Washington, DC – Today, the Bipartisan Policy Center issued 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 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
“We welcome the release of the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans’ evidence-based nutrition recommendations that are consistent with past guidelines and continue to promote healthy eating behaviors. In particular, as healthy habits start young, we are pleased that the Guidelines provide, for the first time, much-needed nutrition guidance for young children under age two and their caregivers.
“While BPC is glad that the new Dietary Guidelines continue to recommend limiting added sugars, we are disappointed that the updated guidance does not reflect the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s evidence-based conclusions on the health benefits of further reducing added sugars (from 10% to 6% of calories) and alcoholic beverages (from no more than 2 drinks to 1 drink per day for men, to match that of women). Added sugars provide extra calories without any nutrients and contribute to the obesity epidemic, while alcohol use increases the risk of several types of cancer and accidents. 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.
“Poor diet is the leading cause of many chronic diseases and a key contributor to our country’s $3.6 trillion in health care spending. Diet-related diseases and conditions such as obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer increase the risk of poor outcomes from COVID-19. Unfortunately, the majority of Americans do not follow the Dietary Guidelines. Thus, it is critical that we better educate and empower people to make more healthful choices and incorporate the guidelines in federal policies and programs to advance the health of all Americans. BPC’s report recommended prioritizing nutrition consistent with the Dietary Guidelines in SNAP.”