Every 5 years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Department
of Health and Human Services (HHS) issues a new edition of the Dietary
Guidelines. These are dietary
recommendations for Americans to practice healthy eating habits.
Shaped by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), these guidelines have an enormous impact on US perceptions and behaviors regarding nutrition and health, which is why it’s critical to communicate the science on coffee and health.
Setting the stage for the next evolution in dietary guidance to Americans for 2020-2025
Editor’s note: The connection between lifestyle and health is increasingly being recognized by the medical and scientific communities. We know that diet, exercise habits, and smoking and alcohol consumption impact our health. And as the science continues to advance, it seems there are new discoveries weekly.
To help Americans make healthy food and beverage choices, the U.S. Government issues Dietary Guidelines, which in the past have been communicated by USDA guides such as the Food Guide Pyramid and MyPlate.
When the USDA last undertook this exercise, the NCA formally recommended that the healthy aspects of coffee be recognized – and they were. The 2015-2020 Guidelines acknowledge that coffee can be part of a healthy diet.
And the process to update these guidelines is now well underway.
By Dr. Mark Corey, Director of Scientific & Government Affairs, National Coffee Association
Over the past two days, I attended the meeting of the 2020-2025
Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) in Washington, DC, focused on
creating the protocol and guidelines shaping US nutrition and guidance to
Americans for the next 5 years.
Panels of experts are examining every aspect of the American diet, inside and out, and have outlined their process for evaluating the science-based evidence. Subcommittees are focused on a range of topics such as dietary patterns and looking across different age groups from birth to older adults.
Recently, there’s been a flurry of media activity around a long-pending legal case in California, which could potentially result in mandatory “cancer warning” labels on all coffee cups and packaging. The headlines have been confusing, and sometimes even alarming.
What you need to know about the latest research on coffee and your health.
An unprecedented scientific review on caffeine safety confirms that drinking up to four cups of coffee daily, or about 400 milligrams of caffeine, is “not associated with overt, adverse effects” in healthy adults. (Pregnant woman and minors should reduce their intake below that amount, according to the report.) 
The review was conducted by the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI), and is the most extensive of its kind to date. Scientists scoured data from more than 700 independent studies related to various human health effects and caffeine.
[NCA Member Alert] Years of positive scientific evidence on coffee and health just cut through the cluttered media landscape in a prominent and powerful way. A panel of scientists charged with scouring the literature to study how Americans can eat healthy acknowledged that 3 – 5 cups of coffee a day have a place in a healthy diet.
According to the final report issued by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans Committee (DGAC), “moderate coffee consumption can be incorporated into a healthy dietary pattern, along with other healthful behaviors.”