2015 Dietary Guidelines open for comment | TSLN.com

2015 Dietary Guidelines open for comment

South Dakotans have the opportunity to weigh in on the current recommendations for the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which were recently submitted to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. The comment period is open now through midnight EDT on May 8, 2015.

"This comment period provides an opportunity for all concerned citizens to share their opinions," said Alvaro Garcia, SDSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Director and SDSU Professor.

Garcia explained that the role of SDSU Extension is to disseminate research-based, unbiased information and provide it to South Dakotans in ways that are applicable. In the case of the current dietary guidelines suggestions, evidence shows that it is not necessary to eliminate food groups to achieve healthy dietary patterns, said Suzanne Stluka, SDSU Extension Food & Families Program Director.

"Individuals can combine foods in a variety of flexible ways to achieve healthy dietary patterns," Stluka said. "These strategies should be tailored to meet the individual's health needs, dietary preferences and cultural traditions."

Stluka added that along with a healthy diet, current research strongly demonstrates that regular physical activity promotes health and reduces chronic disease risk.

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is made up of a group of prestigious outside experts. Once the comment period closes, HHS and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will consider the report, along with input from other federal agencies and public comments as they develop the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

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"For decades, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans have been at the core of our efforts to promote the health and well-being of American families," said Secretaries Burwell and Vilsack in a joint statement. "Now that the advisory committee has completed its recommendations, HHS and USDA will review this advisory report, along with comments from the public-including other experts – and input from other federal agencies as we begin the process of updating the guidelines."

To view the independent advisory group's report and provide written comments, visit http://www.DietaryGuidelines.gov. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines are scheduled to be released later this year.

–SDSU Extension