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The 2015 Dietary Guidelines countdown – FEDS recommend Americans follow a plant-based diet!

Heather Suhr

Ever since early last year, the federal committee have been extensively discussing the upcoming changes of the 2015 nutrition guidelines and stressing the importance of Americans consuming more plant-based foods to improve overall health and the environment. (1)

The committee convened several times last year to discuss that food guidelines be more plant-based, that we tax desserts (including vegan sweets), have trained obesity interventionists at work sites, and even offer electric monitoring to determine how much time Americans sit in front of their television. (2)

FEDs aiming to transform the food system

A lengthy 571-page report recommendation was written to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) earlier this month which included intense details of the government’s plans to “transform the food system.” (2,3)

As the government evaluates the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the public has an opportunity to submit any comments regarding the discussion and new proposed guidelines. You have until April 8th to submit any thoughts about the national health objectives in the guidelines. (4)

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) proposed a variety of solutions to address obesity, and its promotion of what it calls the “culture of health.” (2) Here is a general breakdown of what it entails.

Encourage more plant-based foods

Countless studies reveal the benefits of consuming plant-based foods for health and how it can help the environment. “The major findings regarding sustainable diets were that 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,” says Miram Nelson the DGAC’s work group leader for Environmental Determinants of Food, Diet, and Health. (1) (2)

Hire trained interventionists

DGAC proposes to hire “trained interventionists” in various settings. “The persistent high levels of overweight and obesity require urgent population and individual-level strategies across multiple settings” they said. (2,3)

These “trained interventionists” will collaborate with local, state, and national government levels, the health care system, schools, worksites, community organizations, businesses, and the food industry in developing creative and effective solutions. (2)

Reduce junk options and taxing sweets

DGAC also aim to limit access to many high-calorie junk foods in public buildings, reduce junk foodadvertising exposure, and impose tax on sodas and high sugar sweets. The DGAC report reads, “Align nutritional and agricultural policies with Dietary Guidelines recommendations and make broad policy changes to transform the food system so as to promote population health, including the use of economic and taxing policies to encourage the production and consumption of healthy foods and to reduce unhealthy foods.” (2,3)

“For example, earmark tax revenues from sugar-sweetened beverages, snack foods and desserts high in calories, added sugars, or sodium, and other less healthy foods for nutrition education initiatives and obesity prevention programs.” (3)

Electric monitoring for children and adults

It’s no surprise that Americans are also becoming more sedentary today than decades ago and the government is becoming more concerned. People are watching television and sitting behind a computer screen more than ever before.

The DGAC recommends that “coaching or counseling sessions,” “peer-based social support,” and “electric tracking and monitoring of the use of screen-based technologies” to evaluate how much screen time Americans are making and to encourage limiting amounts per day. (2,3)

The electric monitoring screen time idea came from a group connected with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called The Community Guide, which reviewed studies that used an “electronic monitoring device to limit screen time” of teenagers. (2)

Concluding remarks

The DGAC concluded the report with, “In such a culture, preventing diet and physical activity-related diseases and health problems would be much more highly valued; the resources and services needed to achieve and maintain health would become a realized human right across all population strata, the needs and preferences of the individual would be seriously considered, and individuals and their families/households would be actively engaged in promoting their personal health and managing their preventive health services and activities.” (3)

Sources for this article include:
(1) freebeacon.com
(2) freebeacon.com
(3) www.health.gov
(4) www.health.gov