Dietary Guidelines for Americans


Two USDA researchers looking at a row of vegetables

3 Research Questions Could Hold the Key to Sustainable Eating

, Senior Analyst, Food Systems and Health

Food is more than just nutrition. We also know that food can affect the health of many people before it even reaches our plates. For example, pollution caused by fertilizer runoff from farms have left communities without access to safe drinking water, while many of the people who produce our food don’t earn enough to afford healthy diets themselves. So, is it possible to eat in ways that promote health and produce better outcomes for our collective wellbeing, livelihoods, and natural resources? And what would it take to get us there? These are complex questions, but critical ones—and if the federal government made it a national priority to answer them, we might have a chance at avoiding otherwise devastating consequences. Read more >

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Is the US Ready for Sustainable Dietary Guidelines? New Research Makes a Compelling Case

, Senior Analyst, Food Systems and Health

If the Dietary Guidelines continue to sideline sustainability research, the diet the US government recommends today could put a healthy diet further out of reach tomorrow. Read more >

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geralt / CC BY SA 2.0

New Studies on Red and Processed Meat Are a Big, Fat Nothingburger

, Senior Analyst, Food Systems and Health

If you caught any health news from The Washington Post, New York Times, or NPR this morning, you might have been inundated (happily or otherwise) with pictures of bacon, burgers, hot dogs, and sausages. And those pictures were likely accompanied by headlines touting new research that conflicts with nearly ubiquitous dietary advice to eat less red and processed meat. The trouble is, this isn’t news at all—it’s just a terribly misguided interpretation of the evidence we already have.  Read more >

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Two Major Takeaways from the Second Dietary Guidelines Public Meeting

, Senior Analyst, Food Systems and Health

This week, the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee convened for its second public meeting at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). The committee is charged with developing a scientific report that will lay the foundation for the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans—the ninth edition of science-based nutrition recommendations that shape the food choices made by millions of kids, parents, and seniors every day. Read more >

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Photo courtesy of 401kcalculator.org/Flickr

“Big Food” Companies Spend Big Money in Hopes of Shaping the Dietary Guidelines for Americans

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

The maker of Snickers, M&Ms, and Skittles has built a global conglomerate on sugar. The privately held Mars Incorporated let it be known earlier this year that it hopes to double its $35 billion annual revenue over the next decade, reportedly through expansion in pet food and other areas. But for now, confectionery treats are a main business, which could be why the company spent more than $2 million, in 2018 and early 2019, lobbying Congress around the federal government’s nutrition advice, among other food policy issues. Of course, it’s also possible Mars has a more socially responsible motive, which I’ll get to in a minute. Read more >

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