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Tracking the American diet to shape nutrition policy

Eric Hentges, PhD, USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 1034, Alexandria, VA 22302, 703-305-7600, maya@nchapman.com

Knowledge of the American publicís eating and physical activity habits is critical when developing national nutrition guidance, such as the Food Guide Pyramid and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and nutritional indexing tools, such as the Healthy Eating Index. The Dietary Guidelines are currently being updated by USDA and HHS, incorporating the recommendations of an expert advisory committee. The USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion is concurrently revising both the science base and consumer presentation of the Food Guide Pyramid, one of the most recognizable nutrition icons in the US. For both of these efforts, it is vital to have a strong and up-to-date foundation of data on the nutrient content of foods and on current food consumption and physical activity patterns of Americans. The process of developing the Pyramidís food intake patterns is guided by establishing nutritional goals and developing recommendations for food intake that are changed from current consumption only as needed to meet these nutritional goals. The Pyramidís nutritional goals are based on established standards that include both the Dietary Guidelines and the Dietary Reference Intakes from the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine. This session will focus on the research basis for revising the Food Guide Pyramid and the critical nature of national nutrition and physical activity monitoring data in creating dietary guidance.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, participants will be able to

Keywords: Nutrition, Community Health Planning

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I have a significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
Relationship: Employment by USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion.

Influencing Policy for Nutrition and Physical Activity Issues

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA