Posts Tagged ‘Dietary guidelines’

Media Coverage for Plant Foods Coalition and Dietary Guidelines

As I posted earlier this week, I submitted comments on behalf of new coalition of plant food companies to support the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s recommendations to lower red meat and processed meats and increased plant foods. I am pleased that the following media outlets picked on this story. More at: LessMeatMorePlants.com

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New Plant Foods Coalition Enters Dietary Guidelines Debate

Logos_Plant_Foods_Coalition_DGA_LetterEvery sector of the food industry–most of them unhealthy–has something to say about how Americans should eat. But we rarely hear the voices of healthier food companies in shaping the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. I organized this new coalition of plant food companies to help fill that void.

Research shows that more consumers are decreasing their meat consumption and turning to plant-based options. Therefore, it’s time for the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (revised every five years) to encourage this trend toward healthy eating. Today, this new food industry coalition submitted a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services, in response to the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s report, making these main points:

  • We agree with the advisory committee that additional measures are needed to encourage consumption of fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet.
  • We support the advisory committee’s conclusion that the dietary guidelines should include a recommendation to “lower red and processed meats.”
  • The Dietary Guidelines for Americans should specifically recommend eating plant protein sources such as legumes, soy foods, wheat gluten, seeds, and nuts, in place of red and processed meats. 
  • Claims that red meat and processed meats are “nutrient dense” are misleading because they ignore all the harmful components of meat, and the fact that plants are often nutritionally superior.
  • We endorse the advisory committee’s recognition of sustainability as an essential component of federal dietary guidance, and that a shift away from animal foods towards a plant-based diet “is more health promoting and is associated with less environmental impact.”

You can read the entire letter (or the summary) and learn more about the coalition members at: www.LessMeatMorePlants.com. You can also submit your own comments before the May 8 deadline here.

Tell the feds: “Yes to less meat, more plants”

Science and public health could finally prevail in federal dietary advice

Every five years the federal government updates the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The idea is to help Americans eat right, while informing nutrition standards for food assistance programs such as school meals. The “Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee” (DGAC) has spent the past two years reviewing research and holding public hearings. The process is rigorous and the committee is not exactly radical.

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Feds’ Nutritionism Approach to Food Industry “Progress” on Marketing to Children – Q&A with registered dietitian Andy Bellatti

Last week the Federal Trade Commission released its follow-up report on how the food industry markets to children. The agency praised companies for minor improvements in the nutritional profile of some products aimed at children. I asked registered dietitian Andy Bellatti for his take on the FTC’s approach.

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USDA Bowing to Meat Industry Pressure on School Lunch? Guest Post by Amie Hamlin

The recent announcement by USDA that the agency is relaxing (for now) its new limits on meat and grains has garnered mixed reactions from advocates. Some such as Bettina Siegel say the flexibility is needed while others such as Marion Nestle are calling out the politics. I asked Amie Hamlin, executive director of the New York Coalition for Healthy School Food, for her reaction. Hamlin’s group has been pushing for more plant-based options in New York schools for years and knows the issues well. – MS

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Front of Package Labeling: An Exercise in Futility?

Food industry cartoons intended to preempt FDA (FactsUpFront.com)

(The following is by Andy Bellatti, a Seattle-based dietitian, cross-posted from his Small Bites blog)

The current issue of the Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition includes a commentary co-authored by myself and public health attorney Michele Simon. The piece is a response to the recent – and ongoing – debate surrounding front of package labeling.

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Twinkies for Breakfast? Kids’ Cereals Fail Industry’s own Lame Nutrition Guidelines

Today the Environmental Working Group (best known for its “Dirty Dozen” list of pesticide-laden produce) released a not very surprising report detailing the insane amounts of sugar in children’s cereals. Kellogg’s Honey Smacks, at nearly 56 percent sugar by weight, won the top prize,  packing more sugar (20 grams per cup) than a Hostess Twinkie.

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Why we need MyPolicy instead of MyPlate

Last week, I didn’t really have much to say about the replacement of USDA’s infamous food pyramid with the new plate image, which is why I was happy to cross-post Andy Bellatti’s take, which I obviously agree with. But this week a couple of media outlets asked for my opinion, and it should come as no surprise that I do actually have one, in particular in response to the many other reactions.

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USDA Replaces Pyramid with Plate: New Illustration, Same Problems (guest post by Andy Bellatti)

Having written about the previous USDA pyramid update in my book, I was less enthused this time around. So I am happy to cross-post this take by my colleague Andy Bellatti, budding nutritionist and blogger, whose sentiments I share and without whom I’d have no one to exchange exasperation with on Twitter.

 

Since last week, the arrival of the United States Department of Agriculture’s new “food icon” (aka “My Plate” or “the new food pyramid”) has been the hot topic in nutrition and public health circles. Alas, this morning, the much-speculated-about illustration was finally revealed.

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Time to retire the Dietary Guidelines for Americans?

Once every five years, the federal government goes to great lengths to update its recommendations for how Americans should eat. In fact, Congress mandates that the Dietary Guidelines for Americans be based on the most current science available. Yet over the years, the DGA process has been wrought with politics, which should come as no surprise. With each cycle, we gather to witness exactly how bad the industry influence turns out. And this time is no different, with plenty of spin and criticism stemming from last week’s release of the 2010 version.

But really, what does it matter?

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