Will New Dietary Guidelines Create the Change America Needs?

This article originally appeared on Yoganonymous.com.

Photo via Google Images

Photo via Google Images

Earlier this month, the Obama Administration released the newest dietary guideline statement, dropping recommended sugar intake to only 10 percent of all calories consumed. 

Mother Jones, published this article, which recaps the ways in which the new dietary guidelines compare to  the habits of the average American, how they will be implemented, and what challenges school cafeterias in particular face in regards to these new guidelines. 

The article's author, Julia Lurie, states that "For an American on a 2,000 calorie diet, 10 percent means no more than 12 teaspoons a day—a dramatic drop from the 30 teaspoons consumed by many Americans." She goes on to explain that younger Americans eat an average upwards of 16% of just sugar in their daily diets. This is an average, so imagine what that number looks like on a "bad day." 

On paper, the updated dietary restrictions are a win for health advocates in the US. However, in reality, these dietary restrictions will take years to enforce—and even then, there is no guarantee that governmental organizations, like public schools, will be eager to change their food systems. 

Lurie concludes her article by sharing that "The Sugar Association, the industry's main trade group, released a statement [in mid-January 2016] calling the guidelines "agenda focused, not science focused." This change has the potential to shake up an entire industry that profits off of sugar addiction (ie. cereal companies, frozen yogurt companies, and cookie companies).

If they are no longer able to rope in young children, and get a steady sugar addiction going in their early years, how will they ever maintain their markets down the road? Just some food for thought. 

Diya SenGupta