I am not going to do it because others, with better nutritional backgrounds, have already been hitting the highlights and controversies and because you can read the report yourself.
But as is my style, I will say a few things before I link you to the document and one of my favorite blog posts related to it.
- Calories are as important as ever and a majority of the population - all ages - consume more than they need to maintain a health weight. A healthy weight, better measured as waist circumference or waist to hip ratio than on a scale or BMI, is one in which the body does not have excess fat.
- Sugar quickly increases calories without adding nutrients - except naturally occurring sugar in fruits and vegetables - and dietary fat, though not necessarily harmful, has a lot of calories and therefore should be limited in the diet - animal sources and full fat dairy are a continuing concern in these guidelines.
- Plant based diets are still the best.
- Exercise is key to better health - better health. Let's just stop talking about it as a way to lose weight or eat more, whether it helps with that or not does not matter as much as this: Exercise in and of itself is a necessary component of good health!
- Taxes and info: Environmental strategies, the likes of which I focus my research on, are promoted in the recommendations. The Dietary Guideline Advisory Committee talks about the need for information disclosure at the point of purchase and taxes on sugar sweetened beverages.
Two excerpts from the full report of the Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee
What to eat:
Following a dietary pattern associated with reduced risk of CVD, overweight, and obesity also will have positive health benefits beyond these categories of health outcomes. Thus, the U.S. population should be encouraged and guided to consume dietary patterns that are rich in vegetables, fruit, whole grains, seafood, legumes, and nuts; moderate in low- and non-fat dairy products and alcohol (among adults); lower in red and processed meat; and low in sugar- sweetened foods and beverages and refined grains. These dietary patterns can be achieved in many ways and should be tailored to the individual’s biological and medical needs as well as socio-cultural preferences.The food environment:
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. 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.Click here for a great blog post by Dr. David Katz