Jan 8, 2016Produce industry reacts to USDA dietary guidelines
The U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services recently released the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The recommendations focus on five overarching guidelines and what foods to consume more or less of.
Here are reactions from around the produce industry:
United Fresh Produce Association – Tom Stenzel, president and CEO:
“The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans strongly recommends that all Americans significantly increase their consumption of vegetables and fruit to improve their health. For the first time, and to reinforce the significance of eating more vegetables and fruits, this recommendation tops the list of ways to improve eating habits and health. Decades of research indicate that a diet high in vegetables and fruit is consistently associated with positive health outcomes and a decreased risk of chronic disease. Noting that three-fourths of the U.S. population consumes a diet that is low in vegetables and fruits, the new Dietary Guidelines recommends that individuals shift their eating habits to eat more fruits and vegetables every day.
“To improve public health, United Fresh urges policy makers to align all federal nutrition programs with the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines to significantly increase access to fruits and vegetables and to consider a broad range of policy changes and educational strategies to make fruits and vegetables the easy choice for all Americans and to strengthen promotion of Choose My Plate’s key consumer message ‘make half your plate fruits and vegetables.’”
Produce Marketing Association – Kathy Means, vice president of industry relations:
“We’re pleased the guidelines clearly convey that nutrients best come from foods rather than supplements and that healthy eating with fruits and vegetables can serve as a keystone habit to help with other recommendations such as limiting added sugars, reducing sodium and choosing a variety of nutrient-dense foods. Furthermore, the guidelines stress fruits and vegetables must be part of all healthy eating patterns, thereby meeting consumers where they are in terms of cultural and personal food preferences — something the world-variety of produce naturally serves.
“PMA also applauds the recommendation that ‘everyone has a role in helping to create and support healthy eating patterns in multiple settings nationwide, from home to school to work to communities.’ The produce industry recognizes its responsibility in a multi-component, collaborative approach to make healthy lifestyles and disease prevention top priorities.”