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Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee

In February 2015, the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (Advisory Committee) submitted the Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (Advisory Report) to the Secretaries of the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Agriculture (USDA).

The Advisory Report helps to inform the federal government of the body of scientific evidence on topics related to diet, nutrition, and health. The Advisory Report is not the Dietary Guidelines policy or a draft of the policy.

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  • The overall body of evidence examined by the 2015 DGAC identifies that a healthy dietary pattern is higher in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low- or non-fat dairy, seafood, legumes, and nuts; moderate in alcohol (among adults); lower in red and processed meat;i and low in sugar-sweetened foods and drinks and refined grains.
  • …For conclusions with moderate to strong evidence, higher intake of red and processed meats was identified as detrimental compared to lower intake.
  • Current evidence shows that the average U.S. diet has a larger environmental impact in terms of increased greenhouse gas emissions, land use, water use, and energy use, compared to the above dietary patterns. This is because the current U.S. population intake of animal-based foods is higher and plant-based foods are lower, than proposed in these three dietary patterns.
  • A moderate amount of seafood is an important component of two of three of these dietary patterns, and has demonstrated health benefits. The seafood industry is in the midst of rapid expansion to meet worldwide demand. The collapse of some fisheries due to overfishing in the past decades has raised concern about the ability to produce a safe and affordable supply. In addition, concern has been raised about the safety and nutrient content of farm-raised versus wild-caught seafood.