Responding to the Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), the US-based Produce Marketing Association (PMA) has submitted written comments to the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) supporting the DGAC's call for a multi-component, collaborative approach to increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.
Among its ten specific recommendations, PMA also backed the advisory report’s conclusion for the need to lower Americans’ risk of cancer, heart disease and other illnesses by encouraging consumers to eat whole foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, rather than vitamin or mineral supplements.
“While the DGAC report is not a draft of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans policy, it does form the basis for federal health guidance and feeding programmes,” said Kathy Means, PMA vice-president of industry relations. “In combination with PMA and member activities, DGAC’s recommendations create a favourable climate for significant growth in fresh produce consumption and sales.”
PMA said that it applauded the committee’s conclusion that new dietary recommendations must meet consumers where they are in terms of cultural and personal food preferences, and must also emphasise the role the food environment and public policies play in the ability of Americans to follow dietary guidance.
The association also agreed with DGAC that additional measures from a wide range of stakeholders are needed to drive consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.
“Our comments acknowledge industry’s responsibility in a multi-component, collaborative approach to make healthy lifestyles and disease prevention top priorities,” said Kevin Fiori, PMA board of directors chair and vice-president of sales and marketing for Sunkist Growers. “We also point out the produce industry’s already taking a leadership role by marketing fruits and vegetables differently, as demonstrated through PMA’s support of the eat brighter! movement and the FNV programme."