Chapter 3 Everyone Has a Role in Supporting Healthy Eating Patterns

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The previous chapters describe the characteristics of healthy eating and physical activity patterns, and it is clear that across all population groups, the vast majority of people in the United States are not meeting these recommendations. In general, Americans are consuming too many calories, are not meeting food group and nutrient recommendations, and are not getting adequate physical activity. In practice, aligning with the Dietary Guidelines (see Aligning With the Dietary Guidelines for Americans: What Does This Mean in Practice? in the Introduction) at the population level requires broad, multisectoral coordination and collaboration. This collective action is needed to create a new paradigm in which healthy lifestyle choices at home, school, work, and in the community are easy, accessible, affordable, and normative. Everyone has a role in helping individuals shift their everyday food,[1] beverage, and physical activity choices to align with the Dietary Guidelines.

The Dietary Guidelines provides recommendations that professionals, especially policymakers, can translate into action to support individuals. This chapter discusses a number of considerations related to translating the Dietary Guidelines into action, including the significance of using multiple strategies across all segments of society to promote healthy eating and physical activity behaviors; the development of educational resources that deliver information in a way that is compelling, inspiring, empowering, and actionable for individuals; and the need to focus on individuals where they are making food and beverage choices.


[1] If not specified explicitly, references to “foods” refer to “foods and beverages.”