By Janet M. de Jesus, MS, RD, Nutrition Advisor, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
National Nutrition Month, celebrated each year in March, is an opportunity to focus attention on the importance of healthy dietary habits and making every bite count. On December 29, 2020, the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Agriculture (USDA) launched the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025 to support policy makers and health professionals in helping Americans meet nutrient needs, promote health, and prevent disease.
As we celebrate National Nutrition Month, many health professionals are looking for ways to learn more about the new edition of the Dietary Guidelines and for materials to support implementation. To jump-start your efforts, check out the resources and infographics available on DietaryGuidelines.gov to help health practitioners and consumers navigate the Dietary Guidelines.
To help orient you to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025, this resource lists the top 10 things all health professionals should know.
Calcium, potassium, dietary fiber, and vitamin D are considered dietary components of public health concern for the general U.S. population. In addition, iron is a nutrient of public health concern for infants, particularly those receiving mostly human milk, and women of childbearing age. This resource lists examples of foods and beverages that are the highest sources of these dietary components. These lists can be used to educate consumers about foods and beverages that contain these nutrients.
To help individuals and families improve their health, USDA and HHS provide a variety of resources on healthy eating based on the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Graphics and Infographics:
Many of the following graphics and infographics were developed for health professionals to use in presentations. They can be used to introduce the newest version of the Dietary Guidelines. and convey the importance of good nutrition at any age and in making every bite count.
Make Every Bite Count: This infographic highlights the four overarching guidelines and shows how people across all life stages can make choices that better align with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025.
Eat Healthy, Be Healthy: This infographic emphasizes that the Dietary Guidelines provides science-based advice to support everyone—no matter their age, race, socioeconomic, or health status—achieve better health by making every bite count.
Customizing the Dietary Guidelines: This infographic provides examples of options within each food group to illustrate flexibility in creating healthy dietary patterns and how patterns can be customized to accommodate cultural foodways and budgetary considerations.
The 4 Guidelines: This simple graphic that outlines the four pillars to a healthy dietary pattern.
Adherence to the Dietary Guidelines over time: This graphic outlines the average total healthy eating index (HEI) scores from 2005 to 2016. Health professionals can use this graphic in presentations or handouts to illustrate healthy eating trends for the U.S. population.
Adherence to the Dietary Guidelines across life stages: This graphic outlines the average total healthy eating index (HEI) scores across life stages from the 2015-2016 scores. Health professionals can use this graphic in presentations or handouts to illustrate healthy eating habits across life stages.
We encourage you to use these resources and infographics to engage your community. Stay tuned for additional blog posts that will be available this month and throughout the year highlighting the various life stages featured in the current Dietary Guidelines.
Throughout the month, ODPHP will also feature blog posts highlighting nutrition guidance for several of the life stages described in the Dietary Guidelines. Be sure to check out the blog post summarizing guidance from Chapter 1: Nutrition and Health Across the Lifespan if you missed it. In the meantime, we encourage you to use the resources below and join us in celebrating National Nutrition Month.
Sign up for future Dietary Guidelines updates and materials!