Colo., July 18, 2007 -- Recognizing society's heightened emphasis on health, wellness and nutrition, the Beef Checkoff Program and the National Dairy Council (NDC), the nutrition communications, education and research arm of Dairy Management Inc. (DMI), which manages the dairy checkoff program, sponsored a nutrition symposium here to discuss common challenges and opportunities in promoting the nutritional benefits of beef and dairy products to consumers.
This joint board symposium marks the first time the two checkoff organizations have formally met to share perspectives on ensuring that consumers recognize the necessity of animal-based protein as part of a healthy diet, according to Cattlemen's Beef Board member Jay O'Brien, chairman of the beef checkoff's Joint Public Opinion and Issues Management Group.
"The powerful partnership between dairy and beef helps return value to the producers of America's favorite animal foods by joining resources and expertise," said Paul Rovey, Arizona dairy producer and chairman, DMI.
"Both beef and dairy producers are 'at the table' to help shape accurate information about the nutrition profiles of their products and addressing public health concerns such as obesity," O'Brien added.
Symposium participants received a preview of the rapidly changing nutrition environment, as society demands equal attention is paid to great-tasting foods that are also good for them.
Both NDC and Beef Checkoff Program are founding members of the Nutrient Rich Foods Coalition (NRFC), a partnership that brings together leading scientific researchers, communication experts and agricultural commodities that represent all five basic food groups. The NRFC works to increase public awareness of nutrient density as a cornerstone of the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPyramid, which recognize low-fat and fat-free dairy foods, and lean beef as part of a healthy diet.
"Defining foods as either 'good' or 'bad' based on calories alone ignores the important contributions that nutrient-rich foods like dairy and beef make to people's diets," Rovey said. "At a time when many Americans are counting calories, the NRFC helps consumers get more nutrition from their calories without sacrificing taste."