Food-based dietary guidelines - United States of America

Food-based dietary guidelines - United States of America

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are jointly issued every 5 years by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). They are developed through a process that has become increasingly more robust and transparent with each edition.

The process to update the Dietary Guidelines occurs in two stages:

1. Reviewing the current scientific evidence. USDA and HHS instituted an Advisory Committee to: review the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, determine topics for which new scientific evidence was likely available and inform the development of the new edition. The Advisory Committee included prestigious researchers and scientists in the fields of nutrition, health, and medicine who met in public meetings from June 2013 to December 2014, to discuss its work and findings. The public was invited to submit comments throughout the entirety of its deliberations. The Committee used four methods to examine the scientific evidence on the relationships between diet and health: original systematic reviews; review of existing systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and reports by federal agencies or leading scientific organizations; data analyses; and food pattern modeling analyses. The work of the Advisory Committee was submitted to the Secretaries of HHS and USDA in the Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, and made available for public comment.

2. Development the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans document is written by a group of experts from both HHS and USDA, who have extensive knowledge of nutrition and health science, federal nutrition recommendations, and program implementation. The 2015-2020 edition builds upon the 2010 edition with the scientific justification for revisions informed by the Advisory Committee’s report and consideration of public and Federal agency comments. A peer-review step also was completed, in which non-federal experts independently conducted a confidential review of the draft policy document for clarity and technical accuracy of the translation of the evidence from the Advisory Report into policy language. The final 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines was reviewed and approved by agencies across both Departments and, ultimately, by the Secretaries of HHS and USDA.