Dannonâ??s Vice President of Corporate Affairs Philippe CaradecThe federal government must have a clear message on diet and nutrition guidelines, then it is up to private industry to deliver good-tasting, healthy and affordable foods, said an executive with The Dannon Co. The guidelines must be clear, simple and actionable, he said.

Dannon’s Vice President of Corporate Affairs Philippe Caradec (pictured) spoke with Dairy Foods on the eve of a summit at Ohio State University called “The New Dietary Guidelines for Americans: Preparing for the 2015 Release.”

Today’s one-day summit convenes top experts from the public and private sectors to explore the current American diet and implications of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, called the nation’s foremost nutrition policy document. Dannon is the lead sponsor of the event.Other sponsors are Abbott Nutrition, the National Dairy Council and the Institute of Food Technologists.

Caradec said Americans are consuming only 52% of the recommended amount of dairy foods and beverages. If they ate one yogurt a day, they would achieve 85% of the goal for dairy. Nutrient-dense dairy foods deliver three of the four nutrients that Americans lack of on a daily basis: calcium, potassium and Vitamin D. (The fourth is fiber.)

Following the release of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s scientific recommendations, which are expected in winter 2015, OSU FIC will convene a second summit in Washington, D.C., to inform and raise awareness of the importance of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines as they are being jointly reviewed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Health and Human Services. The final policy guidance is expected to be published at the end of 2016.

In a statement, Caradec said “we are committed to supporting healthy eating for all Americans and welcomed the opportunity to join today’s conversation about improving the American diet.”

Dannon’s stated mission is to bring health through food to families everywhere.

Caradec told Dairy Foods that he would be speaking today about the importance of private industry participating in public-private partnerships. For example, Dannon is a member of the Partnership for a Healthier America. Earlier this year, Dannon pledged to further improve the nutrition profile of its products, and invest in nutrition education and research focused on healthy eating habits.

“We know that many families are trying to do what is healthy. The Dietary Guidelines set forth an important eating roadmap for Americans to follow, and we feel it is important for us to play a role in translating that guidance into real, practical and innovative solutions that help families on the path to better health,” said Caradec in a statement. “According to a recent International Food Information Council study, Americans find doing their taxes simpler than improving their diet and health. That is why we believe eating one yogurt every day is a simple step with a convenient, popular and nutrient dense food that can bring the Guidelines to life for Americans.”

In a statement, Ken Lee, director of The Ohio State University Food Innovation Center said, “the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans have real potential to help revolutionize health care and position food as the driver for improving health. Anticipating the 2015 release, food and nutrition experts, academic, industry and regulatory leaders can see a compelling opportunity to set guidelines that improve life quality for all Americans.”

Headquartered in White Plains, N.Y., The Dannon Co. makes yogurt in Minster, Ohio, Fort Worth, Texas, West Jordan, Utah, and Portland, Ore., in more than 200 different flavors, styles and sizes to serve its retail and foodservice customers. Dairy Foods named the company the 2014 Processor of the Year.

Agenda of 'The New Dietary Guidelines for Americans: Preparing for the 2015 Release'

Today’s summit agenda includes:

• History of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans by Roger A. Clemens, chief scientific officer at E.T. Horn, adjunct professor at the University of Southern California, past president of the Institute of Food Technologists and member of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) Advisory Committee.

• Highlights of the 2015 DGA Process by Dr. Steven K. Clinton, professor of medical oncology in Ohio State’s College of Medicine, associate director of the Food Innovation Center and member of the 2015 DGA Advisory Committee.

• Food as a Driver for Positive Health Outcomes, a panel discussion looking at the current state of the American diet, including shortfalls and the relationship between nutrition and chronic disease. Moderated by Cheryl Achterberg, dean of Ohio State’s College of Education and Human Ecology and member of the 2010 DGA Advisory Committee. Panelists include Dr. Stephen R. Daniels of the University of Colorado School of Medicine; Jessica Todd of the Food Economics Division of USDA’s Economic Research Service; and Sonja L. Connor, president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and associate professor at Oregon Health and Science University.

• Eating for Health: Creating Healthy Eating Habits through Effective Behavior Change, a panel discussion highlighting examples of successful public health implementations that include nutrition interventions. Moderated by Leslie Lytle of the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health. Panelists include Michel Nischan, founder of Wholesome Wave and two-time winner of the James Beard Foundation Award; Christina Economos of the John Hancock Research Center on Physical Activity, Nutrition, and Obesity Prevention and the Friedman School of Nutrition Science at Tufts University; and Alison Murphy of the Ohio Department of Health’s Bureau of Nutrition Services, WIC (Women, Infants and Children) Program Operations.

• Industry and Institutional Adoption of the DGA: Challenges and Opportunities, a panel discussion on innovative practices to advance healthy food choices to consumers. Moderated by Susan Roberts of the Partnership for a Healthier America. Panelists include Julie Jones, Food and Nutrition Services, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center; Philippe Caradec, The Dannon Company Inc.; and Robert H. Miller, Abbott Nutrition.

• The DGA and a Healthier America by Angie Tagtow of USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion.