The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee today submitted recommendations for the 2015 edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. The recommendations included in the 571-page report focused mainly on healthy eating patterns.

“The overall body of evidence examined by the 2015 DGAC identifies that a healthy dietary pattern is higher in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low- or non-fat dairy, seafood, legumes, and nuts; moderate in alcohol (among adults); lower in red and processed meats; and low in sugar-sweetened foods and drinks and refined grains,” the committee reported.

Overall, the dairy category received strong endorsements that were consistent with the 2010 Guidelines, which supported consumption of lowfat and fat-free milk and dairy products. The committee’s report affirmed that dairy foods are excellent sources of key nutrients that are under-consumed, including vitamin D, calcium, and potassium.

‘Dairy Provides Numerous Health Benefits’

The report acknowledged dairy’s health benefits, stating, “Consumption of dairy foods provides numerous health benefits, including lower risk of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease and obesity.” While no recommendations were included for the number of servings of dairy products, the report reinforces the importance of dairy in a healthy diet, which included vegetarian and Mediterranean eating patterns.  

IDFA believes that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will likely continue policies that emphasize and promote the consumption of lowfat and fat-free dairy, but it may move away from sugar-sweetened foods and products high in sodium. The report could have implications for cheese, yogurt and flavored milk, although the committee specifically noted that “sweetened flavored milks and yogurts contribute only 4 percent of total added sugars intake.”

IDFA will continue to review the report findings and will provide an in-depth analysis to members next week. Read the “Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee.”

The U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Agriculture (USDA) will consider this report, along with input from other federal agencies and comments from the public as they develop the Dietary Guidelines, which will be released later this year.

The deadline for written comments is April 8, 2015. HHS and USDA will host a public oral comment meeting on March 24, 2015, and meeting registration will open on or around March 9, 2015. IDFA will be submitting comments and participating in the meeting next month.

For more information, contact Cary Frye, IDFA vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs, at, or Michelle Matto, IDFA’s consultant on nutrition and labeling, at