WASHINGTON – As the 2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) reviewed scientific evidence that will shape the next update to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) urged the committee to keep nutrient-rich dairy foods an essential part of a healthy diet.
IDFA’s senior vice president for regulatory and scientific affairs, Roberta Wagner, presented an oral testimony Sept. 12 to the committee, which is comprised of 20 nutrition and public health experts.
Wagner emphasized during her remarks that 90% of Americans don’t consume enough dairy to meet dietary recommendations, per the 2020-25 DGA report, and that new science has emerged that shows limiting dairy consumption based on fat levels doesn’t lead to better health outcomes.
"An overwhelming body of scientific evidence demonstrates that dairy should be part of healthy eating patterns for all Americans, at all life stages and with various dietary needs,” Wagner said. “The DGA have long recognized the inherent benefits of dairy products, including milk, yogurt and cheese, as important sources of nutrients and associated with better health outcomes. At a time when people are not meeting DGA recommendations for dairy, deterring intake due to fat level is not science-based, nor is it in the best interest of public health.”
Pointing to the 2020-25 DGA report, which prioritizes low-fat and fat-free dairy options, IDFA recommended that DGAC review scientific evidence that supports the consumption of full-fat dairy products, because those products aren't tied to increased risks of cardiovascular disease.
“By expanding the variety of dairy products that are recommended for consumption to Americans, we may narrow the gap between recommended servings and current intake,” Wagner said. “For example, adolescents on average consume 1.6 to two servings of dairy per day, well below the recommendations of three servings per day. We urge the committee to release the protocol for the systematic review of food sources with saturated fat so appropriate scientific studies can be shared to inform the committee’s recommendations.”
Additionally, Wagner highlighted the availability and affordability of nutrient-rich dairy products that also are lactose-free or low in lactose for people who experience lactose intolerance and sensitivity.