IOM Releases New Diet and Exercise Guidelines for U.S. Adults and Children
U.S. adults and children should exercise at least an hour per day -- twice the past recommendation -- to control their weight, according to a report released yesterday by the Institute of Medicine, USA Today reports. In addition, the report provides new guidelines for nutrient intake (Hellmich, USA Today, 9/6). The guidelines, called the Dietary Reference Intakes, take the place of Recommended Dietary Allowances as part of an effort to revise the IOM's dietary recommendations for the first time since 1989 (Squires, Washington Post, 9/6). In the past, IOM guidelines included one caloric intake recommendation for men and one for women. However, the new guidelines recommend that a 30-year-old man should consume between 2,700 to 3,900 calories per day and that a 30-year-old woman should consume 1,900 to 2,700 calories per day, based on the individual's daily activity level (USA Today, 9/6). In addition, the guidelines for the first time recommend a daily intake for carbohydrates -- a minimum of 130 grams per day -- which could "influence the debate about low-carbohydrate vs. a high-carbohydrate approach to dieting," the Post reports. The guidelines also propose the first recommendation for fiber intake -- 38 grams per day for men younger than age 50 and 25 grams per day for women younger than age 50 (Washington Post, 9/6). The IOM report, drafted by a panel of U.S. and Canadian nutrition and exercise scientists, found that individuals with the healthiest diets -- those that minimize the risk of chronic disease -- receive 45% to 65% of their calories from carbohydrates, 20% to 35% from fat and 10% to 35% from protein (USA Today, 9/6). The report also recommended that individuals participate one hour per day in "some type of physical activity" -- which could include participation in different activities for 10 to 15 minutes throughout the day (Washington Post, 9/6).
The IOM report may "lead to significant changes in food labeling" and could "ultimately affect ... the food pyramid," the Los Angeles Times reports. In addition, some food manufacturers could use parts of the report that recommend an increased daily intake of "good fats" to market their products (Fulmer/Allen, Los Angeles Times, 9/6). However, some nutrition and exercise experts disagreed with the guidelines in the IOM report. Dr. Marion Nestle, chair of the department of nutrition and food studies at New York University, called the exercise recommendations "amazing but impractical," adding, "I hardly know anyone ... who exercises an hour a day. This creates a lot of tension between what's ideal and what's possible. ... Wouldn't it have been better to say some exercise is better than none and more is better than some?" (Brody, New York Times, 9/6). The IOM report is available online.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.