Tom Vilsack, secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, announced Monday the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which form the basis of nutrition education programs, school meals, Meals on Wheels for seniors and dietary advice given by health professionals.
The seventh edition of the dietary guidelines is a joint effort by USDA and HHS mandated by Congress to be completed every five years.
"The guidelines are being released when the majority of adults and one in three children is overweight or obese and this is a crisis that we can no longer ignore," Vilsack told a news conference in Washington.
"The bottom line is that most Americans need to trim our waistlines to reduce the risk of developing diet-related chronic disease."
Margo G. Wootan, nutrition policy director at The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a Washington food advocacy group, said the Obama administration has done more than publish guideline and cross their fingers and hope that Americans eat better.
"They're enacting stronger policies and programs -- like improving school foods, requiring menu labeling in chain restaurants and urging food companies to improve their products and practices," Wootan said in a statement.