NMPF Submits Comments on Dietary Guidelines Protocols

NMPF submitted comments on Nov. 17 on recently released Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) protocols that emphasize the need to include the newer science on dairy fats in their review and to shorten the duration of time required for randomized controlled trial studies.

NMPF comments focused on protocols for two scientific questions: What is the relationship between food sources of saturated fat consumed and risk of cardiovascular disease, and what is the relationship between dietary patterns consumed and risk of cardiovascular disease?

On the first question, NMPF pointed to the complexity of dairy fat and the growing body of evidence that supports dairy consumption, regardless of fat content, does not increase cardiovascular disease. On the latter question, NMPF pushed for a shorter duration to be used for randomized controlled trials. Changes in blood lipid levels in randomized controlled trials can be seen in 3 weeks which is much shorter than the 12 proposed by the committee in this protocol.

These protocols will, when final, inform the conduct of systematic reviews and food pattern modeling that will form the science base of the 2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The committee has released the protocols in waves as they are developed. The full comments can be found here.

NMPF Statement on Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act

From NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern:

“NMPF commends House Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, R-PA, and Rep. Kim Schrier, D-WA, for their bipartisan Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act to help increase kids’ access to milk’s vital nutrients.

“Good nutrition is a cornerstone of kids’ health and development, and milk plays an unparalleled role in providing the nutrients kids need to grow and thrive. However, most kids and adolescents do not meet the daily dairy intake recommendations made in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Kids take more milk, and drink more milk, in school when they have options they like. A growing body of evidence shows that dairy foods at all fat levels have a neutral or positive effect on health outcomes, ranging from lower prevalence of obesity and diabetes to reduced heart disease risk and healthy cholesterol levels.

“The House Education and the Workforce Committee’s approval of the Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act is a significant step toward expanding the popular, healthy milk options schools can serve to improve their students’ nutrient intake. ”

NMPF’s Bjerga On Equity in Federal Nutrition Programs


NMPF Senior Vice President for Communications Alan Bjerga discusses dairy’s need to promote its nutritional value for all consumers as concern for equity among all populations, including those that are lactose-intolerant, becomes a focus of federal nutrition policy. Bjerga also reveals his pick for the Super Bowl in an interview with WEKZ radio, Janesville, WI.

2025-2030 Dietary Guidelines Kick Offs, NMPF Submits Comments

NMPF submitted comments on the proposed scientific questions for the 2025-2030 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs) May 16, emphasizing NMPF’s shared priority with USDA and HHS of ensuring all Americans have access to nutrient-dense, healthy foods. NMPF also requested the opportunity for stakeholders to comment on the inclusion and exclusion criteria that will apply to the systematic review as this has led to some dairy-focused studies not making the cut in the past. The full, detailed comments can be found here.

The Dietary Guidelines are important as they form the basis of federal nutrition policy and programs including the National School Breakfast and Lunch programs. The development of the new version can be lengthy, with the next steps including selection of the Scientific Advisory committee and their review of the evidence.

The 2020-2025 guidelines retained dairy as a separate group and continued to recommend 3 servings of low-fat and non-fat dairy products in the Healthy U.S.-Style Dietary Pattern. NMPF will continue to monitor and advocate for dairy in the DGAs throughout the entire process.

Dietary Guidelines Good for Dairy, Hanselman Says

Newly released federal dietary guidelines will benefit dairy, even as work remains to be done, said Miquela Hanselman, NMPF’s regulatory affairs manager, in a podcast released today.

“Dairy is in a good place,” Hanselman said. “Three servings of low-fat and non-fat dairy are continued to be recommended in the healthy U.S. and vegetarian diets, and dairy remained its own group. In addition, dairy was recognized as a source of under-consumed nutrients, which are also known as nutrients of public health concern.”

Hanselman also discusses the need to incorporate up-to-date research on dairy in fats in the next round of guidelines and talks about their impact on encouraging the next generation of milk-drinkers. To listen to the full discussion, click here. You can also find this and other NMPF podcasts on Apple Podcasts, SpotifySoundCloud and iHeart Radio. Broadcast outlets may use the MP3 file. Please attribute information to NMPF.

Dietary Guidelines Reaffirm Dairy’s Crucial Nutritional Benefits; Fats Review Urged for 2025

The National Milk Producers Federation praised USDA and HHS today upon the release of the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), which reaffirmed dairy’s central role in diet as a provider of essential nutrients that are often under-consumed in American diets. NMPF also pledged to continue efforts to broaden consideration of the latest science on dairy fats in the next examination of the federal guidelines, which are released twice each decade.

“USDA and HHS deserve praise for once again recognizing just how vital dairy is to the nation’s health and well-being,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “We encourage them to affirm that role even more clearly in the next iteration of the Dietary Guidelines, to reflect the positive contribution of dairy fats in diets that’s increasingly recognized in a growing body of evidence.”

The guidelines culminate nearly two years of work that began in 2019 with the selection of the Scientific Advisory Committee, which drafts recommendations for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services.

The latest update to the dietary guidelines restates dairy’s importance to diet. Highlights include:

  • A recommendation of three servings of dairy in the Healthy U.S. Eating pattern and Healthy Vegetarian Eating patterns, in keeping with past guidelines
  • Dairy’s continued recognition as a distinct food group
  • A recognition that Americans aren’t consuming enough dairy to meet their nutritional needs
  • Dairy’s reaffirmation as a source of four nutrients of public health concern, including potassium, calcium, and vitamin D, as well as iodine for pregnant women
  • A recommendation of milk, yogurt, and cheese in the first-ever healthy eating patterns geared toward infants and toddlers ages birth to 24 months.

“The panel’s recognition that dairy is a key source of ‘nutrients of concern’ in U.S. diets is especially important,” Mulhern said. “During a time of food insecurity and concerns about proper nutrition among Americans, dairy is a readily accessible solution to clearly identified public-health challenges. Dairy farmers work hard to be part of that solution, and the panel’s recognition of the nutritional importance of dairy is greatly appreciated.”

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans have significant implications for numerous government policy areas, including guiding the types of milk served in school meal programs and setting the parameters for how nutrition programs are implemented and developed.