Article Content



[check mark]Healthier Life


[check mark]Can a Drink a Day Keep You Sane?


[check mark]Nutrition Lessons Learned



Dietary Guideline Committee Issues Report

The 2005 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee issued its report to the US Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services. The report sets policy direction for the next 5 years for all government nutrition programs, including research, education, food assistance, labeling, and nutrition promotion.


The report's 9 key scientific findings are:


* Consume a variety of foods within and among the basic food groups while staying within energy needs.


* Control calorie intake to manage body weight.


* Be physically active every day.


* Increase daily intake of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and nonfat or low-fat milk and milk products.


* Choose fats wisely for good health.


* Choose carbohydrates wisely for good health.


* Choose and prepare foods with little salt.


* If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation.


* Keep food safe to eat.



Additional work will be necessary to help Americans incorporate these key findings into their everyday lives. For more information go to:


NIH Consensus Panel Finds Celiac Disease Underdiagnosed

Celiac disease is considerably under-diagnosed, according to an independent consensus panel convened this week by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Celiac disease may affect 3 million Americans. The disease is present in 0.5% to 1% of the US population, 10 times higher than previous estimates.


Based on its assessment of an extensive collection of medical literature and expert presentations, the Celiac Consensus panel identified 6 elements essential to treating celiac disease once it is diagnosed:


C- Consultation with a skilled dietitian


E- Education about the disease


L- Lifelong adherence to a gluten-free diet


I- Identification and treatment of nutritional deficiencies


A- Access to an advocacy group


C- Continuous long-term follow-up



Increased physician awareness of the various manifestations of celiac disease and appropriate use of available testing strategies may lead to earlier diagnosis and better outcomes for celiac patients.


Statements from past conferences and additional information about the NIH Consensus Development Program are also available at or by calling 888-644-2667.


Books and Media Received

Epilepsy and the Ketogenic Diet, Carl Staffstrom and Jong Rho. Humana Press; 2004. $125.00. ISBN: 1-588-29-295-9.


Risk!! A Practical Guide for Deciding What's Really Safe and What's Really Dangerous in the World Around You, David Ropeik and George Gray. Houghton Mifflin Company; 2002.


Coping with Kidney Disease: A 12-Step Treatment Program to Help you Avoid Dialysis, Mackenzie Walser. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2002.


Cancer Prevention: The Causes and Prevention of Cancer, Graham Colditz and David Hunter. Kluwer Academic Publishers; 2000. $103.00. ISBN: 0-7923-6603-4.


Nutrition Lessons Learned

At the annual face-to-face meeting of the Legislative and Public Policy Committee of the American Dietetic Association (ADA) this summer, a useful list of "lessons learned" was generated by ADA's Washington staff, including the following:


* Learn the art of compromise.


* Focus on high-priority issues.


* Recognize the role of the registered dietitian is still not fully recognized as the nutrition expert.


* Coalitions are important, but so are personal contacts.


* The split between the nutrition community's antihunger and pronutrition groups is a problem, because resources are limited priorities are often set by putting one issue above another.


* Often federal legislation has local implications.


* Grassroots efforts are most useful when there is a bill that can be fully supported in getting general support for specific provisions on bills, and often there is high interest by members in this.


* Authorizations alone are not enough!! They require appropriations.



Panel Reports Adverse Event Monitoring Program for Dietary Supplements

The Life Sciences Research Office (LSRO) has completed a new report entitled, "Recommendations for Adverse Event Monitoring Programs for Dietary Supplements." Currently, there is no federal guidance or mandate for the collection, documentation, or evaluation of consumer health complaints associated with the use of dietary supplements. LSRO convened an ad-hoc independent expert advisory panel to review and compare individual data records associated with the use of dietary supplements and evaluation of their usefulness for generating signals of potential product problems. Additionally, the panel will also review postmarketing surveillance programs described in scientific literature and recommend the design and implementation of an effective system for monitoring and responding to health complaints associated with the use of dietary supplements. The members of the ad-hoc expert panel included Nutrition Today editorial Advisory Board Member Janet Greger, PhD.


HHS Announces Revised Medicare Obesity Coverage Policy

The US Department of Health and Human Services announced a new Medicare coverage policy that would remove barriers to covering antiobesity interventions if scientific and medical evidence demonstrate their effectiveness in improving Medicare beneficiaries' health outcomes.


The new policy from HHS' Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) removes language in the Medicare Coverage Issues Manual stating that obesity is not an illness. By law, Medicare covers specified medically necessary services for illness and injury. The previous manual stated that obesity was not an illness, so Medicare could not cover treatments for obesity-related diseases. This new step allows members of the public to request that Medicare review medical evidence to determine whether specific treatments related to obesity would be covered by Medicare.


The new policy does not affect the existing Medicare coverage of treatments of diseases resulting in or made worse by obesity, particularly currently covered surgical treatments for individuals who are morbidly obese. Detailed information on this process can be found on the Medicare coverage Web site at


Healthier Life

The American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, and American Heart Association joined forces in June to prevent chronic degenerative diseases. The recommendations are to have blood pressure monitored every 2 years, body mass index(BMI) measured at regular health visits, and blood cholesterol levels checked every 5 years starting at age 30, and a blood glucose (sugar) test every 5 years starting at age 45 years. Learn more at



October 14-17, 2004. Les Dames d'Escoffier International 2004 Annual Conference, Chicago, Ill. For more information go to


October 25-30, 2004. Seventh International Conference of Anti-cancer Research, Corfu, Greece. For more information go to


November 1-3, 2004. The BCPC Seminars Crop & Science Technology 2004, Glasgow, Scotland, UK. For more information e-mail:


November 4-5, 2004. Fourth European Congress on Nutrition and Health in the Elderly, Toulouse, France. For more information call: +33-5-34-45-26-45.


November 7-9, 2004. Enhancing the Safety of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, Cambridge, Mass. For more information go to


March 1-3, 2005. American Dietetic Association Legislative and Public Policy Committee, Washington, DC.


May 6-8, 2005. 3rd Annual International Academy on Nutrition and Aging, St. Louis, Mo. For more information e-mail:


September 18-20, 2006. 30th National Nutrient Databank Conference, Honolulu, HI.


Can a Drink a Day Keep You Sane?

People who drink alcohol frequently in middle age may be twice as likely as less regular drinkers to develop mild mental impairments later in life. According to research published in the British Medical Journal, non-drinkers were at increased risk for such problems.


Researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm studied people who had first been surveyed about their drinking habits in a Finnish study in 1972 and 1977. In 1998, they invited 1,018 of them for reexamination and cognitive assessment.


Compared with infrequent drinkers, frequent drinkers and nondrinkers were twice as likely to develop mild cognitive impairment in old age. The authors also found that the risk of dementia related to alcohol was affected by the presence of Apo e4. Carriers of this mutation were at increased risk of dementia with increasing alcohol consumption.


The researchers are unsure of the mechanism by which moderate drinking might preserve one's mental ability.