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IDFA Provides Comments, Testimony on Dietary Guidelines

Feb 02, 2009

After filing written comments on January 23, IDFA provided oral testimony last week during the second two-day meeting of the federal Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. In both comments and testimony, IDFA stressed the importance of continuing to recommend at least three daily servings of dairy products and of keeping milk and dairy as a food group to encourage.

A scientific review of the federal Dietary Guidelines for Americans is mandated every five years to consider updates to the government's recommendations. The U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services, with joint authority over the guidelines, selected the advisory committee and are holding public committee meetings to gather input. (See "USDA and HHS Announce the Appointment of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee.")

"We feel that recent nutrition science continues to support the inclusion of at least three servings of dairy foods per day and believe that this recommendation should be included in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines," the comments state.

In addition, IDFA encourages the consumption of nutrient-dense foods, particularly dairy products, as well as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and the use of lactose-reduced dairy products as an alternative for consumers who avoid lactose. The comments also call for allowing discretionary calories coming from additives, such as added sugars, which can increase consumption of nutrient-dense foods like flavored milk and yogurt.

Michelle Matto, IDFA assistant director of nutrition and labeling, attended the meeting and provided testimony for the association. She was one of more than 50 speakers representing a variety of food industry organizations, including Dairy Management Inc., as well as health advocates and individuals.

The committee plans to meet three or four more times over the next several months to review research and public comments before preparing its advisory report. IDFA encourages interested member companies to work with IDFA's Nutrition Working Group and to file individual comments, which may be submitted anytime from now through completion of the advisory committee’s report.

The report is expected to be submitted 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.

For more information, contact Matto at or 202-737-4332.


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