BETHESDA, MD -- Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) held a public meeting to receive oral comments on the Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, which was released last month. The nutritional value of grain foods and important grains terminology were emphasized in a testimony delivered on behalf of the grain industry by Professor Glenn Gaesser, PhD, of Arizona State University.
The grain groups commended the Dietary Guideline Advisory Committee's recommendation that half of American's grain intake should come from whole grains as well as their recognition of the important nutrient contribution of enriched, fortified grains to the diet.
"I fully agree with the Advisory Committee's continued call for half of all grain intake to come from whole grains," said Gaesser. "This recommendation would allow Americans to reap the multiple, established health benefits of whole grains, leaving the other half of daily grain intake for enriched grain products, which have their own unique benefits."
The grain industry's comments also touched on the important differentiation between "refined grains" and "enriched grains" noting that staple foods, such as rice or bread, are enriched and fortified with important nutrients; but the Advisory Report often places these grain foods in the same category as more indulgent refined options, such as cake. Gaesser also pointed to important scientific evidence not cited in the Advisory Report.
"The Committee's conclusions that higher consumption of refined grains is linked to higher risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity are not consistent with a large body of scientific evidence and again, reflect the disconnect in how staple grain products are classified."
In May, USA Rice will also submit written comments to the Advisory Report through the Grain Industry and Grocery Manufacturers Association coalitions. The Federal government will determine how it will use the information in the Advisory Report as well as information submitted during the public comment period, as it develops the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. HHS and USDA will jointly release the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2015 later this year.
Contact: Katie Maher (703) 236-1453