The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the leading trade association for the dietary supplement and functional food industry, thanks the members of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) for their time, effort and dedication resulting in recommendations to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the government’s cornerstone of nutrition policy. CRN was pleased to participate in the process throughout by submitting written and oral comments and attending public meetings.
CRN recognizes the importance of good nutrition and supports the objectives of the Dietary Guidelines, which “encourage Americans to focus on eating a healthful diet that focuses on foods and beverages that help achieve and maintain a healthy weight, promote health, and prevent disease.” CRN further believes that dietary supplements have an important role in good nutrition, serving as supplements to, not substitutes for, a healthy diet. In particular, CRN noted that government research demonstrates Americans do not obtain all the nutrients they need from food alone, and that even with the addition of dietary supplements, some people are still not getting all the nutrients they need. Dietary supplements help fill nutritional gaps.
Specifically, the DGAC identified 10 “shortfall” nutrients—vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, folate, calcium, magnesium, fiber, potassium and iron—indicating that these nutrients are under-consumed relative to recommendations from the Institute of Medicine. Of these nutrients, the DGAC further classified four of them—vitamin D, calcium, fiber and potassium—as “nutrients of public health concern” because getting insufficient amounts of these particular nutrients has been linked in the scientific literature to adverse health outcomes. Additionally, iron was identified as a shortfall nutrient of public health concern specifically for adolescent females and premenopausal adult females due to the increased risk of iron deficiency in these populations.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans provide the basis for federal food and nutrition policy and education initiatives. CRN will now closely review the full scientific report and submit its comments to USDA and HHS.