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New Dietary Guidelines Unveiled

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Dr. Kim Mulvihill reporting The Federal government unveiled new dietary guidelines for Americans this week. On the healthbeat, Dr. Kim Mulvihill shows us why the update couldn't come at a more urgent time.

Two out of three Americans are either overweight or obese. Yet we spend $42 billion a year on diet books and products. What's wrong with the picture?

"Most people think chips are a vegetable!"

Americans do get confused about what or how much to eat. That's one reason for the food pyramid. Most people know what that is, right?

"I vaguely know what it is.. but I don't follow it."

"I would follow common sense were I not addicted to burritos."

Eighty percent of Americans recognize the pyramid. Few follow it. Many want a magic pill.

"There's not a pill, there's not going to be a pill. So let's face it America."

America's top health official today gave the reality check, and a list of new dietary guidelines. The new guidelines make it simple.. calories in and calories out.

The main message, Americans need to balance how much they eat with how much they exercise. And, when it comes to food, every calorie counts, so don't waste them on junk.

"Choose more fruits and vegetables, choose more whole grains rich in nutrients and reduce your intake of solid fat, added sugar, alcoholic bevarages, which really don't contain any nutrition."

Dr. Janet Kind of Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute chaired the advisory committee which led to the new guidelines.

"Our committee frankly was shocked at the high prevalence of inadequete nutrient intake in the diets of Americans," she says.

The committee reviewed all the scientific evidence. The government reviewed all public commetn, including a letter from Chef Neil of San Francisco.

Geller is a chef at Wired magazine as well as a personal chef. His key request for a new pyramid? Add more exercise. And that's what he got.

"I think that's great. I really didn't think they would do it, but i'm glad they did," he says.

The new guidelines urge Americans to exercise 30 - 60 minutes most days of the week for good health; and up to 90 minutes if you want to lose weight.

They are also getting away from "servings" and making it really clearand simple - usings cups and ounces instead. For example, four and a half cups of fruits and veggies every day.

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