Mexico's New Dietary Guidelines Reviewed

The Lempert Report
June 06, 2023

Last week, Marion Nestle, our friend in Food Politics, posted Mexico's terrific new guidelines, dietary guidelines, and I'm just going to read them through and talk a little bit about what she had to say. Number 1, breastfeed babies for the first six months. Number 2, eat more vegetables and fruits. Three, eat beans. Four, choose whole grains. Five, eat less beef and processed meats. Six, avoid ultra-processed foods. Seven, drink water. Eight, avoid alcohol. Nine, be physically active. And 10, enjoy meals with family and friends. You know 10 relatively simple things, but I think that what Mexico has done with these is really much smarter than as our guidelines. They come out every five years, just overcomplicate things. Marion also points out that if the Mexican population actually does follow these guidelines, she's highlighted six groups of people that are going to have problems. Industries, infant formula, beef, processed meats, ultra-processed foods, sugar, sweetened beverages and alcohol. And also there's three more industries are probably going to be in trouble. Pharmaceutical drugs, private medicine and insurance companies. And her last statement is she hopes the new US dietary guidelines will find these inspiring. So it's a little twist of what we normally see, but again, let's not forget that Mexico, you know, had this ban not a ban but, you know, like a big, big black cross on high sugar foods that went out there. And it looks like, you know, Mexico is being a lot smarter than we are.

Sally: Yes, 100% agree, Phil. These are very, very modern approaches to our dietary guidelines, and I'm sure Marion Nestle is also celebrating the fact that there's been no interference by the food industry and brands that have junk foods. They have not been a part of creating these dietary guidelines And I know she's very big on that. But also, you know, these are dietary guidelines that are pointing out specific problem areas that modern Mexicans and, I believe, Americans are facing, but also it addresses eating better for our planet and you know, and being more environmentally conscious in the way that we eat. Tackling the alcohol, Mexico has a has a heavy drinking population. Three out of 10 report that they have heavy alcohol consumption. Well, so I really, i really like the fact that they're being aggressive about it and saying you know, avoid alcohol. We want you to just completely avoid it. And there are some recommendations if you are not going to completely avoid it, you know, on how to limit your intake, but it is very bold of them. And also with the with the breastfeeding you know that is a wonderful way for children to start their life consuming naturally in that way. Not every woman can breastfeed, so formula is necessary in some cases, but in the cases of women that can. It's great for them to feel supported and encouraged and and helped get it getting started that way.Phil: Yep, i totally agree with you, with Marion, and I just hope that over here, you know, we get smart and we look at how simple Mexico has addressed these problems and we follow suit.