Back to Balance


NCA is part of the new “Back to Balance” coalition of farmer and food trade associations reaffirming a belief in the traditional core tenants of balance, variety and moderation as a way to support healthy eating. A balanced diet seems like common sense, doesn’t it? After all, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention both support an “all foods fit” approach in which  a wide variety of foods, consumed in moderation with appropriate portion sizes, combined with regular physical exercise, support healthy eating.

So why are we all joining a group advocating that we go back to the balanced diet approach? Somehow advocating restricting food choices by classifying specific foods, like meat or pasta or baked goods or wheat or candy or canned foods or peanut butter, as “good” or “bad” has replaced balance. The problem with that is unhealthy eating behaviors can easily develop once we start restricting some foods while giving other foods a health halo.

Research is beginning to show that people prefer a balanced, total diet approach to dietary recommendations that supports education and choice over restriction. Surveys of health and nutrition professionals agree that balance in food selection with “how to” advice is more effective than limiting individuals’ choices by telling them not to eat foods they enjoy.

We know; we’re the candy association. But you don’t have to believe us. Check out and you can see that respected nutrition science professionals are saying the same thing – favorite foods can be enjoyed in moderation within a balanced lifestyle that includes physical activity, even if they are high in calories, fat or added sugars. Pass a handful of jelly beans to me now.