The Obama administration on Thursday released new dietary guidelines, and critics say there’s a winner but it’s not public health or food security.
Marion Nestle, nutrition professor at New York University, writes that we can “count the 2015 Guidelines as a win for the meat, sugary drink, processed, and junk food industries.”
The takeaway from Stephanie Feldstein, population and sustainability director at the Center for Biological Diversity, is that “Americans urgently need dietary guidance that’s better for our health, for the environment and the future of food security, and the new dietary guidelines utterly fail to provide that.”
Released by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS), the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans are intended to “help Americans make healthy food and beverage choices and serve as the foundation for vital nutrition policies and programs across the United States.”
“One concrete change” to the new guidelines is that “Americans are being told to limit sugar to no more than 10 percent of daily calories,” NPR reported. That ‘s a change being welcomed by some. Ars Technica reports:
One problem with the new guidelines environmental groups and food and nutrition experts are pointing to is the lack of specific recommendations on reducing meat consumption.
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“USDA and HHS did not include explicit recommendations about the risks of red meat and the benefits of plant-based diets, ignoring clear scientific evidence from their own advisory committee,” stated Dr. Andrew A. Rosenberg, director of the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists.
That’s a point echoed by Kari Hamerschlag, senior program manager with Friends of the Earth, who said, “It’s astonishing that the new Dietary Guidelines, which are supposed to help clarify what people should eat, are actually obscuring science-based recommendations that Americans should significantly cut their red meat intake.”
“Despite clear evidence that high red meat consumption is linked to cancer and threatens future food security because of its huge resource demands, the 2015 Guidelines failed to make a specific portion size recommendation for red meat, as they did in the 2010 Guidelines,” Hamerschlag added.
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