2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans: The Advisory Committee Report is Released

57925008_7e7ef4dda4_zOf course, the big nutrition news of the week was the release of the much anticipated report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee or DGAC.  You can access it here if you haven’t seen it.  And here’s an infographic that explains the process and what’s  next.

The media coverage has been extensive, yet so many of the headlines seem to grab hold of specific elements of the 500+ page report and consumers are likely translating the major take-aways to be:

Sugar is evil

Eat all the eggs you want

Fill up on coffee

Eat less beef

Well, it’s not that simple.

Here’s some specific language from the report:

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. Additional strong evidence shows that it is not necessary to eliminate food groups or conform to a single dietary pattern to achieve healthy dietary patterns. Rather, individuals can combine foods in a variety of flexible ways to achieve healthy dietary patterns, and these strategies should be tailored to meet the individual’s health needs, dietary preferences and cultural traditions. Current research also strongly demonstrates that regular physical activity promotes health and reduces chronic disease risk.

I think one of the best analyses of the report has come from Dr. David Katz, who so often nails it when it comes to translating nutrition research or commenting on nutrition-related debates. You must read Diet, Dog and Dogma.  As he so beautifully writes:

We likely still have a long way to go reorienting our culture to a renunciation of quick-fix diets, and an embrace of the tried-and-true fundamentals of healthful eating. In an age of polarized opinions, magnified in the echo chambers of cyberspace, there are a lot of competing dogmas to overcome. Getting past that, and coming together, is an important mission — but perhaps a topic for another day. For today, we at least now have recommendations, and the promise of official guidelines, that emphasize wholesome foods in sensible combinations, rather than isolated nutrients — which for far too long have unbalanced our diets, like a tail that wags the dog.

Amen to that.

Dr. Katz calls the report excellent, Marion Nestle describes it as courageous.  Here’s her recap, which is also worth reading.

I’m especially encouraged by the emphasis on foods, not nutrients.  There’s a lot of language about the importance of family meals and cooking more at home, learning to prepare flavorful meals with more spices and herbs instead of salt, and drinking more water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages. All good stuff.

So now we’ll see how the comments pour in and what will be officially released at the end of the year.  But I’m certainly encouraged by what I see.


image: courtesy of Ali Karimian on flickr

Enjoy this?

share it



Copyright 2022 Nutrition Unplugged
Design by cre8d