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BPC’s Glickman and Veneman on 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report

Washington, DC – Today, the Bipartisan Policy Center releases a statement by former Agriculture Secretaries Dan R. Glickman and Ann M. Veneman, co-chairs of BPC’s Prevention Initiative, regarding the release of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s scientific report.

“We commend the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee for putting forth evidence-based nutrition recommendations that are consistent with past guidelines and continue to promote healthy eating behaviors. In particular, we are pleased that the committee’s report makes strong recommendations to further reduce intake of added sugars and limit alcoholic beverages. We urge the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services to include these evidence-based recommendations in the forthcoming 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans to be released later this year.

“These recommendations play a key role in informing nutrition policies for many federal programs. As a country that spends more than $3.6 trillion on health care, it is critical that we address the drivers of poor health outcomes, including diet. This cannot be done effectively without looking at dietary patterns throughout the entire life span. The Advisory Committee’s recommendations for better nutrition during pregnancy and lactation and for birth through 24 months for the first time are also critical. The committee’s report will serve as an important step toward understanding the relationship between nutrition during the earliest stages of life and healthy growth and development.

“BPC supports updating current federal guidance on added sugars and alcoholic beverages to reflect the latest evidence. Added sugars provide extra calories without any nutrients and contribute to the obesity epidemic. Alcohol use increases the risk of chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease, along with mental health issues and accidents. We also support aligning policies with federal dietary guidelines to advance the health of all Americans. BPC’s 2018 report, Leading With Nutrition: Leveraging Federal Programs for Better Health, recommended eliminating sugar-sweetened beverages, the leading source of added sugars, from the list of items that can be purchased with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.”

BPC submitted written comments that informed the evidence review process for this committee report and will comment on the committee’s final recommendations during the 30-day public comment period.