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High proportions of foods recommended for consumption by United States Dietary Guidance contain solid fats and added sugar: results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2007-2008)

Lisa Jahns1* and Sibylle Kranz2

Author Affiliations

1 Research Nutritionist, United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center, 2420 2nd Ave N, Grand Forks, ND 58203, USA

2 Department of Nutrition Science, College of Health and Human Sciences, Purdue University, 204 Stone Hall, 700W. State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA

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Nutrition Journal 2014, 13:23  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-13-23

Published: 20 March 2014



The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) recommend that individuals age two years and older reduce intakes of solid fats (SoF) and added sugars (AS; together SoFAS). MyPlate illustrates the proportions of five major food groups to promote healthy eating (Vegetables, Grains, Protein Foods, Fruits and Dairy).


To assess if the foods currently consumed by Americans are in concordance with the DGA, food consumption data from What We Eat In America, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (WWEIA-NHANES) 2007ā€“2008 (nā€‰=ā€‰8 527) was used to estimate the proportion of foods that contained SoFAS and to report them by food group. Weighted analysis was conducted to be nationally representative.


The Dairy group contained the highest proportion (93%) of either SoF or AS, followed by Grains (70% SoF; 70% AS; 50% both). Fruits contained the least SoFAS (7%).


Results suggest that the high proportion of SoFAS in each recommended food group makes it challenging for Americans to reduce their intake of SoFAS.

Solid fats; Added sugars; WWEIA; NHANES, Diet quality