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Rosemont, Ill. – February 27, 2008 – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee (PAGAC) is calling for commentary from scientific experts on the upcoming report, Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. The National Dairy Council® (NDC) acknowledges and agrees with the body of scientific evidence that supports the need for establishing a national target of at least low intensity physical activity for all Americans and agrees that consuming nutrient-rich foods, such as dairy products, along with being physically active is integral for preventing chronic disease and improving public health.
“The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans report has the potential to communicate how the important relationship between food and physical activity can impact our health,” said Greg Miller, Ph.D., M.A.C.N., executive vice president of research, regulatory and scientific affairs at NDC. “We hope that clear guidance on physical activity and diet will help motivate Americans to choose nutrient-rich foods often and be more physically active to ensure strong bones and muscles and to ultimately improve overall health.”
Research indicates the need to establish a national target level of at least low intensity physical activity to prevent chronic disease and improve public health as documented in the 2002 IOM DRI for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids and in the physical activity recommendations by the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association.1-2 Applying these target levels across health promotion and disease prevention programs, including the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), would emphasize the critical importance of adequate nutrition and physical activity for improving health.
In considering the science on physical activity, health outcomes and prevention of chronic disease, it is critical that dietary intake be recognized. There is a synergistic relationship between nutrients, physical activity and several chronic diseases. Scientific data indicates that essential nutrients, such as calcium, protein and vitamin D found in nutrient-rich dairy foods, along with physical activity contribute to preventing osteoporosis, sarcopenia (degenerative loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength) and other chronic diseases.3-6 Adequate bone density and muscle strength also help to prevent injuries and assist with activities of daily living in Americans of all ages. The DGA's and MyPyramid recommend that Americans include 3 cups of low-fat or fat-free dairy in their diet every day to ensure adequate consumption of important nutrients.
The DGAs recognize that people who consume more dairy foods have better overall diets, consume more nutrients and have improved bone health. It is important that the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans provide parallel education on the role that nutrient-rich dairy foods play in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
About the National Dairy Council
The National Dairy Council® was founded in 1915 and conducts nutrition education and nutrition research programs through national, state and regional Dairy Council organizations, on behalf of America’s dairy farmers.
For more information about the health benefits of dairy foods, visit www.nationaldairycouncil.org.
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The American Dairy Association/National Dairy Council (ADA/NDC) is managed by Dairy Management Inc., the nonprofit domestic and international planning and management organization responsible for increasing demand for U.S.-produced dairy products on behalf of America’s dairy farmers.
1. Institute of Medicine. Dietary reference intakes: energy, carbohydrate, fiber, fat, fatty acids, cholesterol, protein, and amino acids. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2002.
2. Physical Activity and Public Health: Updated Recommendation for Adults From the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2007; 116:1081-1093.
3. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, 11:40-44, 2008.
4. Baron, R (1999). Anatomy and ultra structure of bone. In: Primer on the Metabolic Bone Disease and Disorders of Mineral Metabolism, ed. MJ Favus, pp3–10, Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
5. European Journal Nutrition. 2000. 39(6):256-62.
6. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2005. 82(5):1115-26.