On the other hand, Dr. Eliana Perrin, of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, told MedPage Today and ABC in an email that there are important secondary effects from the guidelines.
"While most Americans don't read the guidelines cover to cover, they become an important source of evidence-based and evidence-informed information and the basis for many federal programs. Their impact is wider because of this," she said.
The full 112-page USDA/HHS publication, "Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010," also includes tips on kitchen hygiene, safe cooking and refrigeration temperatures — and other methods for avoiding food-borne diseases.
The kitchen and cooking tips were among the document's 16 appendices.
Those appendices also include dietary recommendations for specific population groups such as children, pregnant women, and people at high risk for metabolic diseases; suggestions on interpretation of food labels; vegetarian and vegan adaptations of the guidelines; and lists of common foods rich in nutrients that many Americans don't get enough of — including vitamin D, calcium, and fiber.