Health & Fitness: Advice on Eating Right

Two new reports stir confusion about a healthy diet

For years official nutritional advice in the U.S. was straightforward. Eat a balanced diet, Americans were told, chosen from the four major food groups (meat, fruits and vegetables, milk, and bread and cereal). No longer. Today a free-for-all of confusing directives and proscriptions bombards the public. Last week bewilderment was again stirred by two events: the release of a new set of federal dietary guidelines and the leak to the New York Times of a controversial working paper from the National Academy of Sciences proposing to lower the recommended dietary allowances, or RDAs, of some vitamins and minerals.

The dietary guidelines,...

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