Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Your Two Cents are Needed on an Important Nutrition Policy Decision

 In the latest post on his blog, community food activist and author Mark Winne of Santa Fe urges us to contact Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsak about an important policy decision that comes up every five years. 

"For those of us who are buffeted daily by the shrill alerts that spill across our screens urging us to do this and do that, well, here’s another one: Before May 8th, go to the website My Plate, My Planet and urge the U.S. secretaries of Health and Human Services and Agriculture to accept, in total, the recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC). This isn’t the Farm Bill; it’s not the Child Nutrition Bill; it’s not even Keystone; this is a blasé sounding report prepared by a panel of scientific experts whose collective wisdom will, if accepted by the secretaries, influence the physical health of every U.S. resident and the environmental health of our planet.

Why is this moment different and why does it matter? In a nutshell, acceptance of the guidelines and their eventual implementation will set the nutrition bar for SNAP, School Meals (30 million children), and WIC much higher than it is now. The “DGs” as I affectionately call them, which are reviewed and revised every five years based on the latest research, also effectively codify a standard of dietary behavior that may, over time, tame the raging bull of obesity that is currently trampling our nation’s young."  Read Mark Winne's Full Post

The DGAC report  recommends:

"...a diet higher in plant-based foods, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, and lower in calories and animal-based foods is more health promoting and is associated with less environmental impact than is the current U.S. diet...

"Current evidence shows that the average U.S. diet has a larger environmental impact in terms of increased greenhouse gas emissions, land use, water use, and energy use..."

The Committee concluded that "linking health, dietary guidance, and the environment will promote human health and the sustainability of natural resources and ensure current and long-term food security."

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