Historical Events

Dietary Guidelines for Americans released : "Avoid too much total fat and SFA"

Dietary Fat Recommendations

1980 (inaugural edition of Dietary Guidelines for Americans), 1985:

• Avoid too much total fat and SFA.

Thus, in February 1980, despite the lack of an endorsement from Ahrens’s committee, Hegsted went ahead with the publication of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the first set ever issued to the American public.XIV Eventually, these guidelines became the basis for the USDA food pyramid (which has morphed into the USDA’s “My Plate” in recent years). Despite having grown from the work of a single congressional staffer and his single academic advisor and despite the lack of endorsement from nutrition experts, these are the now most broadly recognizable food guidelines in the United States, familiar to all schoolchildren and highly influential in determining school lunches and nutrition education across the country.

They are distinct from Dietary Goals, which the McGovern committee had published and which set the policy from which Hegsted’s Dietary Guidelines flowed. Dietary Guidelines for Americans has been issued by the USDA jointly with the US Department of Health and Human Services every five years since 1980.

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