Are the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Marvelous or Mayhem?

March 02, 2015

That depends on whom you ask these days.

Originally publshed in the Facts, Figures & the Future e-newsletter, written by Phil Lempert, Editor. Click here for a free subscription.

That depends on whom you ask these days.

There are those critics who are focused on the packaging, signage and other implementation costs that will most certainly reach tens of millions of dollars. Then there are the critics with stakeholders who challenge the medical and nutritional findings and changes. There are also entire industries like eggs and produce that are giddy with joy.

During the 45-day public comment period, which ends at midnight on April 8, expect to hear the full spectrum. From those who criticize the government for even suggesting what they should eat (comment 1124, "If people want to eat and get fat, or are lazy, that is the American freedom" or comment #1121 who wrote, "You have no authority for anything you are doing. Read the Constitution once in a while"). Some recommend banning the sale of unhealthy foods because most people are too dumb to understand what they are eating.  While others laud the committee for a job well done. I do recommend that all of us, retailer, brand, food marketer or farmer doread the comments to get a glimpse of what people are really feeling about health and nutrition. 

The key to the success or failure of the 2015 DGA lies in communication, not the science. It's how - and if - we will be able to translate them in ads, on packaging, in store and online so that our shoppers will understand how they can have a positive impact on their lives.