Dietary Guidelines for Americans

FDA updates criteria for when ‘healthy’ can appear on a food label

More foods could carry the word “healthy” on the label under an FDA proposal announced on Wednesday, if they are part of a healthy dietary pattern and recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The agency said it was updating its criteria for the “healthy” label in hopes of improving the U.S. diet.

Flavored milk is top source of added sugar in school meals, says report

The great majority of public schools serve breakfasts and lunches that contain higher amounts of added sugar than recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, said a USDA report to Congress. “The main source of added sugars ... was flavored fat-free milk,” it said.

House panel votes to expand child nutrition programs

More children would be eligible for free school meals and the WIC program would cover children up to age 6 under legislation approved on a party-line vote by the House Education and Labor Committee on Wednesday. While the bill’s Democratic sponsors claimed it will reduce child hunger, Republican Rep. Lisa McClain said it “is chock-full of new spending” when austerity is needed to dampen high inflation.

Critics say a lack of diversity among nutrition professionals skews America’s understanding of dietary health

In the U.S., the field of dietetics and nutrition — and, accordingly, the corps of professionals who shape how Americans understand dietary health, in part by helping draft the national dietary guidelines — has a diversity problem. Over 71 percent of the country’s registered dietitians are white, and unpaid internships and high tuition costs create barriers to entry that have made the field an increasingly elite profession. (No paywall)

Dean says USDA will bring standards for school meals, WIC, in line with Dietary Guidelines

With hunger levels stubbornly high and an estimated 1 in 5 American children obese, Stacy Dean, the deputy undersecretary for food, nutrition, and consumer services, told lawmakers Wednesday that the USDA would update nutrition standards for school meals and the WIC program to meet current Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Cut back on sugar and alcohol, recommends U.S. diet panel

Americans should halve their consumption of added sugars, and men should limit themselves to one drink a day, said a panel of experts helping the government update its advice on healthful diets. The advisory committee report, published on Wednesday, is expected to provide the scientific foundation for a new edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, scheduled for publication late this year.

Trump administration takes control of topics for Dietary Guidelines debate

The Agriculture and Health departments said they will decide the issues that will be discussed by experts in updating the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, precluding divisive topics such as meat consumption and long-term availability of food that delayed the 2015-2020 edition for months. Released every five years, the guidelines have a major impact on what the country eats, although three-fourth of Americans don't eat as much fruit or vegetables as recommended.

NAS proposes longer and more thorough work on Dietary Guidelines

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the government’s advice for healthful diets, are issued every five years but almost all of the work is done in two years by a panel of experts selected for the job. A National Academies of Sciences report, ordered by Congress because of sore feelings over …

Test your food-group IQ

The USDA's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion has created a series of quizzes on the five food groups that are "designed to challenge, teach, and even entertain," says Feedstuffs.

Foodmakers say ‘not so fast’ to FDA call for less salt in food

The FDA called on foodmakers and restaurateurs to reduce sharply the amount of salt in their products to help Americans avoid high blood pressure and the risk of chronic illness. The food industry balked, saying it already has low-salt products on sale and that the science on healthy salt levels was not as clear as the government says.

Foodmakers have two years to switch to new Nutrition Facts label

The updated Nutrition Facts label "is going to make a real difference in providing families across the country the information they need to make healthy choices," said First Lady Michelle Obama. The new label, to be in full use by July 2018, prominently lists the number of calories in a serving, expands serving sizes in line with U.S. eating patterns, and for the first time shows how many grams of sugar are added to foods during processing.

Dietary Guidelines, a tug-of-war between science and self-interest

The original edition of the Dietary Guidelines, issued in 1980, was a three-fold pamphlet "with seven easy-to-comprehend rules, such as avoid sugar and saturated fat," says Eating Well magazine. The 2015-2020 edition is 53,000 words covering 211 pages.

Fruits, vegetables, budgets and the Dietary Guidelines

Americans eat far less than the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables, and a common excuse is that they cost too much. Not so, say USDA economists, who examined the average retail price of 156 commonly consumed fruits and vegetables, fresh or processed.

Work now, says advocate, to get sustainability in Dietary Guidelines

With cattle ranchers pushing hard, Congress barred the government from considering sustainability in the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines. An advocate for including the subject, Miriam Nelson, sees the chance for success in the 2020 guidelines.

Dietary Guidelines touch off a food fight

A week after the government issued the new edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, "nutritionists, public health specialists and experts in preventive health are vying to critique the government document, fill in its gaps and 'spin' the guidelines to support their interests," says the Los Angeles Times.

New Dietary Guidelines endorse lean meat, warn against added sugars

The new edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans will be released today, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. He declined to discuss the contents of the report, which distills the government's advice about healthy diets, or how it would be released.

Funding bill reproves HHS, USDA handling of Dietary Guidelines

The Republican-controlled Congress scolded the Health and Agriculture departments over their handling of the new edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, due for release this month, and ordered an outside review to ensure future editions are even-handed and “based on strong, balanced …

U.S. won’t mention soda taxes in Dietary Guidelines

The new edition of Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the government's tips for a healthy diet, will not advocate soda taxes as a way to fight obesity, two Obama cabinet members told lawmakers, despite a suggestion that it should from the panel of experts that is helping to update the guidelines. Health Secretary Sylvia Burwell and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said soda taxes fall outside the province of the guidelines so they will not be considered. They cited the same reason on Tuesday in excluding sustainability of food supplies as an element in recommendations for the American diet.

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