And another thing; dietary guidelines committee gets an earful

01:19PM May 26, 2020
Tom-Karst-Editor-in-Chief
( The Packer )

Public comments are due June 1 to the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, and procrastinators are peppering the committee with plenty of last-minute directions about what they should do next.

With over 55,000 comments, the comment period has attracted mass write-in campaigns from the anti-meat and anti-dairy fringes.  However, I challenge anyone to find an “anti” comment about fruits and vegetables. It is good to be king.

Here are a couple of representative comments from regulations.gov that relate to fruits and vegetables:

  • "I also want to bring attention to the dietary recommendations to consume 4.5 cups of fruits and vegetables per day, on average. This could have stopped nearly 110,000 premature deaths from cardiovascular disease, decrease medical costs by more than 32 billion dollars, and save 20 billion dollars in productivity a single year, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. If these things are brought to attention, I believe that less deaths could be of concern healthwise. Living on a healthy diet is one of the lifestyle choices that should be met daily by all Americans, and that is possible if and when these guidelines meet the standards. "

 

  • "Increased fruit and vegetable intake is associated with better bone mineral density and reduced fracture risk in both women and men. In a study of 142,000 elderly individuals, consuming 1 or fewer servings of fruits and vegetables per day was associated with a roughly 40 percent greater risk for hip fracture when compared with those persons who ate between 3 and 5 servings per day."

 

 

TK:While everyman's dietary guidance compliance is clearly not happening any time soon, what would happen if we all ate according to federal recommendations? Other than feeling fine, what would it mean for the environment?


Check out this U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Study called “A Shift to Healthier Diets Likely To Affect Use of Natural Resources


From the USDA’s Economic Research Service, 

From the report: 


"In moving from the Baseline to the Healthy American diet, the largest percentage reductions in consumption occur in the “Sugars, sweets, and beverages” and “Fats, oils, and salad dressings” categories, while the largest increases are for “Legumes, nuts, and seeds,” “Fruits,” and “Vegetables.” 

Later...


“If all Americans, on average, were to adopt a diet that meets Federal recommendations, indications are that food system use of agricultural land, fossil fuels, and forestry products would fall, more freshwater would be withdrawn, and greenhouse gas emissions would essentially remain the same.”

 

 

 

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