Diet, Nutrition, Exercise, and Health

Course Outline

This course provides the latest report of the United State Department of Agriculture on nutritional needs and health of the citizens of the U.S. It includes scientific evidence-based material and facts that form the basis for the recent publication Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005. This course includes the dietary guidelines, but goes into much more depth. By law (Public Law 101-445, Section 301), the Secretaries of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) issue a report at least every 5 years that "shall contain nutritional and dietary information and guidelines for the general public." Every 5 years, an expert Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is appointed to make recommendations to the Secretaries concerning revision of Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The recommendations are to be targeted to the general public age 2 years and older and based on the preponderance of scientific and medical knowledge that is current at the time of publication of the Committee's report.

Because of its focus on health promotion and risk reduction, Dietary Guidelines form the basis of Federal food, nutrition education, and information programs. By law, the Dietary Guidelines is to be "promoted by each Federal agency in carrying out any Federal food, nutrition, or health program." This means that the Dietary Guidelines must be applied in menu planning in programs such as the National School Lunch Program; in educational materials used by the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and by many other Federal programs; and in setting the Healthy People objectives for the Nation. Using Dietary Guidelines helps policymakers, educators, clinicians, and others to speak with one voice on nutrition and health.

Learning Objectives

1. Explain the overall purpose of the USDA nutrition guidelines.
2. Describe the process used to develop the report on nutrition and health and to develop the recommendations and guidelines.
3. Identify the key recommendations of the Advisory Committee and who they will be useful for.
4. Discuss nine major messages that are supported by the committee’s findings on nutrition and health.
5. Identify one important change in the 2005 guidelines that differs from recommendations in previous editions of the guidelines.
6. Discuss the major premise of the 2005 guidelines.
7. Identify three population groups that have special nutritional needs according to the committee report.
8. Explain the approach the committee recommends concerning calorie intake.
9. Explain the approach the committee recommends concerning physical activity.
10. Describe how to choose carbohydrates that improve nutrition and well being.
11. Explain the importance of fruits and vegetables in maintaining health and preventing disease and chronic illness.
12. Discuss the value of whole grains in a healthy diet.
13. Identify the nutrients that are provided in milk and milk products.
14. Explain how to use salt safely and appropriately in preparing and consuming foods.
15. Define appropriate use of alcohol and the pros and cons of intake.
16. Describe methods to handle foods safely and prevent foodborne diseases.
17. Explain the food pattern developed by the USDA in response to the committee recommendations and the 2005 nutrition guidelines.
18. Identify societal changes and educational programs that are needed to facilitate healthy diets and lifestyles among minority groups and economically disadvantaged persons.
19. Identify four advantages of a healthy diet and regular physical activity.
20. Identify three tools that can be used to assess adherence to the dietary guidelines.
21. Discuss eight chronic illnesses that are attributed to poor nutritional intake and dietary habits.
22. Identify dietary changes and behaviors that can have positive impact on each of the eight chronic illnesses.
23. Describe how the food intake pattern/food pyramid was developed by the committee.
24. Differentiate between essential and discretionary calories.
25. Identify ways to increase the number of discretionary calories in an individual’s diet.
26. Explain the classification of fatty acids.
27. Explain why the committee emphasized fats in the dietary guidelines.
28. Discuss the relationship between intake of different types of fat and health.
29. Explain why cholesterol intake should be low.
30. Identify adverse effects of a diet high in saturated fats.
31. Explain benefits of eating fish high in n-3 fatty acids.
32. Discuss dietary positions taken by other health-related organizations and their relationship to the committee’s findings and recommendations.
33. Identify the committee’s recommendations for the intake of sugars and starches.
34. Explain the meaning of glycemic index.
35. Describe benefits of carbohydrates and fibers.
36. Discuss the relationship of carbohydrate intake and energy.
37. Describe the relationship between intake of fruits and vegetables and the prevention of cancer.
38. Discuss the relationship between the intake of whole grains and reduction of chronic diseases.
39. Identify the nutrients in milk and milk products.
40. Describe benefits of adequate intake of milk and milk products.
41. Discuss the committee’s findings and report on adequate fluid intake.
42. Discuss salt and potassium and benefits/effects of adequate/excess intake of each.
43. Explain the health consequences of consuming moderate amounts of alcoholic beverages.
44. Identify the major causes of foodborne diseases in America today.
45. Explain the messages of the “FightBAC” food safety program.
46. Compare handwashing and hand sanitizers as methods of preventing the spread of foodborne diseases.
47. Identify the major conclusions of the advisory committee report on the dietary guidelines.
48. Explain how food labels can be used to improve dietary choices.
49. Describe the components of the Dietary Refenence Intakes (DRI).
50. Describe sample menus that constitute a healthy dietary pattern.

Course Contents

  Executive Summary
1 Aiming To Meet Nutrient Intake Recommendation
2 Energy
3. Discretionary Calories
4. Fats
5. Carbohydrates
6. Selected Food Groups (Fruits and Vegetables, Whole Grains, and Milk Products)
7. Fluid and Electrolytes
8. Ethanol
9. Food Safety
10. Major Conclusions
11 Translating the Science into Dietary Guidelines



"Very interesting course! Thanks so much!" - S.R., RN, CA

"The course was difficult but very worthwhile. I learned a lot and not only can I use the material for myself but for my family. Thank you!" - M.K., MI

"Some of the information was very practical. Other areas had a lot of information to process. I liked the summary section at the end. It was helpful to put it all together. I found the questions on the first page number 3-6 difficult to answer. I could not find where these questions had been addressed. Over all the course was helpful and a good resource." - P.H., RN, CA



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