How Will the Government Structure American Diets Next?
The recommendations, which are issued every five years, apply to individuals 2 years of age and older who are healthy or at increased risk of chronic disease, not those with medical conditions or special dietary needs. Dietary recommendations for specific populations that suffer from various conditions are likely to differ from those recommended by the dietary guidelines.
Conaway and other lawmakers were concerned that the Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services might expand the scope of the dietary guidelines this year beyond what they considered Congressional intent. The agencies were thought to be looking at additional guidelines regarding sustainability – considering whether different types of food production are beneficial to the environment.
While the final 2015 recommendations are still being drafted, Vilsack and Burwell informed the committee, “We do not believe that the 2015 dietary guidelines for Americans are the appropriate vehicle for this important policy conversation about sustainability.”
In fact, it appears the new guidelines will look very much like the old ones.
"Fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, whole grains and lean meats and other proteins and limited amounts of saturated fats, added sugars and sodium remain the building blocks of a healthy lifestyle," the two secretaries said in a joint statement.
Conaway added that it’s “imperative to hear assurances from USDA and HHS that Americans will ultimately be presented with the best and most reliable information for making healthy food and beverage choices.”