Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Linking Foods, Behavior and Metabolism to Promote a Healthy Body Weight

Location: Obesity and Metabolism Research

Title: Food science challenge: Translating the Dietary Guidelines for Americans to Bring About Real Behavior Change

item Rowe, Sylvia
item Alexander, Nick
item Almeida, Nelson
item Black, Richard
item Burns, Robbie
item Bush, Lania
item Crawford, Patricia
item Keim, Nancy
item Kris-etherton, Penny
item Weaver, Connie

Submitted to: Journal of Food Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/6/2011
Publication Date: 1/20/2011
Publication URL:
Citation: 2011. Food science challenge: Translating the dietary guidelines for americans to bring about real behavior change. Journal of Food Science. 76:R29-37.

Interpretive Summary: Only a small proportion of Americans regularly consumes diets patterned after the recommendations of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines. The Institute of Food Technologists and the American Dietetic Association convened a panel of food science and nutrition experts to discuss how the food industry might approach the development and production of food products that are aligned with the Guidelines. This article is a summary of that discussion and is aimed at food science professionals who are making decisions about product formulation and marketing. Of the many recommendations made by the panel, it was clear that impactful communication strategies and modification of the food supply are critical to achieving the desired public health outcomes. Also to achieve the maximum impact on public health, new approaches need to be employed such as setting strategic priorities, placing greater emphasis on practical solutions, and establishing realistic public health objectives. To address the obesity epidemic, a key focus should be on very young children and on their parents. Trust and collaboration between nutrition communicators, food industry scientists, and retail food industry representatives are key to bring about a healthy change in the U.S. food supply.

Technical Abstract: Food scientists and nutrition scientists (dietitians and nutrition communicators) are tasked with creating strategies to more closely align the American food supply and the public's diet with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). This paper is the result of 2 expert dialogues to address this mandate, which were held in Chicago, Illinois, and Washington, D.C., in early October 2010 between these 2 key scientific audiences. It is an objective that has largely eluded public health experts over the past several decades. This document takes the perspective of food scientists who are tasked with making positive modifications to the food supply, both in innovating and reformulating food products, to respond to both the DGA recommendations, and to consumer desires, needs, and choices. The paper is one of two to emerge from those October 2010 discussions; the other article focuses on the work of dietitians and nutrition communicators in effecting positive dietary change.

Last Modified: 10/17/2017
Footer Content Back to Top of Page