Foodfacts.com has learned that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) will be reviewing the Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. This precursor, prepared by 13 independent experts in the fields of nutrition and health from universities throughout the nation, reflects the most current, comprehensive, evidence-based nutritional science and will be the basis for the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
This report, along with feedback from the medical and nutritional communities, as well as John Q. Public, will be chewed on, debated, edited and reformulated into a final policy document to be released at the end of the year.
First published in 1980, the Dietary Guidelines are mandated by Congress to be reviewed, updated and released by USDA and HHS every five years. The Dietary Guidelines contain the latest, science-based nutritional and dietary guidance for the general public. They are the foundation for federal nutrition education and promotion programs, as well as the basis for federal food assistance programs, and the guidelines used to create the formulas in the nutritional information labels. What makes this document even more important this year is the campaign against childhood obesity taking hold not only in the White House (thanks to the First Lady), but in the media, in restaurants and professional kitchens, and in our schools.
Kim Severson, of The New York Times, provides a synopsis of the report, including:
* Lower the maximum daily amount of sodium to 1,500 milligrams from 2,300 milligrams.
* Eat less saturated fat.. The total amount of saturated fat in the daily diet should drop to 7 percent of total calories, from the previously recommended 10 percent.
* Drink fewer sugar-sweetened beverages.
* Eat more seafood and low-fat dairy products.
* Eat more vegetables, cooked dry beans and peas, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
* Nutritional education, cooking skills and food safety needs to be strengthened, especially among families. The idea is to get people to cook and eat at home more.
* Lose the concept of “discretionary calories,” which was added in 2005. The idea was that people who ate according to the guidelines would have a handful of calories left over to indulge in ice cream or chips or other food with less nutritional value compared with the calorie hit. The more physically active you are, the more discretionary calories you could have.
Public comments are now being accepted on the Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 (Advisory Report). Individuals and organizations are encouraged to view the Advisory Report now posted along with public comments at www.dietaryguidelines.gov. Written comments will be accepted from June 15, 2010 to July 15, 2010. Oral testimony may be provided at a public meeting to be held in Washington, DC, on July 8, 2010.