The scientific review of the federal Dietary Guidelines for Americans, mandated every five years, kicked-off last week with the first of several public meetings set to consider updates to the government's recommendations. Based on the most recent nutritional and scientific research, the Dietary Guidelines also serve as the basis for federal nutrition policies, such as the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs.
The U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services, with joint authority over the guidelines, recently selected 13 members to serve on the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. Prominent medical and scientific researchers from across the country, the members were selected for their expertise in dietary intake, human metabolism, behavioral change and physical activity. (See "USDA and HHS Announce the Appointment of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee" for list of committee members.)
The committee is expected to meet four to five times over the next 12 months to review research and public comments before preparing its advisory report. The first meeting was held last Thursday and Friday in Washington, D.C.
"The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee opened its deliberations with summaries of the important nutrition issues affecting the health and nutrition of Americans," said Michelle Matto, IDFA assistant director of nutrition and labeling. "Because dairy products are nutrient-dense foods that provide many of the nutrients that are currently lacking in the American diet, we hope the committee's report will reflect the numerous studies that show Americans should be consuming more dairy."
According to Matto, who attended the meeting last week, several subcommittees reported on the issues that they believe the Guidelines should address, such as recommendations on intake of sodium, vitamin D, added sugar, omega-3 fats and calories. The committee also discussed obesity and weight maintenance, nutrient density of foods and which food groups to encourage.
The committee is expected to submit its report to the Secretaries of Agriculture and Health and Human Services in the spring of 2010. Using the committee's findings, USDA and HHS will work to develop the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPyramid, which will be used as the basis for federal nutrition programs and consumer education.
Comments may be submitted anytime from now through completion of the Advisory Committee’s report. IDFA plans to submit comments to the committee during its series of public meetings and encourages member companies to file comments as well. IDFA will work with the members of IDFA's Ad Hoc Working Group on Nutrition to develop these comments.
For more information, contact Matto at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-737-4332.