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About Nutrition Notes

Michelle Albee Matto Nutrition Notes Blog offers insight, news and analysis on nutrition, as well as food labeling. The blog is written by Michelle Albee Matto, who worked in IDFA's regulatory department for eight years, most recently as assistant director for nutrition and labeling.

Michelle now works exclusively for IDFA as a nutrition and labeling consultant. Contact her at

Michelle is a registered dietician and holds a Master of Public Health degree from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and a Bachelor of Science degree in nutrition from Russell Sage College in Troy, N.Y. She is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Society for Nutrition Education.

Nutrition Notes

Start Simple

Mar 25, 2019

Earlier this month, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced an updated nutrition education program to remind Americans of the importance of low-fat and fat-free dairy in the diet, along with other messages from the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) and MyPlate.

Start Simple with MyPlate” provides numerous nutrition messages for consumers, recommending small changes they can make to their food and beverage choices to help meet a healthy eating pattern. This includes messages about adding low-fat and fat-free dairy to meals and snacks, as well as modeling dairy consumption for children. The messages are based on the 2015-2020 DGA and the MyPlate graphic that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) developed to share those DGA recommendations.

While these updated messages are being publicized, the process to develop the 2020-2025 DGA is underway. The first public meeting of the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee will take place this week in Washington, D.C. Members of the public are welcome to attend in person or via webcast.

Additional public meetings will happen over the next few months and will allow for public comments. After consideration of the research questions, the DGAC will issue a report making their recommendations for the 2020-2025 DGA. Then USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will finalize the DGA. The recommendations of the 2020-2025 DGA will then serve as the basis for nutrition education messages, like “Start Simple with MyPlate,” and the nutritional standards for federal nutrition programs.

For IDFA members who are interested in learning more about the Dietary Guidelines process, please contact Michelle Matto, IDFA’s consultant on nutrition and labeling, at

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