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About CNPP

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The Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) was created within the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1994. As a program area within the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), CNPP reports to the Office of the Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services. CNPP’s mission is to improve the health of Americans by developing and promoting dietary guidance that links scientific research to the nutrition needs of consumers.

The staff at CNPP is composed primarily of nutritionists who specialize in nutrition science, analytics, nutrition evaluation, education and communication – many of whom are Registered Dietitian Nutritionists. CNPP also has economists, public health experts, policy advisors, graphic designers and librarians.

CNPP carries out its mission to improve the health of Americans by:

  1. Serving as the federal authority on evidence-based food, nutrition and economic analyses to inform policy and programs.
  2. Translating science into actionable food and nutrition guidance for all Americans.
  3. Leading national communication initiatives that apply science-based messages to advance consumers’ dietary and economic knowledge and behaviors.

CNPP Offices

Nutrition Guidance and Analysis Division

Provides national leadership, technical expertise, and cooperation for development of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and federal nutrition and economic initiatives.

This office —

  • Leads the development of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans jointly with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to meet legislative mandate.
  • Promotes national nutrition guidance through collaboration with federal partners.
  • Conducts systematic reviews through the Nutrition Evidence Systematic Review (NESR) to provide the strongest available evidence-based science to inform federal nutrition programs, policies and communications. Provides public access to these timely scientific reviews.
  • Ensures that federal dietary guidance for consumers is consistent with the Dietary Guidelines and is supported across federal departments, by co-leading with HHS, the Dietary Guidance Review Committee.
  • Conducts research and analysis, including development of the following:
    • The USDA Food Plans, including: the Thrifty Food Plan, which is the basis for allotments in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); Moderate Cost and Liberal Food Plans, which serve as the basis for the military’s food allowance for service members; and the Low Cost Food Plan, which is used by bankruptcy courts.
    • Expenditures on Children by Families: used for personal finance education and to inform child support and foster care amounts.
    • Healthy Eating Index: an analytic tool used to assess how well diets align with the Dietary Guidelines.
    • USDA Food Patterns: provide examples of food types and amounts that meet the Dietary Guidelines at a variety of calorie levels.

Nutrition Education and Innovation Division

Designs, leads, and implements a wide range of nutrition education and communication projects.

This office —

  • Created and manages the website as well as the materials contained on the website, including the 1,000+ recipes on MyPlate Kitchen and the Shop Simple with MyPlate web-based app.
  • Created and manages the Start Simple with MyPlate mobile app and the MyPlate on Alexa "skill."
  • Develops and promotes tested, actionable nutrition and health messages.
  • Motivates consumers to adopt behaviors for making healthy food choices and being physically active.
  • Leads marketing and communications research involving consumers, health professionals, and nutrition educators.
  • Builds public-private partnerships to help multiply the dissemination of messages.
  • Manages and leverages social media platforms to extend messages, drive traffic to, and engage with target audiences.
  • Provides customer support to consumers and professionals.
Page updated: March 28, 2024