Revisiting the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans Summit
Panelists listen as Lucile Adams-Campbell highlights the needs of vulnerable populations.
On May 21, more than 200 government officials, academic experts, health advocates and industry representatives gathered at the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) Summit in Washington, D.C., to explore ways this foundational nutrition policy can be implemented for greater understanding and adoption. The event was convened by The Ohio State University in partnership with National Geographic, and supported in part by the Dannon Institute, where I serve on the board of directors. Panelists, speakers and guests shared views on creating guidelines that are simple, actionable and practical for all Americans, keeping in mind the diverse needs of different life stages, ethnicities, cultures and socio-economic strata.
A recurring theme was that of shared responsibility across stakeholders — government, industry, healthcare, academia and NGO groups — to support the development and implementation of the guidelines at a community level. I had the honor of participating in the discussion as a speaker on a panel focused on effective behavior change to support healthier dietary choices. One of my wishes for our future is to reach a tipping point where healthy choices are the social norm, where modeling through peers creates behavior change. For many people, the challenge of building a healthier diet is less about knowing what they should do and why, but simply about access to healthier options
— options that also meet their needs for convenience, cost and taste.
The event brought to light innovative ideas for activating around the release of the guidelines later this year. As we all work to bring the guidelines into practice, basics such as how-to educational tools on food preparation and cooking, or culinary traditions of cultures, can help meet the needs of a diverse audience. And by working through public and private partnerships, we can do more to increase access to healthy foods that are affordable and of good quality to neighborhoods of all income levels.
Discussing consumer behavior as a panelist alongside my peers.I left the Summit feeling energized and hopeful that we can foster a healthier society, with smart Dietary Guidelines playing a central role in initiating a cultural shift toward healthy eating. As we await the release of the 2015 guidelines later this year, I echo Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown's message
to summit attendees to continue engaging with one another to identify and advance practical policy solutions that will help improve the health of all Americans. And be on the lookout for the collective recommendations of DGA Summit participants, compiled by The Ohio State University Food Innovation Center, in next month's One Yogurt Every Day newsletter.
In the meantime, I invite you to explore the videos, photos, tweets and media coverage of the Summit. Also, be sure to forward this message on to your colleagues and peers who are working to improve the health of Americans and are interested in the ongoing conversation around the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Leslie Lytle, PhD
Professor and Chair, Department of Health Behavior
Gillings School of Global Public Health
University of North Carolina
“…Top White House food policy adviser Debra Eschmeyer sat in on a panel at the Dietary Guidelines for Americans Summit hosted by National Geographic and Ohio State University, and though she wouldn't speak definitively about whether the
administration would form a Commission on Food and Nutrition Policy, she did say she thought it was a good idea to get voices at the same table to discuss the food issues facing Americans…” Read more(after clicking, scroll down to find the story on the DGA Summit halfway down the page).
By Mary Beth Albright, National Geographic, "The Plate"
May 21, 2015
“Get a room of food scientists, dieticians, and politicians together to discuss 571-page eating rules for a few hours, and you can be sure there will be a lot of opinions…” Read more.
“The panel sessions discussed private-public partnerships that would encourage behavior change and address the needs of special populations to ensure that all Americans can access the Dietary Guidelines, understand them and can use them to guide their daily diets…”Read more.
“According to the National Eating Trends compiled by the NPD Group, the average American consumer meets 70 percent of the dietary advice contained in the guidelines only seven days out of the year, just 2 percent of the time…” Read more.
Michael McGinnis discusses the evolution of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
“'It is critical that the dietary guidelines provide nutrition advice that addresses issues that range from cultural relevance to access to the high-nutrient foods the DGAC considers under- (or over-) consumed while respecting issues of cost, preference and home cooking facilities,’ said Cheryl Achterberg, dean of The Ohio State College of Education and Human Ecology, and a member of the 2010 DGAC…” Read more.