Feel Good

The Ins and Outs of the New Dietary Guidelines

Do the new recommendations go far enough?

BY January 14, 2016


The new federal dietary guidelines were released last week, a once-every-five-years list of recommendations about how and what Americans should eat.

There wasn’t much revolutionary in this year’s reportcoffee is fine, cholesterol isn’t so bad—but, as usual, it’s what was left out that people noticed. 

The American Cancer Society called for the authors (the Health and Human Services and Agriculture departments) to recommend eating less red meat. Others were upset it didn’t go far enough to call for an end of soda drinking. Politics and special interests, of course, could be blamed for the possible toothlessness in some regard.

But, giving credit where credit is due, the report did shift to looking at diet as a lifestyle choice, as author Marion Nestle noted. It avoided the food group discussion and rather focused on how all these foods interact and what that means for us.

Sure, it can be vaguely worded (“To decrease dietary intake from added sugars, the U.S. population should reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages.”), but it’s a step in the right direction, for the most part. At least it doesn’t consider butter a food group anymore.


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