International report says public health messages should call attention to benefits of eating fish Published: 30 September, 2011
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) has a new message for health and nutrition officials worldwideimprove your communications about seafood consumption or risk avoidable public health consequences.
The joint report points the finger at governments when it describes a need for people to better understand the benefits of eating seafood for heart and brain health and the negative consequences of diets that do not include fish.
The new USDA Dietary Guidelines are clear about the benefits of seafood and point out that Americans eat only 44 percent of the target amount of seafood for optimal health, said Jennifer McGuire, a registered dietitian with the National Fisheries Institute.
This FAO/WHO report takes that a step further and says not meeting that goal is a public health problem.
The new report notes, There is convincing evidence of beneficial health outcomes from fish consumption for: reduction in risk of cardiac death and improved neurodevelopment in infants and young children when fish is consumed by the mother before and during pregnancy.
This mirrors the Dietary Guidelines conclusion that the, benefits of consuming seafood far outweigh the risks, even for pregnant women. This new report illustrates that successful nutrition messages dont always have to be about avoiding certain foods encouraging consumers to include foods, like fish, can go a long way to making a positive impact on public health, said McGuire.
When professionals are communicating about seafood consumption, this clear, well-researched, directive from FAO/WHO should be considered a guide.
For more than 60 years, the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) and its members have provided American families with the variety of sustainable seafood essential to a healthy diet. For more information visit: www.AboutSeafood.com.