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Dietary recommendations for healthy Americans age 2 and older about food choices that promote health, specifically with respect to prevention or delay of chronic diseases. These guidelines, which were first published in 1980, are issued every five years by USDA /HHS to reflect the latest nutrition knowledge. The guidelines will again be issued in 2000. Currently, there are seven messages that concern eating a variety of foods, balancing the foods eaten with physical activity, choosing plenty of grains, fruits and vegetables, choosing a diet low in fats, cholesterol, salt and sugar and limiting alcoholic beverages. The food guide pyramid is a practical consumer guide to using the dietary guidelines.

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