The Florida Department of Citrus Scientific Research Department is closely monitoring the actions leading up to the release of the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) later this year. These guidelines are updated every 5 years to reflect the current body of nutrition science and provide advice on what to eat and drink to promote health and reduce risk of chronic disease1. The first print of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) report was released on July 15, 2020. This report will be used to develop the Guidelines, anticipated to be published at the end of 2020. (See the infographic below on how this process works.) The DGAC’s report includes the scientific review, conclusions, and recommendations of various nutrition- and health-related topics and questions.
Five principles emerged and serve as overarching guidelines for the DGAC’s work:
- Follow a healthy eating pattern across the lifespan.
- Focus on variety, nutrient density, and amount.
- Limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats and reduce sodium intake.
- Shift to healthier food and beverage choices.
- Shift eating patterns to food and beverage choices that have a higher nutrient-to-energy ratio
- Shift to higher quality food and beverage choices at every age to achieve a more healthful dietary pattern.
- Support healthy eating patterns for all.
Overall, the conclusions and statements presented in the DGAC report related to 100% fruit juice are positive in that 100% fruit juice is defined as a nutrient-dense beverage and can contribute to hydration, nutrient intake recommendations, and can play an added role in health promotion and disease prevention. 100% fruit juices do not contribute to added sugar intake and limited evidence shows they are not associated with obesity.
Dietary intake of fruit is below recommended levels for the majority of the U.S. population and the underconsumption of vitamin D, calcium, dietary fiber, and potassium along with the overconsumption of added sugars, sodium, and saturated fat are considered “of public health concern.” 100% fruit juice can help increase total fruit intake and provide some of these nutrients of concern.
This evidence-based analysis and report supports and reinforces that:
- 100% OJ is a nutrient-dense beverage that can help contribute to nutrient and total fruit intake and positively contribute to overall diet quality.
- 100% OJ can play a role in health promotion and disease prevention.
- 100% OJ does not contain added sugars and is not a source of added sugar in the diet and can serve as a nutrient-dense replacement for beverages containing added sugars to help reduce added sugar intake.
- 100% OJ delivers benefits without increasing the risk for obesity when consumed in appropriate amounts that fit within an individual’s diet and lifestyle.
- 100% OJ can fit into all the USDA’s dietary patterns for good health and can help contribute to the intake of nutrients of “public health concern.”
While this report supports inclusion of 100% fruit juice in the final DGA, how the USDA translates the Committee report to develop the DGA policy document is not known. Therefore, the conclusions, implications and opportunities presented here are based on the Committee’s review of the science only and will need to be reevaluated when the policy document is released at the end of 2020. The FDOC will continue to monitor for additional actions and provide updates to the industry regarding how these decisions may or may not impact 100% orange juice.
Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. 2020. Scientific Report of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee: Advisory Report to the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of Health and Human Services. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Washington, DC. Link to report. 835 pages.