Location: Healthy Body Weight ResearchTitle: High proportions of foods recommended for consumption by United States Dietary Guidance contain solid fats and added sugar: Results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2007-2008)) Author
Submitted to: Nutrition Journal
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/17/2014
Publication Date: 3/20/2014
Citation: Jahns, L.A., Kranz, S. 2014. High proportions of foods recommended for consumption by United States Dietary Guidance contain solid fats and added sugar: Results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2007-2008). Nutrition Journal. 13(23):1-6. Interpretive Summary: Every five years, federal policy is developed based upon the best available evidence to help Americans to improve their health and maintain a healthy body weight. This policy is released as advice known as the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). To help Americans to follow the DGA, easy-to follow graphics such as MyPlate illustrate the types and proportional amounts of food groups to consume daily. One of the key recommendations of the DGA is to “reduce the intake of calories from solid fats and added sugars” (SoFAS). SoFAS are considered “empty calories”, but are found in many of the basic food groups recommended by MyPlate. This research assessed how many of the foods recommended by MyPlate that were actually consumed by Americans in 2007-08 contained SoFAS. Weighted frequency data showed 7% of foods in the fruit and 38% of foods in the vegetable group but 89%, 77% and 93% of foods in the grains, proteins, and dairy food group had solid fats and/or added sugars. These results show that the majority of foods currently consumed by the American people are not meeting the DGA recommendation of limiting SoFAS.
Technical Abstract: The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) recommend that individuals older than one year reduce intakes of solid fats (SoF) and added sugars (AS; together SoFAS). MyPlate, illustrates the proportions of five major food groups to promote healthy eating (Vegetables, Grains, Protein Foods, Fruits and Dairy). To assess if the foods currently consumed by Americans are in concordance with the DGA, food consumption data from WWEIA-NHANES 2007-2008 (n = 4 046) was used to estimate the proportion of foods that contained SoFAS and to report them by food group. Weighted analysis was conducted to be nationally representative. The dairy group contained the highest proportion (93%) of either SoF or AS, followed by grains (70% SoF; 70% AS; 50% both). Fruits contained the least SoFAS (7%). Results suggest that large proportions foods in each food group make it challenging for Americans to reduce their intake of SoFAS.