Washington, DC, February 21, 2019 – To ensure America’s dietary guidance reflects the latest science, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar today announced the appointment of 20 nationally recognized scientists to serve on the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. The independent advisory committee will review scientific evidence on topics and questions identified by the departments and will provide a report on their findings to the secretaries. Their review, along with public and agency comments, will help inform USDA and HHS’ development of the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs).
“USDA is committed to ensuring everything we do is data-driven and based in scientific facts, which is why this expert committee’s work in objectively evaluating the science is of the utmost importance to the departments and to this process,” said Secretary Perdue. “The committee will evaluate existing research and develop a report objectively, with an open mind.”
“The scientists we selected to serve on the committee are national leaders in the areas of nutrition and health,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “HHS, USDA, and all Americans will benefit from the collective experience and expertise of the committee, which will conduct a rigorous examination of the scientific evidence on several diet-related health outcomes, including the prevention of cancer, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, which are three of the leading causes of death in the United States.”
The list of members appointed to the expert committee can be found at DietaryGuidelines.gov.
The committee’s work will kick off at a public meeting to be announced in the coming weeks. The committee will review scientific evidence on specific nutrition and health related topics and scientific questions that, for the first time, reflect both public comments and federal agency input. Throughout their deliberations, the public and other stakeholders will be encouraged to provide comments and feedback.
“In our continuing commitment to transparency and customer service, we invite the American public to engage in this process,” said Secretary Perdue. “We want to hear from everyone and all viewpoints. I encourage everyone with an interest to attend public meetings and to send comments through the Federal Register once the committee begins their work.”
The next edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans will continue to focus on dietary patterns of what Americans eat and drink as a whole, on average and over time, to help prevent disease and keep people healthy. Additionally, the review process will take a life-stage approach and will, for the first time, include pregnant women and children from birth to 24 months as mandated by the 2014 Farm Bill.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are updated every five years and serve as the cornerstone of federal nutrition programs and policies, providing food-based recommendations to help prevent diet-related chronic diseases and promote overall health.
USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) works to reduce food insecurity and promote nutritious diets among the American people. The agency administers 15 nutrition assistance programs that leverage American’s agricultural abundance to ensure children and low-income individuals and families have nutritious food to eat. FNS also co-develops the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which provides science-based nutrition recommendations and serves as the cornerstone of federal nutrition policy. For information and links, go to DietaryGuidelines.gov.
The HHS Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) provides leadership for disease prevention and health promotion initiatives on behalf of the HHS Secretary and as part of the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health. ODPHP co-develops the Dietary Guidelines for Americans with USDA and leads the development of Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. ODPHP also leads the Healthy People initiative, which sets evidence-based, 10-year national goals and objectives for improving the health of all Americans.