Oldways seeks partners for Guidelines 'pledge'

by Eric Schroeder
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BOSTON — Non-profit consumer advocacy group Oldways this week issued a call to nutrition groups, companies and individuals to band together to make the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans — and its underlying health benefits — a reality.

The call to action comes in response to the June 15 release of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s report, which is expected to form the foundation of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 set for release later this year.

“These new guidelines are not a yawn — they are revolutionary but only if we all join together to change the way people eat,” said Sara Baer-Sinnott, president of Oldways. “We are inviting partners to come to the table to help us encourage Americans, once and for all, to shift their approach to food from large portions and mindless eating to one that celebrates delicious, healthy, simple foods.”

As part of its effort, Oldways has launched the “Three Point Pledge” at www.oldwayspt.org/take-three-point-pledge. By signing the pledge, individuals and companies express their commitment to three key elements:

• Healthy eating can be delicious — “For too long, eating healthy has been equated with deprivation and scolding,” Oldways said. “Now, with its call to ‘improve cooking skills’ and ‘value preparing and enjoying healthy food,’ the D.G.A.C. report lays the groundwork for a new attitude and approach that Oldways has for many years fondly called ‘the Pleasures of the Table.’
• Working with industry is essential — “Oldways has a long history, through programs like its Whole Grains Council and Mediterranean Foods Alliance, of organizing creative initiatives that motivate industry to introduce healthier products, and plans to build on this successful model in support of the new Guidelines,” Oldways noted.
• Total diet is important — “In the early 90s, Oldways created the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid to popularize a proven approach to healthy, delicious eating — a total approach to diet, comprised of a wide variety of healthy foods and drinks,” Oldways said. “Now the D.G.A.C. report has added a key chapter on total diet, and cited the Med Diet specifically as one of the two most scientifically-established ways to live a long and healthy life. Oldways’ expertise in healthy traditional foodways around the world can make a key contribution to the new Guidelines.”

Oldways said that individuals who sign up will be contacted in the coming weeks and months with ideas for ways to partner together to change the way people eat and support the best of the new 2010 Dietary Guidelines.

For more information, contact Alison Clancy (aclancy@oldwayspt.org or 617-896-4888), including hi-res graphics, high res photos of dishes or to schedule an interview.

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