Trump administration rejects additional advice on alcohol, added sugar


The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, a panel of outside experts that advises the USDA and HHS, recommended in June that the guidelines include reducing the government’s definition of “moderate drinking” from two drinks per day to alcohol. Should insist. (At that time, the panel recommended the definition of equal drinking for women on one drink per day.)

Rejecting the hard liquor, suggested sugar: Government officials eventually decided not to adopt the strict liquor recommendation, which sparked fierce pushback and lobbying from the liquor industry.

The advisory committee also suggested that the guidelines should take a harder line against added sugars, but the USDA and HHS decided, in keeping with Obama-era advice, that people not consume more than 10 percent of their calories from sugar Let’s try to do. (The committee also recommended reducing the limit to 6 percent).

USDA and HHS officials said there was not enough evidence to recommend strict limits for alcohol and excess sugars, but they nonetheless insisted that people cut both back. The agencies said more research should be done.

New advice for infants, children, pregnant and lactating women: For the first time, the guidelines explicitly include advice from infants and toddlers as well as pregnant and lactating women.

The government recommends that infants be fed exclusively human milk until the age of 6 months, when possible, and if not, iron-fortified infant formula. When infants are ready to start adding solid foods, usually around 6 months, the government recommends that caregivers focus on nutrient dense foods so that infants get important nutrients such as iron and zinc To meet. Infants and children should avoid foods with added sugars and limit foods that are high in sodium.

The guidelines state that infants should continue receiving human milk for the first year of life and until now.

The government advises pregnant and lactating women to consume a number of nutrient-dense foods and beverages, including fruits and vegetables, seafood, eggs, lean meats, beans, lentils, and low-fat dairy, while including folate Gives special attention to important nutrients. Folic acid, iron, iodine and choline.

New Theme: Nutrient Density: The theme for the 2020-2025 edition of the guidelines is “Make every bite”, a message that encourages people to choose nutritionally dense foods and beverages, something that is especially important for infants and children.

The guidelines suggest that 85 percent of a person’s calories should fall into five categories from “nutrient dense” foods: vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy, and protein. Just 15 percent of calories should come from foods that contain excess sugars, salt or saturated fat or alcoholic beverages (this pencil is between 250 and 350 calories for most people.)

In a media briefing, health officials acknowledged that it is difficult to communicate “nutrient dense” to the public. Health officials suggested that small changes could be made, such as choosing sparkling water over soda; Sliced ​​plain wheat like frosted; Or low-fat yogurt with fruit instead of full-fat yogurt with plain sugar.

Other examples include: choosing dark green, red and orange vegetables, whole fruits, eggs, lean meats, seafood, whole grains, low-fat dairy and fortified soy products.

The government has also released a website and mobile app to help Americans make healthier choices.

Political Context: Dietary guidelines, which are updated every five years, have long been the subject of political fights and intense lobbying as they govern what is served at major federal nutrition programs and affect the nutrition message for millions of Americans However, most people do not follow the government’s advice.

About three-quarters of American adults are overweight or obese. About 60 percent have one or more diet-related illness. With overweight or obesity in 40 percent of children and adolescents, childhood obesity is a major problem.

The guidelines have been the subject of intense criticism in recent years. Advocates of low-carbohydrate diets argue that this advice is based on flawed science and has made the country less healthy, as obesity or other dietary ailments continue to worsen. Plant-based diet advocates believe the guidelines unfairly promote animal foods and want to put more emphasis on plants and alternative proteins. Sustainability advocates have dismissed the government’s refusal to include environmental considerations in the guidelines so far.

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