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2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans:

On January 31st the much-anticipated 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans were released. In order to address the issue of obesity among adults and children, two key concepts underscore the guidelines: 1) balancing calories to maintain body weight, 2) choosing nutrient-dense foods and beverages. As a nutrient dense (often referred to as nutrient rich) food choice, dairy plays prominently, and Americans are encouraged to “increase intake of fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products.” The guidelines note that dairy consumption is linked to improved bone health and associated with reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. For most of the population, recommendations remain consistent with the 2005 Guidelines at 3 cups per day; however, for children ages 4-8, recommendations have increased to 2.5 cups per day.

The guidelines note that Americans often fall short of intake recommendations for potassium, calcium, vitamin D, and dietary fiber. Dairy is an excellent source of the top three nutrients of concern, and often “pouring one more” is an ideal way to fill this gap in nutrition.

Fat-free chocolate milk is listed as an example of a nutrient dense food that contains some added sugars, however, it is not classified as a “sugar-sweetened beverage.”

Based on the latest science and these most recent guidelines, dairy remains an accessible and affordable cornerstone of what it means to make healthy choices for lifelong health. The following resources and education materials may help you communicate these guidelines with your community:

For more information and educational materials related to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, visit:


This graphic replaces the iconic pyramid and provides a scalable, visual to educate consumers about creating a balanced, healthy diet according to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines.

Tip Sheets - the following are sheets that highlight how to use the new graphic and offer simple tips on how to build healthy meals with nutrient dense foods.