Public Comments Sought for 2020-25 Dietary Guidelines for Americans
For the first time, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will seek public comments on the proposed priority topics and supporting scientific questions that will guide the development of the upcoming 2020-2025 edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA).
Members of the public can submit comments through the Federal Register from Feb. 28 to March 30. The topics, supporting scientific questions and link to submit public comments are available online.
“The American taxpayer is an essential customer – indeed, a shareholder,” noted Brandon Lipps, USDA’s acting deputy undersecretary for the Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services. “We’re proud to be taking this important step forward towards greater transparency, and ensuring that the American public’s voice is heard throughout this process.”
The departments are taking a life-stage approach toward this upcoming edition of the DGA, focusing on priority scientific questions from birth through older adulthood. The 2014 Farm Bill mandated that, starting with the 2020-2025 edition, the DGA would provide guidance to pregnant women, as well as infants and toddlers from birth to 24 months. Along with the focus on life stages, the topics and supporting questions for public comment will reflect an ongoing focus on Americans’ eating and drinking patterns as a whole, on average and over time, rather than on individual foods or food groups.
“We know that good nutrition, together with physical activity, can help decrease Americans’ risk of developing serious health conditions across the life span,” said Don Wright, HHS’ deputy assistant secretary for health. “The Dietary Guidelines for Americans help support healthy choices at home, school, work and in the community. That’s why we are encouraging the public and stakeholders in nutrition to submit comments upfront to help inform the next edition of the guidelines.”
The proposed 2020-2025 DGA topics are based on four criteria: relevance to food-based recommendations, importance as an area of substantial public-health concern, potential impact on federal food and nutrition policies and programs, and avoidance of duplication with existing evidence-based federal guidance.
USDA and HHS will consider all public comments submitted in finalizing the list of topics and supporting questions to be examined in the creation of the 2020-2025 DGA. After finalizing the topics and supporting questions, the departments will post a public call for the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee nominations. The areas of expertise needed will be based on the final topics and supporting scientific questions, which should result in a coordinated and efficient scientific review.
According to the National Nutrition Monitoring and Related Research Act of 1990, the DGA is mandated to reflect the preponderance of scientific evidence, and is published jointly by USDA and HHS every five years.