Dietary Guidelines 'Must be Science-Based and Promote Behavioral Change to be Effective,' NFPA Tells Advisory Committee

WASHINGTON, Jan 28, 2004 -- In oral testimony before the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee meeting held by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on January 28, Robert Earl, RD, MPH, Senior Director of Nutrition Policy for the National Food Processors Association (NFPA), made the following comments:

"NFPA strongly believes in science-based 'Dietary Guidelines' and their potential to make a significant contribution to promoting the health and well being of Americans. However, in order for the 'Dietary Guidelines' to have an influence on public health, they must be easily understood, easily implemented, and trigger behavioral change by the public. The goal should be to motivate and stimulate action on diet and lifestyle by consumers. Unless this goal is reached, the 'Dietary Guidelines' will not be effective.

"In developing the 'Dietary Guidelines,' the 2005 Advisory Committee should focus more attention on the needed balance between physical activity and food intake. Expanding the physical activity component in balance with positive 'how to eat' messages and guidance, versus negative 'what to eat' is essential for success in motivating the American public toward healthy lifestyles.

"NFPA also urges the Committee to clearly articulate the critical need for synergy among the Dietary Guidelines, the Food Guide Pyramid, and food labeling. In order to be effective, efforts to provide nutrition education to the public must work in concert to provide a consistent, coordinated message."

NFPA is the voice of the U.S. food processing industry on scientific and public policy issues involving food safety, food security, nutrition, technical and regulatory matters and consumer affairs.

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