The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee today submitted a nearly 600-page scientific report of recommendations to the USDA and Health and Human Services (HHS). The recommendations, which will help guide a government panel in drafting new Dietary Guidelines for Americans by the end of 2015, continues to call for Americans to reduce their intake of saturated fat and sodium, and to boost their consumption of fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts.
Recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans are intended for Americans ages 2 years and over, including those at increased risk of chronic disease, and provide the basis for federal food and nutrition policy and education initiatives. The guidelines encourage Americans to focus on eating a healthful dietone that focuses on foods and beverages that help achieve and maintain a healthy weight, promote health and prevent disease.
USDA and HHS will consider the report, along with input from other federal agencies and comments from the public, as they develop the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans slated to be released at the end of the year.
America’s obesity epidemic weighed heavily in the development of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The 2010 guidelines placed stronger emphasis on reducing calorie consumption, increasing physical activity and choosing healthy foods, including more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein sources, and fat-free and low-fat dairy items while limiting sodium, saturated and trans fats, added sugars and refined grains.
Once again, obesity was a main focus in the 2015 recommendations. According to the report, “the overall body of evidence examined by the 2015 DGAC identifies that a healthy dietary pattern is higher in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low- or non-fat dairy, seafood, legumes, and nuts; moderate in alcohol (among adults); lower in red and processed meat; and low in sugar-sweetened foods and drinks and refined grains."
The report included detailed information on a number of key areas: Food and Nutrient Intakes, and Health: Current Status and Trends; Dietary Patterns, Foods and Nutrients, and Health Outcomes; Individual Diet and Physical Activity Behavior Change; Food Environment and Settings; and Food Sustainability and Safety.
In the coming days, I will examine each of these sections and what the recommendations mean to the food and beverage industry now and in the future.