Trump administration rejects stricter advice on alcohol, added sugars

The Advisory Committee on Dietary Guidelines, a panel of outside experts advising USDA and HHS, recommended in June that the guidelines encourage men to save alcohol by the government’s definition of ‘moderate drinking’ from two drinks a day to one. reduce. (At the time, the panel recommended keeping the definition of moderate beverage the same for women, with one beverage per day.)

Rejection of stricter alcohol, added sugar advice: Government officials finally decided not to adopt the stricter alcohol recommendation, which resulted in furious backlash and lobbying from the alcohol industry.

The advisory committee also suggested that the guidelines take a harder line against added sugars, but USDA and HHS decided to stick to the Obama-era advice that individuals try to get no more than 10 percent of their calories from added sugars. does not consume. (The committee recommended lowering the limit further to 6 percent).

USDA and HHS officials said there is not enough evidence to recommend stricter limits for alcohol and added sugars, but they still stress that people are cutting back on both. The agencies said more research needed to be done.

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

The government recommends that babies, if possible, feed exclusively human milk up to 6 months old, and if not, then the iron-fortified baby formula should be fed. When babies are ready to start adding solid foods, usually around six months, the government recommends that caregivers focus on nutrient-dense foods to ensure babies get enough key nutrients such as iron and zinc. Babies and toddlers should avoid foods with added sugars and limit foods with a higher amount of sodium.

The guidelines say that babies should take longer than one wants during the first year of their lives, if necessary.

The government recommends that pregnant and lactating women consume a variety of nutrient-dense foods and beverages, including fruits and vegetables, seafood, eggs, lean meats, beans, lentils and low-fat dairy products, while paying particular attention to important nutrients, including folate / folic acid, iron, iodine and choline.

New theme: Nutritional density: The theme for the 2020-2025 edition of the guidelines is ‘Let every bite count’, a message intended to encourage the choice of nutritious foods and beverages, something that is especially important for babies and toddlers.

The guidelines recommend that 85 percent of an individual’s calories come from “nutritionally dense” foods in five categories: vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy, and proteins. Only 15 percent of the calories should come from foods that contain more sugar, salt or saturated fats or alcoholic beverages (this contains an amount between 250 and 350 calories for most people.)

In a media conference, health officials acknowledged that it is difficult to communicate what “nutrients dense” means to the public. Health officials have suggested that small shifts be made, such as choosing sparkling water over soda; ordinary shredded wheat over the ripe kind; or plain low-fat yogurt with fruit instead of full-fat yogurt with added sugars.

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

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

Political context: The nutrition guidelines, which are updated every five years, have long been the subject of political battles and intense lobbying, as they determine what is served in major federal nutrition programs and have a major impact on nutrition messages for millions of Americans, although most people do not government council.

Nearly three-quarters of American adults are overweight or obese. About 60 percent have one or more diet-related illnesses. Children’s obesity also remains a major problem, with 40 percent of children and teens overweight or obese.

The guidelines have been criticized over the past few years. Proponents of low-carb diets argue that the advice is based on deficient science and has made the country less healthy, as obesity or other diet-related diseases continue to worsen. Plants based on dietitians believe that the guidelines wrongly promote animal foods and want to place more emphasis on plants and alternative proteins. Proponents of sustainability are upset that the government has so far refused to include environmental considerations in the guidelines.