FFL Updates

New Dietary Guidelines (2015 to 2020)

New Dietary Guidelines (2015 to 2020)

Posted February 2016

Every five years, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS) and the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) jointly publish a report containing nutritional dietary information and guidelines for the general public. The new guidelines were published in December 2015 and are now available as the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

New Overarching Guidelines

The Dietary Guidelines are designed “to help all individuals ages 2 years and older and their families consume a healthy, nutritionally adequate diet” (USDHHS/USDA, 2015). They add to previous guidelines by providing five overarching guidelines:

  1. Follow a healthy eating pattern across the lifespan. All food and beverage choices matter. Choose a healthy eating pattern at an appropriate calorie level to help achieve and maintain a healthy body weight, support nutrient adequacy, and reduce the risk of chronic disease.
  2. Focus on variety, nutrient density, and amount. To meet nutrient needs within calorie limits, choose a variety of nutrient-dense foods across and within all food groups in recommended amounts.
  3. Limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats, and reduce sodium intake. Consume an eating pattern low in added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium. Cut back on foods and beverages higher in these components to amounts that fit within healthy eating patterns.
  4. Shift to healthier food and beverage choices.Choose nutrient-dense foods and beverages across and within all food groups in place of less healthy choices. Consider cultural and personal preferences to make these shifts easier to accomplish and maintain.
  5. Support healthy eating patterns for all.Everyone has a role in helping to create and support healthy eating patterns in multiple settings nationwide, from home to school to work to communities.

Importance of Physical Activity

The USDHHS/USDA report acknowledges the importance of physical activity as a healthy lifestyle that accompanies healthy eating in promoting healthy living. The report notes that “a large body of evidence now shows that healthy eating patterns and regular physical activity can help people achieve and maintain good health and reduce the risk of chronic disease throughout all stages of the lifespan” (USDHHS/USDA, 2015).


Unlike previous guidelines that have introduced a new model for healthy eating with each new revision, the 2015 report retains MyPlate as the model for healthy eating (see chapter 3 of the guidelines).


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th Edition. December 2015. Available at


When referencing this update, feel free to use the following citation:

Corbin, C.B. (February 2016). New Dietary Guidelines (2015-2020). Posted on

Google Classroom: Uses in Health and Fitness Education

Shape of the Nation Report™ - 2016

Shape of the Nation Report™ - 2016

The 2016 Shape of the Nation™ provides a look at the state of physical education in the United States. In addition to providing information about the health benefits of physical activity for youth, the report includes recommendations for action, information for promoting policies favorable to physical education in schools, and state-by-state summaries of policies relating to physical education programs.

An executive summary of the report is available at:

The full report is available at:

President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition Announces 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients

Sports & Nutrition Announces 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients

Posted May 2016

Chuck Corbin, co-author of Fitness for Life, is one of five recipients of the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Awards from the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. Presented annually since 2007, the Lifetime Achievement Award honors individuals whose careers have greatly contributed to the advancement or promotion of physical activity, fitness, sports and nutrition-related programs nationwide. Recipients are selected by the Council’s members based on the span and scope of their career, the estimated number of lives they have touched, and the impact of their legacy.

FDA Updates Food Labels

Posted May 2016

On May 20, 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “. . . finalized the new Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods to reflect new scientific information, including the link between diet and chronic diseases such as obesity and heart disease. The new label will make it easier for consumers to make better informed food choices.” The look of the new label will be similar to the current design that has been used for the past 20 years. Major changes in the new label are shown in the figure below.

Students and teachers are encouraged to compare the current labels (in your textbook) to the new labels. Large manufacturers will have until July 2018 to begin using the new labels. Small manufacturers will have until July 2019 to begin using the labels. More information, including answers to questions about the new labels, is available at the website below. All quotes and the figure shown above are also from this site.


When referencing this update, feel free to use the following citation: Corbin, C.B. (May 2016). FDA Updates Food Labels. Posted on

Medical Readiness for Physical Activity

Medical Readiness for Physical Activity

The ACSM has published a new version of “Recommendations for Exercise Preparticipation Health Screening.” These new recommendations are an update of the most recent ACSM's Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription (9th ed.) published in 2014.

The information on pages 73-74 in your text is not affected by the new recommendations. Also, the information presented for Web Topic 2 in chapter 3 is still correct.The PAR-Q (discussed at the link) is still useful because it focuses on signs and symptoms, not risk factors (which are deleted from the new recommendations).

Although information in your text is not affected by the new recommendations, you might be interested to learn what has changed. The recommendations no longer use CVD risk factors as a central part of the screening process. Note that although risk factor screening is no longer part of preparticipation screening, it is important for helping to identify disease risk.

The change in recommendations was made because CVD risk factors are not predictive of adverse CV events and current guidelines may be too conservative (Megal & Riebe, 2016). Extremely conservative guidelines might discourage physical activity participation.

The new recommendations focus on the following:

1. The individual’s current level of physical activity

2.Presence of signs or symptoms of known cardiovascular, metabolic, or renal disease

3.The desired exercise intensity because these variables have been identified as risk modulators of exercise-related cardiovascular events (Reibe et al., 2015)

For those who are interested, additional information about the new recommendations is available in the following references.

Megal, M., & Riebe, D. (2016). New preparticipation health screening recommendations: What exercise professionals need to know. ACSM’s Health and Fitness Journal, 20(3), 22-27.

Riebe, D., et al. (2015). Updating ACSM's recommendations for exercise preparticipation health screening. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 47(11), 2473–2479

Source: C.B. Corbin (July 2016) Based on previous references.

Mountain Pointe High promotes lifelong physical activity

Mountain Pointe High promotes lifelong physical activity

The physical education program at Mountain Pointe High School was featured recently at a research meeting in Boston.

The research showed that 20 years after graduation, students who took Mountain Pointe’s Fitness for Life class were more active than they were in high school and much more active than typical American adults.

Further, the majority of the former students remember using the textbook for the class and report that they still use information from the text and the class. Nearly all (92.2 percent) considered themselves to be currently well informed about fitness and exercise.

Read More

Opioid Epidemic

Opioid Epidemic

The U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recently focused attention on the opioid epidemic in the United States. The abuse of opioids is a very serious public health problem in the US. In 2015, 33 thousand people died from opioid overdoses. 12.5 million people misused prescription opioids. To learn more about the opioid epidemic, click on the following links.

Drug overdose deaths in the United States continue to increase in 2015
About the Epidemic

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