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National Nutritional Foods Association: Natural Foods Can Help Americans Meet New Dietary Guidelines

Supplements can play important role in filling “nutrient gap”

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 12, 2005) – The National Nutritional Foods Association (NNFA) said today that the updated Dietary Guidelines for Americans issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recognize the benefits of obtaining nutrients through natural and whole foods.

“We wholeheartedly support the recommendation that Americans meet their nutritional needs by consuming healthier foods, such as whole grains and by avoiding processed foods that are often high in trans fats,” said David Seckman, NNFA’s executive director and CEO. “I also think the report takes another step in the right direction, albeit a small one, in recognizing the role of dietary supplements in an adequate diet, particularly for populations with special needs.”

In addition to emphasizing consumption of fruits and vegetables and limiting consumption of foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar, the guidelines recommend supplementation of essential nutrients for specific population groups. For instance, to meet their basic nutritional needs older adults may need to consume more of vitamins B12 and D through either fortified foods or dietary supplements. The guidelines caution, however, that while supplementing the diet may fill a “nutrient gap” in some cases, “nutrient needs should be primarily met through consuming foods.”

“When it comes to supplements, these guidelines are more ideal than real,” said Seckman. “Studies confirm that most Americans don’t get adequate nutrition through the foods they eat. The ‘nutrient gap’ the guidelines refer to is much wider and affects more people than this report would lead you to believe.”


The National Nutritional Foods Association ( is the nation’s largest and oldest non-profit organization dedicated to the natural products industry. NNFA represents more than 8,000 retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors of natural products, including foods, dietary supplements, and health/beauty aids.

Tracy Taylor
Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications
National Nutritional Foods Association
(202) 223 – 0101
[email protected]

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