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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005

U.S. Department of Agriculture


We are pleased to present the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This document is intended to be a primary source of dietary health information for policymakers, nutrition educators, and health providers. Based on the latest scientific evidence, the 2005 Dietary Guidelines provides information and advice for choosing a nutritious diet, maintaining a healthy weight, achieving adequate exercise, and "keeping foods safe" to avoid foodborne illness.

This document is based on the recommendations put forward by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. The Committee was composed of scientific experts who were responsible for reviewing and analyzing the most current dietary and nutritional information and incorporating this into a scientific evidence-based report. We want to thank them and the other public and private professionals who assisted in developing this document for their hard work and dedication.

The more we learn about nutrition and exercise, the more we recognize their importance in everyday life. Children need a healthy diet for normal growth and development, and Americans of all ages may reduce their risk of chronic disease by adopting a nutritious diet and engaging in regular physical activity.

However, putting this knowledge into practice is difficult. More than 90 million Americans are affected by chronic diseases and conditions that compromise their quality of life and well-being. Overweight and obesity, which are risk factors for diabetes and other chronic diseases, are more common than ever before. To correct this problem, many Americans must make significant changes in their eating habits and lifestyles.

We live in a time of widespread availability of food options and choices. More so than ever, consumers need good advice to make informed decisions about their diets. The 2005 Dietary Guidelines will help Americans choose a nutritious diet within their energy requirements. We believe that following the recommendations in the Dietary Guidelines will assist many Americans in living longer, healthier, and more active lives.


Tommy G. Thompson
Secretary of Health and Human Services


Ann M. Veneman
Secretary of Agriculture

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