Chapter 3 Everyone Has a Role in Supporting Healthy Eating Patterns

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About This Chapter

This chapter focuses on the fifth Guideline:

The Guidelines

  1. Follow a healthy eating pattern across the lifespan. All food and beverage choices matter. Choose a healthy eating pattern at an appropriate calorie level to help achieve and maintain a healthy body weight, support nutrient adequacy, and reduce the risk of chronic disease.
  2. Focus on variety, nutrient density, and amount. To meet nutrient needs within calorie limits, choose a variety of nutrient-dense foods across and within all food groups in recommended amounts.
  3. Limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats and reduce sodium intake. Consume an eating pattern low in added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium. Cut back on foods and beverages higher in these components to amounts that fit within healthy eating patterns.
  4. Shift to healthier food and beverage choices. Choose nutrient-dense foods and beverages across and within all food groups in place of less healthy choices. Consider cultural and personal preferences to make these shifts easier to accomplish and maintain.
  1. Support healthy eating patterns for all. Everyone has a role in helping to create and support healthy eating patterns in multiple settings nationwide, from home to school to work to communities.

The Social-Ecological Model (Figure 3-1) is used as a framework to illustrate how sectors, settings, social and cultural norms, and individual factors converge to influence food and physical activity choices. The chapter describes contextual factors that influence eating as well as physical activity behaviors and identifies opportunities for professionals, including policymakers, to implement strategies that can help individuals align with the Dietary Guidelines.