Will new DGAs shift Americans toward healthy eating patterns?

February 12, 2016

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs) are published every five years by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) and Dept. of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to provide evidence-based healthy eating principles. In a new ePerspective post, Susan Pitman, partner and co-founder of FoodMinds LLC, discusses how the DGAs have evolved over the past 40 years and what the food industry can do to improve public health.

According to a word content analysis conducted by FoodMinds, one of the most marked evolutions in the DGAs is the emphasis on overall healthy dietary patterns across the life span. In addition, the DGAs have grown to be significantly more robust over the decades. For example, the first edition of the DGAs came in at a mere 3,100 words, whereas the new edition weighs in at nearly 52,000 words.

Pitman reveals that while the emphasis has changed from edition to edition, the moderation of certain nutrients including fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium, has stayed consistent. She concludes by urging the food industry to “rally together and create a new paradigm in which healthful choices are easy, accessible, affordable, and normative.”

Susan Pitman’s ePerspective post