Transamerica Institute

2015 Dietary Guidelines Report

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, a group of nutrition, medicine, and public health experts, recently submitted its recommendations to the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Agriculture (USDA).  

The 2015 Advisory Committee’s work was guided by two fundamental realities. First, about half of all American adults—117 million individuals—have one or more preventable, chronic diseases, and about two-thirds of U.S. adults—nearly 155 million individuals—are overweight or obese. Poor dietary patterns, over consumption of calories, and physical inactivity directly contribute to these disorders.  Second, individual nutrition and physical activity behaviors and other health-related lifestyle behaviors are strongly influenced by personal, social, organizational, and environmental contexts and systems. Positive changes in individual diet and physical activity behaviors, and in the environmental contexts and systems that affect them, could substantially improve health outcomes.

Updated by the HHS and USDA every 5 years, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans are the cornerstone of federal nutrition policy and nutrition education activities. The recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans are intended for people ages 2 years and over, including those at increased risk of chronic disease. The Guidelines encourage Americans to make informed food choices for a healthful diet — one that focuses on foods and beverages that help achieve and maintain a healthy weight, promote overall health, and prevent disease.

The HHS and USDA will consider this report, along with input from other federal agencies and comments from the public as they develop the 2015 edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, to be released later this year.

Key Findings:

The overall body of evidence examined by the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee 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 meats; and low in sugar-sweetened foods and drinks and refined grains.

Click here to read the full report or the Executive Summary which gives an overview of the new findings and recommendations.