While The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans continue to gain traction in the media and blogosphere, it is pretty obvious that the egg and meat industry are pleased with the outcome of the final guidelines, while the produce folks continue to be in a great position when it comes to health. However, a few other industries are sharing their enthusiasm for some of the newer recommendations in this year’s report.
- Sugar Substitutes – For the first time, it is recommended that consumers limit their consumption of added sugar to less than 10 percent of their daily intake (based on a 2,000 calorie diet). That’s about 50 grams of sugar, or about the amount of sugar in a 16-ounce bottle of soda. A few makers of “healthy” and calorie-free sugar substitutes have issued press releases praising the guidelines as a way to help wean consumers off of the “real stuff.” For instance, Pyure, a manufacturer of stevia states in a press release that by switching to their product “an average American coffee drinker can cut out 24 grams of sugar, almost half of the recommended daily allowance of 50 grams.” Even Coke and Pepsi have launched product lines containing stevia in hopes to attract consumers looking for a more natural alternative to other sugar substitutes that have gotten a bad rap such as aspartame, one of the sweeteners in the original Diet Coke.
- Alcohol –The new guidelines continue to emphasize alcohol in moderation, but this year’s iteration includes notes that light to moderate alcohol consumption can be part of balanced, healthy eating patterns. The National Beer Wholesalers Association praised the new guidelines, while stressing the importance of the new drink equivalents information that is aimed to help consumers differentiate between different types and percentages of alcohol, along with standard serving sizes to help determine what one drink looks like.
- Coffee – The National Coffee Association released a statement in support of coffee’s positive inclusion in the new guidelines advising “moderate coffee consumption” can be part of a healthy diet and that it is not associated with an increase in chronic diseases. The statement goes on to state that “individuals who do not consume caffeinated coffee or other caffeinated beverages are not encouraged to incorporate them into their eating pattern.”
- Bottled Water – The guidelines note that calorie-free beverages, with an emphasis on water, should be the primary beverage consumed by Americans. The IBWA (International Bottled Water Association) and Nestle are hoping this means more folks will go out and purchase plastic water bottles in this recommendation.
PadillaCRT will be watching closely to see if the momentum of the new guidelines will continue across the food industry and will be prepared to help shape marketing and advertising platforms to better educate consumers on behalf of our clients. Do you think Americans will listen to the government or industry when it comes to making food choices? Ultimately, it is up to trained health professionals, such as Registered Dietitians to interpret these guidelines and help consumers make smart eating choices based on preference, health literacy, and ability and willingness to purchase and prepare foods.