Diet and chronic disease relationships are complex. Nutrient deficiency diseases, such as scurvy, can be cured by consumption of a missing nutrient, for example, vitamin C. In contrast, chronic disease incidence is linked to a wide range of nutrient exposures, energy, fats, sodium, dietary fiber; and food exposures, whole grains, vegetables, nuts, and so on, making it challenging to set a clear direction on dietary guidance. Additionally, nondietary factors including exercise, stress, smoking, and other environmental exposures are linked to chronic disease incidence. Since 1980, the US government has issued Dietary Guidelines for Americans every 5 years. These recommendations are intended for healthy Americans 2 years or older. The scientific support for these guidelines is drafted by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. I served as a member of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee and describe the challenges of translating evidence-based nutrition science into dietary practice.
Much sane and sage advice that we hope the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee takes to heart
Joanne Slavin, PhD, RD, is professor at the Department of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Minnesota, St Paul. She was a member of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee.
The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose.
Correspondence: Joanne Slavin, PhD, RD, Department of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Minnesota, 1334 Eckles Ave, St Paul, MN 55108 (firstname.lastname@example.org).