Dietary guidelines include exercise

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Jan. 31, 2005

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New federal dietary guidelines, released Jan. 12, for the first time add physical activity to healthy eating as a way to curb the obesity epidemic that threatens to undermine the health of many Americans.

"The new dietary guidelines highlight the principle that Americans should keep their weight within healthful limits and engage in ample physical activity," said Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman.

The guidelines recommend at least 30 minutes of moderately intense exercise most days of the week, 60 minutes most days to prevent gradual weight gain for adults and 60 to 90 minutes to sustain weight loss.

They also recommend consuming two cups of fruit and 2½ cups of vegetables per day, three or more ounce-equivalents (a one ounce-equivalent would be one slice of bread) of whole grain products and three cups per day of fat-free or low-fat milk.

A joint product of the Agriculture Dept. and the Dept. of Health and Human Services, the new guidelines update those released in 2000 and will be used as the government considers whether to reconfigure its food pyramid graphic. Various federal food programs, including the school lunch program, follow the guidelines.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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