How to Make the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Actionable for Americans
With the release of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs) nearly upon us, conversations about making the guidelines actionable for consumers could not be more timely or more important. That’s why I joined fellow 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) member Alice Lichtenstein, D.Sc of Tufts University, and 2005 DGAC member Yvonne Bronner, ScD* of Morgan State University, for the panel discussion “How to Make the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Actionable for Americans” earlier this month at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food & Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE).
Organized by The Ohio State University Food Innovation Center and moderated by Robert Murray, MD, FAAP* of Ohio State, the session first shed knowledge on the process behind the DGAC and then addressed a host of topics, all aimed at uncovering ways to increase consumer understanding and adoption of the recommendations presented in the scientific report. Highlights of our discussion follow. I hope you will read them with interest, and I look forward to continuing this important dialogue on how we can improve the health of all Americans through nutrition policy.
Marian L. Neuhouser, PhD, RD
Cancer Prevention Program
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Highlights from “Collaboration and Engagement: How to Make the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Actionable for Americans” Panel Discussion at FNCE 2015
To improve diet quality, an approach that emphasizes dietary patterns and whole foods is needed. This approach is grounded in scientific evidence and helps consumers build healthy patterns.
The 2015 DGAC conducted a careful review of nutrient intakes of special populations including low income, African American, Hispanic and pregnant women. To increase the availability of data on special populations, the committee also recommended that future NHANES research offers the survey in more languages, recruit more minorities for participation in the survey and that it break out further the diverse dietary intakes within Hispanic and Asian populations.
Improvements to the food environment that address availability, accessibility and affordability will be fundamental to helping consumers make healthier food choices.
Related to the food environment, dietary guidance must take into account the growing consumer tendency toward eating away-from-home.
Nutrient density, added sugar and the opportunity for industry to support consumer adoption of the guidelines were also touched on in the discussion.
As a complement to our main story on the DGAs, we’re re-sharing the key takeaways from the Ohio State University Food Innovation Center’s May 2015 DGA Summit. The summit convened nationally recognized experts in the fields of nutrition, health and public policy to elevate the importance of implementing Dietary Guidelines that feature relevant, practical and actionable nutrition guidance for diverse consumers across the nation.
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