Many people use the Dietary Guidelines for Americans to gauge the health of their diets.
Most don’t realize that the guidelines are primarily written for policymakers, not consumers, and are designed as a tool to drive health and wellness on a broad scale.
As the 2015 version of the guidelines is being developed, Ohio State University’s Food Innovation Center has organized a summit for food industry representatives, academics, decision-makers and others “to have a high-level conversation on food and health,” said Julie Manning, executive manager of the center and summit organizer.
The Food Innovation Center, which brings together faculty from all 14 of Ohio State’s colleges to collaborate on food-related issues, is housed in the Parker Food Science and Technology Building in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.
“The New Dietary Guidelines for Americans: Preparing for the 2015 Release” will be held 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Nov. 20 at Ohio State’s Blackwell Inn and Pfahl Conference Center, 2110 Tuttle Park Place, on the Columbus campus.
“It’s shocking when you realize that 75% of U.S. healthcare costs go to treat people with chronic conditions and that many of those conditions have a dietary component — diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, obesity,” Manning said. “That’s eye-opening. There are other variables, of course, but one factor you have a lot of control over is your diet.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have jointly developed the Dietary Guidelines every five years since 1980. Among speakers at the summit will be current and former members of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee.
“The 2015 guidelines may be the first version that actually addresses food behavior, dietary patterns and sustainability,” Manning said. “For example, if the guidelines recommend that people eat a certain amount of fish, well, we don’t have enough fish on the planet to meet that goal. That’s when you look to the academic community, particularly the food scientists, and the food industry to ask where else are we going to get these essential nutrients in the diet?”
While summit speakers can’t discuss specifics about the 2015 guidelines, Manning said, the discussion by leading health and nutrition experts will explore the current American diet and the role the guidelines have in potentially revolutionizing preventive health care.
The summit’s agenda includes:
- History of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans by Roger A. Clemens, chief scientific officer at E.T. Horn, adjunct professor at the University of Southern California, past president of the Institute of Food Technologists and member of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) Advisory Committee.
- Highlights of the 2015 DGA Process by Dr. Steven K. Clinton, professor of medical oncology in Ohio State’s College of Medicine, associate director of the Food Innovation Center and member of the 2015 DGA Advisory Committee.
- Food as a Driver for Positive Health Outcomes, a panel discussion looking at the current state of the American diet, including shortfalls and the relationship between nutrition and chronic disease. Moderated by Cheryl Achterberg, dean of Ohio State’s College of Education and Human Ecology and member of the 2010 DGA Advisory Committee. Panelists include Dr. Stephen R. Daniels of the University of Colorado School of Medicine; Jessica Todd of the Food Economics Division of USDA’s Economic Research Service; and Sonja L. Connor, president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and associate professor at Oregon Health and Science University.
- Eating for Health: Creating Healthy Eating Habits through Effective Behavior Change, a panel discussion highlighting examples of successful public health implementations that include nutrition interventions. Moderated by Leslie Lytle of the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health. Panelists include Michel Nischan, founder of Wholesome Wave and two-time winner of the James Beard Foundation Award; Christina Economos of the John Hancock Research Center on Physical Activity, Nutrition, and Obesity Prevention and the Friedman School of Nutrition Science at Tufts University; and Alison Murphy of the Ohio Department of Health’s Bureau of Nutrition Services, WIC (Women, Infants and Children) Program Operations.
- Industry and Institutional Adoption of the DGA: Challenges and Opportunities, a panel discussion on innovative practices to advance healthy food choices to consumers. Moderated by Susan Roberts of the Partnership for a Healthier America. Panelists include Julie Jones, Food and Nutrition Services, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center; Philippe Caradec, The Dannon Company Inc.; and Robert H. Miller, Abbott Nutrition.
- The DGA and a Healthier America by Angie Tagtow of USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion.
Registration for the event is $200, with discounts for public sector employees and Ohio State faculty and staff. Organizers also are arranging for live streaming for participants unable to attend in person, Manning said. For more details or to register for the event, see DGAsummit.com.