This week the American Dairy Coalition sent a letter to Secretary Perdue of the U.S Department of Agriculture and Secretary Azar of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services requesting they look into concerns farmers have with the draft of the Dietary Guidelines for America. The Dietary Guidelines for America (DGA), which is updated every 5 years, sets our nation’s leading nutrition policies and directly influences WIC, SNAP, as well as school and hospital nutrition programs across the nation. Despite an abundance of science that demonstrate that full-fat dairy products reduce chronic disease in children and adults and promotes learning readiness in children, the DGA continue to set caps on saturated fats, effectively banning whole milk from daycares and school nutrition programs.
ADC’s letter encourages Secretary Azar and Secretary Perdue to intervene and delay the publication of the DGA so it can be updated to include the most recent scientific evidence on the health benefits of saturated fats. Furthermore, ADC requests the USDA and HHS to review and address the process by which these Dietary Guidelines are written. In 2015, Congress commissioned the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) to conduct a 3rd party review of the DGA process at a cost of $1 million of taxpayer dollars. ADC wants to understand why nearly all of the recommendations offered in the NASEM report were ignored.
In the 40 years since the implementation of the Dietary Guidelines for America Program, childhood obesity and diabetes diagnoses have tripled; adult obesity rates have doubled, and 25 million adult Americans have diabetes. The current guidelines are not working. Americans deserve sound science and we cannot wait another 5 years to get it right.