New federal diet guidelines to emphasize calories, exercise

Wednesday, January 12th 2005, 10:10 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The government on Wednesday told Americans to slash their calorie intake and exercise 30 to 90 minutes a day, updating guidelines that advised people to lose weight but gave few specifics on how to do it.

The new dietary guidelines will be used to update the familiar food pyramid, which most people recognize but few heed. The revision will be the pyramid's first since the Agriculture Department created it 12 years ago.

Issued by the Agriculture and Health and Human Services departments, the guidelines strengthened the government's advice on whole grains, telling people to choose whole grains such as whole wheat bread instead of refined ones like white bread or bagels.

People should also eat a lot more vegetables and fruit, the guidelines said.

"Eating fewer calories while increasing physical activity are the keys to controlling body weight," the guidelines said.