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A few years ago, scientists advised federal leaders to adjust the Dietary Guidelines for Americans to lower added sugar intake from 10% to 6% of daily calories and reduce men’s daily alcohol intake from two to one drink a day.
That advice was not taken.
This is an opportunity to speak up for nutrition!
Submit a model comment created by Salud America! to urge lower added sugar and alcohol intake in the 2025-2030 Dietary Guidelines for Americans!
The comment period opened Jan. 19, 2023. Comments will close in late 2024.
For the next version of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, I believe it is essential to improve nutritional recommendations on what to eat and drink to meet nutrient needs, promote health, and prevent disease.
That starts with lowering added sugar.
Added sugars are contributing to an obesity crisis among young children, especially for Latino and Black youth. (https://bit.ly/441MShV). Nearly 2 of 3 U.S. children’s drinks sold in 2018 were unhealthy fruit drinks and flavored waters with added sugars and/or diet sweeteners (https://salud.to/childrens-drinks).
Not only does overconsumption of things like sugary drinks put people at greater risk for obesity, but also diabetes. Latino adults overall have a 40% chance of developing type 2 diabetes and are more likely to experience complications and death from diabetes.
Reducing the recommended daily intake of added sugar intake can help prevent these negative health consequences faced by Latinos.
Alcohol consumption can also bring about harsh consequences.
Alcoholism – and deaths caused by alcohol – have increased in the U.S. since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic (https://bit.ly/3KwJeWc).
While more Latinos have never had even one drink of alcohol than their white peers, more than 33% of these Latinos will have recurrent or persistent problems with alcohol, a higher rate than their white peers (https://bit.ly/47pfnJg). Latinos who choose to drink are more likely to consume higher volumes of alcohol than non-Hispanic Whites (https://bit.ly/3KwJeWc).
Improving nutritional recommendations would help fight obesity , diabetes, and other health disparities that plague Latinos and other populations.
I support the lowering of both sugar and alcohol intake for the 2025-2030 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
How Do the Dietary Guidelines Impact Latinos?
For example, fast food and corner stores outnumber supermarkets and farmers’ markets in many Latino neighborhoods, research shows. Latino kids also consume more sugary drinks—soda, sports drinks, sugary fruit juices, and flavored milk—than the average child.
The recommendation for the 2025-2030 Dietary Guidelines for Americans to reduce sugar intake from 10% to 6% of daily calories (and lower alcohol intake for men from two to one drink a day) can help curb these health risks.
“When nutrition guidelines are not backed with the latest scientific research, it can lead to overconsumption of unhealthy foods,” according to a Salud America! resource. “Latinos and other people of color may be hurt more than others.”
Why Are Changes to the Dietary Guidelines Needed?
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) release new Dietary Guidelines for Americans every five years.
USDA and HHS appointed the 2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, a group of scientists, to review the latest science on nutrition and health and ensure that information is reflected in the 2025-2030 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
The dietary guidelines are a model for what Americans should eat and drink to meet nutrient needs, promote health, and prevent disease.
“The fundamental strength of the Dietary Guidelines is that they are rooted in the best and most recent scientific evidence,” according to HHS and USDA researchers in an article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. “This is a critical point to note because widespread disinformation and misinformation about nutrition is prevalent in the media, which can cause confusion in the public.”
The new public comment period is part of the 2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s review of the scientific evidence. They are examining the evidence through data analysis, food pattern modeling, and systematic reviews.
Public comments are critical because they help federal officials learn the potential impact of a proposed guideline or regulation, according to Unidos US. Participating in the rulemaking process allows you or your organization to shape federal programs and the rules that govern.
The committee will also hold virtual meetings.
“Our goal at HHS and USDA is to enhance health and well-being and to improve the nutrition and food security of all Americans, particularly people at risk for, or living with, a chronic illness,” according to the HHS and USDA researchers.
“Additionally, we will continue to consider the diverse needs and cultures within our nation, recognizing that there may be different dietary needs and preferences based on ages, life stages, and racial and ethnic backgrounds.”