Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
As in previous versions, the federal guidelines continue to recommend an increase in consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables as part of an overall effort to promote healthy eating patterns and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. According to the report, about half of all American adults have one or more preventable, diet-related chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Western Growers President & CEO, Tom Nassif, took the opportunity to highlight the gap in federal nutrition guidelines and federal spending on nutrition and food-assistance programs. While the dietary guidelines recommend that vegetables and fruits comprise of more than 40% of the daily diet, USDA spending on this food group totals less than 15% of spending on all food programs.
“Clearly, federal policies are out of alignment with dietary guidelines,” said Nassif in a letter to the House and Senate agriculture committees and the House Education Committee. Nassif concluded his letter by calling on Congress to “place greater emphasis on fresh fruits and vegetables” as they consider funding priorities for nutrition and food-assistance programs.
For more information, contact Cory Lunde at (949) 885-2264.
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