More after the jump...
As the Chicago Tribune reports, "the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend we eat 2 1/2 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit a day. But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only about 14 percent of adults are even coming close."
Whether or not the public chooses to abide or evade the guidelines, they will likely have a long-term effect on what we deem healthy, and will directly affect what will be served in federally funded operations. "Schools who get federal money and prisons are supposed to be following [these guidelines] for their menus," Weston Price Foundation President Sally Fallon, who advocates for whole and raw pastured animal fat (that is, milk and cheese), told the Tribune.
High on the CNPP's "kill" list is trans fat, followed by salt, sugar and processed foods -- the latter uses high amounts of the former ingredients to prolong shelf-life and mask bland flavors. "The report also highlighted the importance of vitamin D, calcium, potassium and dietary fiber, and it recommends eating 8 ounces of seafood a week," the Tribune reports. But there's industry concern as to which seafood should be consumed -- many large fish, such as swordfish and tuna, can have higher levels of mercury, which can be toxic to young or unborn children. And where is the acknowledgment of sustainable seafood?
In 2004, the CNPP joined with the FDA and the EPA to better evaluate food and environmental safety. This year, they're also working with the Department of Health and Human Services to improve physical education and other nutrition arenas unrelated to food, the Tribune notes.
The full report of proposed recommendations, as well as meeting transcripts, are available on cnpp.usda.gov. While the CNPP is required to review their guidelines every five years, they're not necessarily required to change them unless advisable according to current science findings and public dietary behavior. Given the country's growing initiative for child health, including Mrs. Obama's strong Let's Move! campaign, we'd say the bet for amendment is pretty safe. But whether it rids our restaurant and home kitchens of salt shakers...well, that's still open for debate.