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Press Release

American Dietetic Association Calls Dietary Guidelines Committee Report a Basis for Developing Healthful Eating Recommendations

2010-06-15

Media Contacts: Ryan O'Malley, Allison MacMunn
800/877-1600, ext. 4769, 4802 media@eatright.org

CHICAGO – The 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee report, released Tuesday, June 15, represents a basis for establishing federal nutrition policy and building consumer messages on healthful eating, according to the American Dietetic Association.

“ADA commends the USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services for their commitment to using an evidence-based approach to analyzing the existing scientific research on food, nutrition and health.  The systematic reviews of the literature and evidence analyses of key questions formed the basis for a strong committee report,” said registered dietitian and ADA President Judith C. Rodriguez.  “We need sound, science-based recommendations to guide federal policies and programs. Interventions to improve nutrition literacy and provide access to healthful foods are also needed to address the health concerns facing our nation,” said Rodriguez.

The cornerstone of federal food policy in the United States, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans are especially important in developing nutrition education programs and strengthening food assistance programs which include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and the School Lunch and WIC Programs. The Dietary Guidelineswill be developed by the federal government over the next several months following the release of the advisory committee’s report.

Individuals and organizations can comment on the report during the next 30 days, and a public comment session will be held July 8 in Washington, D.C. The American Dietetic Association will develop detailed written and oral testimony containing its reactions to the committee’s report and ADA’s recommendations for the 2010 Dietary Guidelines.

Five members of the American Dietetic Association, including three registered dietitians, served on the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee.

“The entire American Dietetic Association is proud of our members who served this important national endeavor, reviewing the science that will form the basis for the government’s primary guidelines on healthful eating,” Rodriguez said.

The committee’s report provides recommendations that focus on a flexible approach to a “total diet” that allows a wide range of individual tastes and food preferences, in keeping with ADA’s longstanding healthful-eating messages to consumers.

The committee’s report underscores the importance of focusing on children’s health, calling prevention of obesity in childhood “the single most powerful public health approach to combating and reversing America’s obesity epidemic over the long term.” “Excess weight and obesity, especially in children, are major health concerns for our population, and are often accompanied by inadequate nutrient intakes and lack of physical activity,” said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez noted that improving children's nutrition and health is a high priority of ADA and its members. For example, the ADA Foundation is a founding participant in the Healthy Schools Partnership, a pilot program that promotes nutrition education in schools. Since 2007, ADAF, the American Council for Fitness and Nutrition and PE4life have joined together to place registered dietitians in schools as “RD Nutrition Coaches” who work one-on-one with children. The program has seen remarkable results in changing the eating behaviors of students, both at school and at home.

“The knowledge, skill and commitment of registered dietitians create solutions that lead to healthy weights for children,” Rodriguez said. “Evidence shows the value of registered dietitians’ involvement in programs that help children eat well and get and stay healthy.”

“We applaud USDA’s commitment to developing its own Nutrition Evidence Library to ‘evaluate, synthesize and grade research using rigorous and transparent methodology to define the state of food and nutrition-related science.’ ADA encourages continued investment in food and nutrition research to build on this initiative,” Rodriguez said.

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The American Dietetic Association is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. ADA is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the American Dietetic Association at www.eatright.org.