New Dietary Guidelines

The federal committee that makes dietary guidelines and recommendations has just released their newest report.  As expected, they've incorporated "sustainability" objectives and have recommended a move away from meat eating.  I've previously commented on the the problem with a single committee making both nutritional and sustainability recommendations, and I had a piece in the Wall Street Journal on environmental impacts of meat production.   Now we can take a look at what's actually been proposed.

Here's one tidbit from a Washington Post summary on the issue.

“We’re not saying that people need to become vegans,” said Miriam Nelson, a professor at Tufts University and one of the committee’s members. “But we are saying that people need to eat less meat.”

The panel’s findings, which were released to the public in the form on a 572 page report this afternoon, specifically recommend that Americans be kinder to the environment by eating more plant-based foods and fewer animal-based foods. The panel is confident that the country can align both health goals and environmental aims, but warns that the U.S. diet, as currently constructed, could improve.

Other conservative news sources point to some pretty heavy handed portions of the report.  The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC):  

called for diet and weight management interventions by “trained interventionists” in healthcare settings, community locations, and worksites.

"Interventionists" is the right word here, but rarely are interventionists so forthcoming in their intentions.They also want to tax foods, limit speech, and monitor TV use.   

DGAC also called for policy interventions to “reduce unhealthy options,” limit access to high calorie foods in public buildings, “limit the exposure” of advertisements for junk food, a soda tax, and taxing high sugar and salt items and dessert.

“Align nutritional and agricultural policies with Dietary Guidelines recommendations and make broad policy changes to transform the food system so as to promote population health, including the use of economic and taxing policies to encourage the production and consumption of healthy foods and to reduce unhealthy foods,” its report read.

“For example, earmark tax revenues from sugar-sweetened beverages, snack foods and desserts high in calories, added sugars, or sodium, and other less healthy foods for nutrition education initiatives and obesity prevention programs.”

The amount of sedentary time Americans spend in front of computers and TV sets is also a concern to the federal panel.

If you think this is a one-off isolated example, you haven't been paying attention.