Last month, experts from food and nutrition policy, academic and industry backgrounds gathered for a summit at The Ohio State University’s Food Innovation Center (OSU FIC) to discuss The New Dietary Guidelines for Americans: Preparing for the 2015 Release. This inaugural summit covered topics relevant to the current American diet, implications of the nation’s foremost nutrition policy document and how important it is for all of us to work together to create a positive change in dietary patterns.
Nearly 200 people attended and actively participated in this lively event, and another 75+ participants joined the conversation online via webcast. The breadth and depth of attendees and their shared expertise was the “secret sauce” of this unique summit. Attendees included current and former DGAC members, USDA CNPP, USDA ERS, leading nutrition, public health and behavioral science academics, food industry leaders, as well as WIC and extension professionals who had an open dialogue with each other on our shared challenges and creative solutions for making this upcoming round of Dietary Guidelines more impactful.
We challenged each other to think about the ways food plays a role as a driver in positive health outcomes from life stage perspectives, and shared insights from social and behavioral change research. We also shared experiences in implementing locally driven food and health programming that give insight to making the guidelines applicable in everyday life. Our keynote speakers, Roger Clemens, PhD, Past President of the Institute of Food Technologists and 2010 DGA Committee Member, and Angie Tagtow, Executive Director of CNPP, reviewed the history of the dietary guidelines with an eye to increasing their effectiveness in the future. Throughout it all, collaboration and partnerships were clear themes, as well as a shared responsibility for educating and mobilizing a healthier America.
Agriculture producers and manufacturers also play a vital role in helping us bring about positive change in dietary patterns. Industry panelist Philippe Caradec, Vice President of Corporate Affairs for The Dannon Company, spoke about the company’s mission to bring health through food to the largest number of people. Also on the industry panel was Julie Jones, MS, RD, LD, Director of Food and Nutrition Services at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, who shared insights on how food in the workplace and in hospitals is evolving. Panelist Robert Miller, Divisional Vice President at Abbott Nutrition, underscored the need for health professional and consumer educational programs. If you were unable to attend in person or via the webcast, you can experience all of our speaker sessions, statements and panels by watching videos from the event on our website.
But we are not done. We at The Ohio State University look forward to hosting a second summit in Washington, DC in the spring, following the release of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s scientific recommendations. We believe it takes all of us working together, as the guidelines are jointly reviewed by HHS and USDA, in order to help inform the creation of the final policy, which is expected to be published at the end of 2015. Be sure to visit the OSU FIC website for recaps of the November 20th event, and stay tuned for more information about our second summit in 2015.
Cheryl Achterberg, PhD
Dean of Ohio State University
College of Education and Human Ecology
“Food industry summit examines the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans”
By Jim Carper, Dairy Foods
November 20, 2014
“…Americans are consuming only 52% of the recommended amount of dairy products. If they ate one yogurt a day, they would achieve 85% of the goal for dairy. Nutrient-dense dairy foods deliver three of the four nutrients that Americans lack of on a daily basis: calcium, potassium and Vitamin D.” Read more.
“Food industry trying to put U.S. dietary guide into practice”
By JD Malone, The Columbus Dispatch
November 27, 2014
“…these federal dietary guidelines are aimed at helping Americans make better choices as they eat. The guidelines affect both Americans getting used to the MyPlate recommendation of more fruits and vegetables, and also the companies producing much of their food.” Read more.
One Yogurt Every Day Nutrition Advisor Constance Brown-Riggs, MSEd, RD, CDE, CDN, presented a poster at the Minority Health and Health Disparities Grantees’ Conference on December 2 that encouraged nutrition policy as a key approach for reducing health disparities. She presented research showing that African Americans and Hispanics are disproportionately affected by obesity, diabetes and heart disease, and outlined how improved nutrition can serve as a solution. The poster stressed the importance of consuming calcium, potassium and vitamin D – nutrients of concern in the American diet that can be found in many yogurts. It described how minority populations are often lacking in these key nutrients because they frequently avoid dairy due to real or perceived concerns of lactose intolerance. She suggested yogurt as an easily digestible dairy option for many people, both because it contains, on average, less lactose per serving than milk and because of the presence of lactase producing bacteria.
The poster highlighted how yogurt provides a convenient, lowfat, nutrient-rich protein source and brings critical shortfall nutrients in an easily digestible, lowfat dairy option. Frequent yogurt consumption is also associated with better diet quality, healthier dietary patterns and less weight gain over time. Constance presented a WIC pilot study that was an integral part of the effort to include yogurt in the WIC package as a model for promoting effective nutrition policy. The poster recommended that the nutrition contributions yogurt can provide as part of the revised WIC packages are of value and should be considered as the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee provides input to the 2015 dietary guidelines. Through her poster session, Constance focused conversation around nutrition policy that helps foster healthy choices with attention to minority health disparities.
Recently published research by Mu Chen, Qi Sun, Edward Giovannucci, Dariush Mozaffarian, JoAnn E Manson, Walter C Willett and Frank B Hu shows that a “Higher intake of yogurt is associated with a reduced risk of T2D, whereas other dairy foods and consumption of total dairy are not appreciably associated with incidence of T2D.” Additionally, the same research publication states: “yogurt intake was consistently and inversely associated with T2D risk across the three cohorts with the pooled [hazard ratio] HR of 0.83 (0.75, 0.92) for one serving/day increment (P for trend <0.001)." Finally, the publication concludes: "The consistent findings for yogurt suggest that it can be incorporated into a healthy dietary pattern." As the next round of Dietary Guidelines continue to be developed, the growing evidence on the benefits of yogurt across age groups should be considered. To read more about the research conducted for this study, visit the BMC Medicine website.