Life Times Newsletter

Spring 2006
Vol. 8, No. 2

Dietary guidelines: Test your knowledge

Courtney Tiemann
Dietetics Intern
University of Missouri-Columbia
Dietetics Major

Cynthia Fauser, MS, RD, LD
Nutrition & Health Education Specialist

It has been about one year since the release of the 2005 Dietary Guidelines and MyPyramid by the U. S. Department of Agriculture and the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. Updated jointly every five years, these recommendations are meant to serve as a general guide to promote health and reduce risk for major chronic diseases.

Unfortunately, some of the recommendations are not given in forms that are easy to identify or put to use. Take the following quiz to gauge your knowledge and clear up some common misconceptions.

1. The new MyPyramid graphic shows calorie and serving recommendations based on 2000 calories a day.

    Answer: False. Because the new recommendations are personalized, no recommendations appear on the graphic. People need different amounts of calories as they   
    grow and age: older adults, children, and sedentary women (1600 calories per day); moderately active women, teenage girls, and sedentary men (2000
    calories per day); and active men, teenage boys, and very active women (2600 calories per day).
        To estimate your individual needs, visit and plug in your gender, age, and physical activity level. Keep in mind this is only an estimate. It
    does not take into account your size or if you are trying to lose weight.

2. Most days of the week, adults should be physically active for at least __ minutes per day, and children and teenagers should be physically active for __
    minutes per day.

    A. 20, 45                       C. 30, 60
    B. 30, 30                       D. 60, 60

Answer: C. 30, 60. Adults should be physically active on most days for at least 30 minutes per day, but between 60 and 90 minutes a day of physical activity may be
    required to prevent weight gain and sustain weight loss, respectively. Children and teenagers should be physically active for 60 minutes most days, if not every day.
    Physical activity does not have to be going to the gym or playing on a sports team. Physical activity just means you have purposeful movement such as: taking a brisk
    walk during coffee breaks, yard work, weight training, walking, hiking, swimming, or playing recreational games. The most important thing is that you enjoy the activity.

3. Which of the following are whole grains?

A. Popcorn
B. Multi-grain
C. Bran
D. Whole oat
E. 100% wheat
F. Brown rice

Answers: A. Popcorn, D. Whole oat, F. Brown rice. 
    MyPyramid states half of daily grains should be whole, but sometimes it is difficult to recognize whole grains. Here are a few tips.
First, color is not an indication of a whole grain. Bread can be brown due to molasses or other ingredients. Instead, check the ingredients list on the food label. If the
food is whole grain, the type of whole grain will be listed first.

Second, fiber is another good indication of a whole grain. The percent Daily Value (%DV) listed on the Nutrition Facts label indicates the nutritional composition of a food, but remember these percentages are based on a 2000-calorie diet. In the case of whole grains, the higher the percent Daily Value is for fiber the better.

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University of Missouri Extension Editor: Roxanne T. Miller