About IATP

The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy promotes resilient family farms, rural communities and ecosystems around the world through research and education, science and technology, and advocacy.

Founded in 1986, IATP is rooted in the family farm movement. With offices in Minneapolis and Geneva, IATP works on making domestic and global agricultural policy more sustainable for everyone.

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Think Forward is a blog written by staff of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy covering sustainability as it intersects with food, rural development, international trade, the environment and public health.



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February 05, 2010

Getting US Dietary Guidelines right

Every five years since 1980, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture set the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for healthy eating and ways to reduce diet-related disease. These guidelines are about more than just personal advice. They serve as the basis for federal food and nutrition education programs including research, labeling and nutrition promotion. The U.S. school lunch program, the food stamp program and the Women, Children and Infant (WIC) program all use the U.S. dietary guidelines as the scientific underpinning for their work.

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee holds its next public hearing to consider input on February 9–10 and you can view it via webinar. IATP submitted its comments earlier this week, encouraging the committee to take a systems-based approach to promote healthier food. This includes greater support for locally produced food, more fresh and less processed food, and an emphasis on grass-fed beef. 

The final guidelines are expected this fall. You can find out more at the Dietary Guidelines Web site.

Ben Lilliston


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