On Tuesday, December 29, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) released the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs) 2020-2025.
The DGAs encourage all Americans to “make every bite count” and provided four key recommendations:
- Follow a healthy dietary pattern at every life stage.
- Customize and enjoy nutrient-dense food and beverage choices to reflect personal preferences, cultural traditions and budgetary considerations.
- Focus on meeting food group needs with nutrient-dense foods and beverages, and stay within calorie limits.
- Limit foods and beverages higher in added sugars, saturated fat and sodium, and limit alcoholic beverages.
One Bright Spot for Beef: the 2020 Dietary Guidelines consistently recommend beef as an important part of the diet for young Americans (0-2 years old), pregnant women, and older adults. Beef provides essential micronutrients like iron, choline, zinc, and more (in addition to macronutrients like protein and fat).
However, the DGAs built off faulty science used in the 2015 Guidelines, and the Guidelines before then, to come to its current conclusions – excluding large bodies of scientific literature, including virtually all studies on weight loss.
U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson, Ranking Member of the House Agriculture subcommittee on Nutrition, Oversight, and Department Operations stated, in a letter earlier this year, “Mr. Secretaries, after repeated failures of the DGA to prevent, much less reverse, the worsening diet-related health of Americans, it is time for the DGAC to stop digging the hole it’s standing in.”
Bottom Line: As human nutrition is a constantly evolving field, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee should have commissioned fresh, new studies that look at emerging dietary patterns AND how existing recommendations have hurt or helped Americans.