Report: Americans eat too little seafood

Americans eat too little seafood and should be encouraged to eat more for better brain development in babies and heart health in adults, according to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee.

On Tuesday, the committee, made up of more than a dozen nutrition experts tasked with recommending changes to the dietary guidelines for Americans, released its report for a 30-day public comment period, running through 15 July.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration will then draw up new guidelines, as required by Congress every five years. Expected to be finalized by year’s end, the guidelines serve as the basis for federal nutrition policy.

The report declared that, on average, Americans eat too few vegetables, fruits, high-fiber whole grains, low-fat milk and seafood, and eat too much added sugars, solid fats, refined grains and sodium.

“Consumption of two servings of seafood per week … is associated with reduced cardiac mortality from [coronary heart disease] or sudden death in persons with and without [cardiovascular disease],” said the report.

The committee also recommended increasing seafood consumption to at least two servings per week for pregnant and lactating women, since fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which help improve babies’ eyesight and brain development, pointed out the National Fisheries Institute.

“This group has done a terrific job of helping bring USDA and FDA up to speed with the current state of nutrition science,” said Jennifer McGuire, NFI’s director of nutrition communications. “The time has come for Americans to understand fish has gotten lost in their diets and it’s taking a toll on babies and adults alike.”

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