American College of Lifestyle Medicine Calls for Inclusion of Whole Food, Plant-Based Recommendations in New U.S. Dietary Guidelines

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The American College of Lifestyle Medicine is urging the USDA and HHS to prioritize a predominantly whole food, plant-based recommendation in the 2020-2025 edition of Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This urging is in response to a new public comment step in the development of the new guidelines.

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The American College of Lifestyle Medicine urges that the new Dietary Guidelines include the prioritization of minimally processed, whole plant-based foods.

In response to The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announcement on Feb. 28, 2018 of a new public comment step in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) development process for its 2020-2025 edition, the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) has taken a public stand urging that the new guidelines include the prioritization of minimally processed, whole plant-based foods.

The preponderance of the evidence demonstrates that a diet of predominantly whole food, plant-based intake is efficacious for both disease prevention and treatment. This emphasis is in the public’s best interest.

“It appears that a significant percentage of all chronic diseases in this country—and the associated cost of treatment—is attributable to lifestyle choices, with poor dietary habits being a major culprit,” said ACLM President George Guthrie, MD, MPH, FAAFP, FACLM. “The good news is that the evidence-based solution is a predominantly whole food, plant-based dietary intake along with an active and well-balanced lifestyle. Healthful eating should become a public health priority if for no other reason than to halt the march toward the health care-induced bankruptcy this country faces.”

Wayne Dysinger, MD, MPH, FACLM, past-president of ACLM and current board chairman of the American Board of Lifestyle Medicine, is quick to add, “Take type 2 diabetes alone, which is increasing at epidemic levels. Fifty years ago, there were only two million Americans with the chronic condition; today it impacts as many as 160 million Americans already diagnosed or who are pre-diabetic. Yet, it’s a food-borne illness that’s preventable, treatable and, often, reversible through dietary lifestyle modification.”

Dysinger adds, “More than 3,500 Americans each day are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, with data showing that someone with this condition incurs, on average, $10,000 each year in health care costs above the national average."

“Our current system of managing diseases caused, in large part, by what Americans are eating is unsustainable,” added Guthrie. “We know that 18 percent of our GDP is already allocated to health care costs. According to the Congressional Budget Office, without a significant change in trajectory our nation will be insolvent by 2050, due to the continued upward march of health care costs. It appears that the majority of these costs tie directly to our Standard American Diet. We need to wake up before it’s too late. ACLM is urging the U.S. Dietary Guidelines to help lead this urgently needed wake-up call. This will be a major step in ushering in real health care reform.”

The public may submit comments through the Federal Register from Feb. 28, 2018 to March 30, 2018. The topics, supporting scientific questions, and link to submit public comments are available at

ABOUT THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF LIFESTYLE MEDICINE: ACLM is the professional medical association for those dedicated to the advancement and clinical practice of Lifestyle Medicine as the foundation of a transformed and sustainable healthcare system. Lifestyle Medicine involves the use of evidence-based lifestyle therapeutic approaches, such as a predominantly whole food, plant-based diet, regular physical activity, adequate sleep, stress management, avoidance of risky substance use, and other non-drug modalities, to prevent, treat, and, oftentimes, reverse the lifestyle-related, chronic disease that's all too prevalent.

More than a professional association, ACLM is a galvanizing force for change. ACLM addresses the need for quality education and certification, supporting its members in their individual practices and in their collective desire to domestically and globally promote Lifestyle Medicine as the first treatment option, as opposed to a first option of treating symptoms and consequences with expensive, ever increasing quantities of pills and procedures. ACLM members are united in their desire to identify and eradicate the cause of disease. Join today at

Lifestyle Medicine 2018, with the theme "Real Health Care Reform" will be held October 21-24 in Indianapolis, IN. Visit for details.

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Jean Tips
American College of Lifestyle Medicine
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