The U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) held its fourth public meeting Thursday and Friday on its work in helping to shape the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.  Thursday’s session focused on two areas: Dietary Patterns, Foods and Nutrients, and Health Outcomes; and Food and Physical Activity Environments.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have jointly published the Dietary Guidelines every 5 years since 1980. The next edition of guidelines will be distributed in 2015.  Beginning with the 1985 edition, HHS and USDA have appointed a Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) consisting of nationally recognized experts in the field of nutrition and health. The Committee reviews the latest scientific and medical literature and prepares a report for the Secretaries that provides evidence-based recommendations for the next edition of the Dietary Guidelines.  See the list of DGAC members.

Recommendations put forth yesterday from the Subcommittee on Dietary Patterns, Foods and Nutrients, and Health Outcomes included:

  • To prevent Cardiovascular disease (CVD) the diet should be low in red meat but moderate in poultry. This was based on the study of dietary patterns such as Mediterranean, DASH and Vegetarian.
  • Evidence shows that dietary patterns that are high in fruits and vegetables, moderate in dairy, and low in meat lead to favorable outcomes for low body weights, low BMI and low accounts of obesity. The main dietary patterns studied was the Mediterranean diet.
  • Diet patterns related to Diabetes Type 2: There were no specific dietary patterns studied, but the common recommendation was low red and processed meats and high in fruits and vegetables.
  • A conclusion found that there is no “one size fits all” recommendation for dietary patterns. Especially when it comes to body weight, multiple dietary patterns can be used to achieve a weight loss as long as there is a caloric deficit. One question raised and going to be further explored is why meat, specifically red meat is considered one category while other things like dairy are split into categories such as low-fat vs. full fat.
  • Dietary Patterns related to Cancer: Research was focused on lung, breast, prostate and colorectal cancers. More research is needed on all of these cancers, but there was the most correlation between dietary patterns and the risk of colorectal cancers. The highest risk of colorectal cancers came from diets high in added sugars, fried foods and red/processed meats.

For a copy of Friday’s meeting agenda, click here.

The National Chicken Council will be submitting formal comments on the DGAC’s recommendations once they are made.

NCC last month joined a number of associations in the “Back to Balance Coalition” in sending a letter to the DGAC stressing the importance of  practical dietary guidance, reinforcing core tenets of Dietary Guidelines for Americans – balance, variety and moderation.