A call to new dietary guidelines

Internationally recognized Oldways, the non-profit consumer advocacy group known for changing the way people eat, is issuing a call to nutrition groups, companies and individuals to band together to make the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans - and their underlying health benefits - a reality.

This urgent call to action is a response to the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC)'s report released in mid-June, which offers a "sneak preview" to content expected later this year in the actual 2010 Dietary Guidelines.

"These new guidelines are not a yawn -- they are revolutionary but only if we all join together to change the way people eat," said Sara Baer-Sinnott, President of Oldways. "We are inviting partners to come to the table to help us encourage Americans, once and for all, to shift their approach to food from large portions and mindless eating to one that celebrates delicious, healthy, simple foods."

Oldways is looking for partners who believe in three key elements at the center of this important initiative:

1) Healthy Eating Can Be Delicious - For too long, eating healthy has been equated with deprivation and scolding. Now, with its call to "improve cooking skills" and "value preparing and enjoying healthy food" the DGAC Report lays the groundwork for a new attitude and approach that Oldways has for many years fondly called "the Pleasures of the Table."

2) Working with Industry is Essential - "Change is needed in the food environment," says the DGAC Report. "The food industry will need to act to help Americans achieve these goals." Oldways has a long history, through programs like its Whole Grains Council and Mediterranean Foods Alliance, of organizing creative initiatives that motivate industry to introduce healthier products, and plans to build on this successful model in support of the new guidelines.

3) Total Diet is Important - In the early 90s, Oldways created the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid to popularize a proven approach to healthy, delicious eating - a total approach to diet, comprised of a wide variety of healthy foods and drinks. Now the DGAC Report has added a key chapter on Total Diet, and cited the Med Diet specifically as one of the two most scientifically-established ways to live a long and healthy life.

Oldways' expertise in healthy traditional foodways around the world can make a key contribution to the new Guidelines.

Anyone -- from individuals with an interest in nutrition to corporations and organizations committed to making a difference -- can show their support by taking the Three Point Pledge. From there, Oldways will rally supporters to prepare for the Guidelines release later this year.

First published in 1980, the Dietary Guidelines are updated and released by the USDA and HHS every five years. Because they serve as the foundation for virtually all nutrition programs, both public and private, the Dietary Guidelines have the potential to make an enormous impact on Americans' health.

Oldways (www.oldwayspt.org) is an internationally-respected non-profit, changing the way people eat through positive and practical programs grounded in science and tradition. It is the parent organization for The Whole Grains Council and The Mediterranean Foods Alliance, and is well-known for creating the Whole Grain Stamp and the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid.