ATKINS NUTRITIONALS, INC. STATEMENT REGARDING THE NASEM CONSENSUS STUDY REPORT ON THE U.S. DIETARY GUIDELINES PROCESS
Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. commends the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) Food and Nutrition Board of the Health and Medicine Division on its new consensus study report “Redesigning the Process for Establishing the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.”
The report is a step in the right direction as it recognizes the shortfalls of the current U.S. Dietary Guidelines (USDG) and recommends the process be amended to include recommendations for all Americans.
The report did an excellent job of acknowledging the need for adaption given the changing landscape in America and providing counsel for all Americans and recognizing that the nutrition recommendations must allow for the prevention of chronic disease. Currently 52 percent of the population has been diagnosed with prediabetes and diabetes, and with the current USDG recommendation that 50 percent of calories come from carbohydrates, the incidence of diabetes will continue to increase. Modifying the USDG will accommodate those individuals and help Americans make better food choices based on their personalized needs.
We also appreciate the recommendations around modifying the USDG to enhance transparency, promote diversity in expertise, better manage conflict of interest, and address disease-related issues. The report reflects the need for a new food modeling methodology, as well as methods for including scientific studies with the best available evidence and analyses that are continuously improved. A systems science approach will be key to defining diet issues related to chronic diseases. We believe this is all feasible with the implementation of a Dietary Guidelines Planning and Continuity Group (DGPCG) comprised of non-federal experts and some federal staff.
Our hope is that the process to integrate these recommendations will move quickly and that the 2020 U.S. Dietary Guidelines will expand to reflect nutrition needs and reduce overall healthcare costs and contribute to a healthier America.
“These recommendations are critical at this point in time and we look forward to the efforts by all organizations to ensure they are rolled into the USDG process immediately as Americans need a change to their nutritional approaches now,” said Colette Heimowitz, vice president nutrition and education, Atkins Nutritionals, Inc.
“It is imperative that the next iteration of the Dietary Guidelines be based on credible science. Recommendation on controlling carbohydrates, which is supported by more than 80 gold standard clinical studies, needs to be a part of the library. Based on key scientific findings while addressing our obesity and diabetes epidemics and other diseases will be key to making these Guidelines work for all Americans,” said Dr. Jeff Volek, professor of human sciences, The Ohio State University.