., Keim, N.L., Kris-Etherton, P., Weaver, C. 2011. Translating the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 to Bring About Real Behavior Change. Journal of American Dietetic Association. 111(1):28-39.

Interpretive Summary: Only a small proportion of Americans regularly consumes diets patterned after the recommendations of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines.The American Dietetic Association and the Institute of Food technologists convened a panel of nutrition and food science experts to discuss how the Guidelines could be translated to onsumers with the goal of increasing healthful eating behaviors. This article is a summary of that discussion and is aimed at professionals who are providing dietary counsel to consumers. Of the many recommendations made, practitioners should keep dietary messages positive, very simple, few in number, and targeted to subpopulations to both inform and motivate consumers. Messages need to take sociocultural factors, consumer habits, and the realities of today’s lifestyles into account. To address the obesity epidemic, a key focus should be on very young children and on their parents. Above all, to bring about this behavioral change, trust and collaboration are essential among all stakeholders, including public health community members, government agencies, nutrition communicators, food industry scientists, retail food industry representatives, environmental planners, and others involved in providing a nutritious food supply to the U.S. population.

Technical Abstract: Food scientists and nutrition scientists (dietitians and nutrition communicators) are tasked with creating strategies to more closely align the American food supply and the public's diet with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). This paper is the result of 2 expert dialogues to address this mandate, which were held in Chicago, Illinois, and Washington, D.C., in early October 2010 between these 2 key scientific audiences. It is an objective that has largely eluded public health experts over the past several decades. This document takes the perspective of food scientists who are tasked with making positive modifications to the food supply, both in innovating and reformulating food products, to respond to both the DGA recommendations, and to consumer desires, needs, and choices. The paper is one of two to emerge from those October 2010 discussions; the other article focuses on the work of dietitians and nutrition communicators in effecting positive dietary change.

Last Modified: 10/24/2014