Dannon Statement on the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Jan 07, 2016, 13:06 ET from The Dannon Company

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Jan. 7, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Dannon Company welcomes the publication of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs) and the inclusion of one serving of yogurt in recommended healthy eating patterns, as exemplified by this sample day of meals, which shows how careful choices can help Americans consume a variety of foods to meet nutrient needs and balance nutrients to limit in the diet.

As the new guidelines outline, the vast majority of Americans are not getting the recommended three servings of dairy per day. Adding one lowfat or nonfat yogurt every day to their eating plan is a simple, convenient way for Americans to increase dairy intake. Specific strategies for increasing dairy intake as noted in the 2015 DGAs include choosing yogurt as a snack, or using yogurt as an ingredient in prepared dishes.

In accord with our mission to bring health through food to as many people as possible, we are also pleased to note that in addition to helping Americans get their recommended three servings of dairy per day, yogurt can play a significant role in helping them meet many of the other recommendations put forth in the new guidelines:

  • Yogurt is a nutrient dense food, and most yogurts contain calcium, potassium and vitamin D, three critical nutrients that were identified in the 2015 DGAs as nutrients of public health concern (those that are under-consumed across the population). Among their many benefits, these nutrients support growth and bone development.
  • Yogurt pairs well with fruit and vegetables and can encourage their consumption when combined in smoothies, dips and dressings, supporting overall healthy dietary patterns like those recommended in the 2015 DGAs.
  • The updated guidelines identify the opportunity for Americans to consider more vegetarian options. Most yogurts are a good source of high quality protein – along with calcium, potassium and vitamin D – which can fit into a vegetarian diet.
  • The DGAs serve as a guide to healthy eating, including weight management. Research shows that people who regularly consumed yogurt had less weight gain over time. In particular, yogurt consumption over time (at 4% of daily calories) is associated with a lower change of weight and waist circumference over time, and consumption of yogurt, fruits, vegetables and whole grains is associated with less weight gain over time, with yogurt having the best effect.

The 2015 DGAs also call for Americans to reduce their intake of sugar from all sources, and we have been working to reduce sugar throughout our portfolio. We started in 2013 by lowering the sugar content of our bestselling kids' product, Danimals Smoothies, by 25 percent. In 2014, Dannon, in conjunction with the Partnership for a Healthier America, committed to reduce the amount of total sugar in our products to 23 grams or less per 6-ounce serving (based on the Institute of Medicine's recommendation) in 100 percent of products for children and in 70 percent of the company's products overall by 2016.

And while we appreciate that the new policy document acknowledges industry's efforts to better align products with federal dietary guidance, we agree that our work is not finished. We are constantly innovating to develop new solutions that will help us further improve the nutritional profile of our products. Dannon is also committed to investing in nutrition education programs and research focused on healthy eating as part of its PHA pledge.

Today, more than ever, families have more options for convenient, great-tasting, affordable, nutrient-dense foods to choose from. Yogurt is one of those foods. Despite growth in popularity over recent years, the average American still eats less than one cup of yogurt in any given week, compared with nearly double that amount in Canada and five times that in some European countries. 

With the release of the new guidelines, the attention of government, healthcare providers, schools, industry and other nutrition stakeholders turns to implementation efforts that ensure the recommendations are actionable for all Americans. In this context, it is important to highlight that, in addition to its many nutritional benefits, yogurt is convenient, versatile and appeals to all ages, making it a practical choice consumers can feel good about making every day as they look for ways to apply the 2015 Dietary Guidelines to their daily lives.

For more information on the power of yogurt, see the Think Yogurt infographic: http://bit.ly/ThinkYogurt2015

About The Dannon Company
Headquartered in White Plains, New York, The Dannon Company has plants in Minster, OH, Fort Worth, TX, West Jordan, UT, and Portland, OR, which make more than 200 different flavors, styles and sizes of cultured refrigerated and frozen dairy products to serve its retail and foodservice customers. Dannon brings health through food to as many people as possible via its diverse offering of delicious and wholesome yogurts. Dannon is a subsidiary of Danone, and Dannon is the top-selling brand of yogurt worldwide, sold under the names Dannon and Danone. For more information, visit http://www.dannon.com/.


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