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May 8, 2015 | 2 minute read

AICR Urges Federal Government to Make Cancer-Protective Changes to US Dietary Guidelines

Evidence-Based Comments Focus on Promoting
Plant-Based Diets, Limiting Sugar and Red Meat Intake

WASHINGTON, DC —In formal comments submitted to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), experts at the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) strongly urged officials to change the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans to more fully reflect the convincing scientific evidence on diet’s impact on cancer risk.

Earlier this year, scientists on the government’s Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) prepared a report that made specific recommendations for the next set of Dietary Guidelines, which are scheduled for release later in 2015. Among these recommendations were:

  • to promote overall dietary patterns that emphasize plant foods
  • to include language advising Americans to limit their sugar consumption, and
  • to change the current Dietary Guidelines’ advice from “choose lean meats” to “limit consumption of red and processed meats.”

According to AICR’s research, these three changes would have a significant impact on cancer incidence in America. Diets high in a variety of plant foods and low in animal products are strongly associated with lower cancer risk. Diets high in added sugar are linked to obesity, which is itself a cause of ten different kinds of cancer. And diets high in red meat and processed meat are a cause of colorectal cancer.

In drafting the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, federal officials may or may not follow the recommendations of the DGAC report. Lobbyists from the sugar and meat industries are spending millions of dollars attempting to discredit the clear and convincing research behind those recommendations.

This is why AICR has submitted formal comments strongly supporting the DGAC report. In those comments, signed by AICR’s Vice-President for Programs and Strategy, AICR’s Vice-President for Research, and AICR’s Associate Director of Nutrition Programs, the organization laid out the relevant research and wrote:

“Upon reviewing this evidence, we hope you will accept the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s recommendations on healthy dietary patterns, which include reducing sugar consumption and limiting red and processed meat intake.”

Download the full comments submitted by AICR (MSWord Doc)

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