US Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee confirms dairy’s place in diet
Members of the US Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) have confirmed that dairy products should maintain a central, important role in federal nutrition recommendations for people beginning at a very early age, the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) reports.
In addition to maintaining three servings of dairy per day, the committee found strong evidence pointing to positive health outcomes from dairy foods. In fact, a diet including low-fat and fat-free dairy, legumes, whole grains, fruits and vegetables is considered the ideal, healthy dietary pattern for all ages.
In other key findings from their draft scientific report, the DGAC highlighted new evidence strengthening dairy’s role in maintaining bone health for adults. For mothers, the committee dispelled misinformation about dairy’s link to asthma, saying there is no association between a mother’s consumption of dairy and the development of asthma in children.
And a new topic introduced in these dietary guidelines lays the groundwork for clearer nutrition recommendations for children from birth through 24 months of age, with the experts recommending small amounts of some foods including dairy foods, alongside fruits and vegetables, nut and seed products, and whole grain products, beginning at six to 12 months and continuing thereafter. For toddlers, dairy foods are particularly important for the vitamins and nutrients they provide. This recommendation could not be clearer, demonstrating what the American Academy of Pediatrics has stressed for years, that dairy plays a critical role in the diet of children to bolster long-term health.
Once again, the committee found no linkage between consumption of dairy foods and incidences of breast cancer, which should put an end to a longstanding disinformation campaign to alarm and confuse the public.
IDFA is disappointed that the reported outcomes did not include a mention of relevant scientific studies that show the benefits of dairy at each fat level. There is robust evidence to support the inclusion of dairy foods at all fat levels in recommended food patterns. With the DGAC’s role coming to an end, IDFA encourages USDA and HHS to remedy this oversight in the final guidelines to be released this year.
The conclusions offered by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee firmly establish dairy as one of the most nutritionally beneficial foods in dietary patterns alongside fruits and vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. IDFA is pleased to see federal nutrition guidance continue to affirm the important nutritional contributions made by dairy foods and remind Americans that a healthy diet includes three daily servings of dairy.