The Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) provides science-based advice on what to eat and drink to promote health, help reduce risk of chronic disease, and meet nutrient needs. Guidelines are updated jointly by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) every five years.
The DGA highlights the importance of dietary patterns across the lifespan and provides recommendations specific to each life stage. The DGA is a framework to help people make affordable choices that meet their personal, cultural, and traditional preferences. The 2020-2025 theme, “Make Every Bite Count,” emphasizes these elements:
- Follow a healthy dietary pattern at every life stage.
- Customize and enjoy nutrient-dense food and beverage choices to reflect personal preferences, cultural traditions, and budgetary considerations.
- Focus on meeting food group needs with nutrient-dense foods and beverages, and stay within calorie limits.
- Limit foods and beverages higher in added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium, and limit alcoholic beverages.
ACL's National Senior Nutrition Program Meals
Meals served by ACL's Senior Nutrition Program are required to meet the DGA as well as the Dietary Reference Intakes, although the current public health emergency allows states and tribes to waive this requirement. While this flexibility helps to ensure older adults have food in their homes during this time, the Dietary Reference Intakes and DGA help our seniors stay healthy. ACL encourages the use of these standards to help older adults maintain their health and manage chronic conditions.