One important responsibility of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is to update the Dietary Guidelines for Americans every five years. In developing the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines, USDA and HHS has been urged to take a science-based approach and rely upon the Scientific Report of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (2020 Advisory Committee) by many in the Good Food Movement.
The 2020 Advisory Committee conducted an independent, science-based review of topics related to nutrition and health, from birth to older adulthood. Its work started in mid March and ended in early June. Throughout its work, the 2020 Advisory Committee accepted comments from the the public. At the end of June 2020, the Committee released its Scientific Report.
Back in the fall of 2018, the USDA and HHS requested public nominations for the 2020 Advisory Committee. This step was taken after the USDA and HHS first identified topics and scientific questions to be examined by the Committee. The proposed topics and question were posted for public comment and were “refined” based on public and agency input.
The 20 nationally recognized experts who dedicated their expertise and time serving on the 2020 Advisory Committee is this impressive group of scientists and medical professionals from all parts of the United States:
(1) Jamy Ard, MD, Wake Forest School of Medicine; (2) Regan Bailey, PhD, MPH, RD, Purdue University; (3) Lydia Bazzano, MD, PhD, Tulane University and Ochsner Health System; (4) Carol Boushey, PhD, MPH, RD, University of Hawaii; (5) Teresa Davis, PhD, Baylor College of Medicine; (6) Kathryn Dewey, PhD, University of California, Davis; (7) Sharon Donovan, PhD, RD, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; (8) Steven Heymsfield, MD, Louisiana State University, Pennington, Biomedical Research Center; (9) Ronald Kleinman, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Vice Chair of the Committee; (10) Heather Leidy, PhD, University of Texas at Austin; (11) Richard Mattes, PhD, MPH, RD, Purdue University; (12) Elizabeth Mayer-Davis, PhD, RD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; (13) Timothy Naimi, MD, MPH, Boston University; (14) Rachel Novotny, PhD RDN, LD, University of Hawaii; (15) Joan Savaté, MD, DrPH, Loma Linda University; (16) Barbara Schneeman, PhD, University of California, Davis (Chair of the Committee); (17) Linda Snetselaar, PhD, RDN, University of Iowa; (18) Jamie Stang, PhD, MpH, RD, University of Minnesota; (19) Elsie Taveras, MD, MPH, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; (20) Linda Van Horn, PhD, RDN, LD, Northwestern University.
The questions reviewed by the 2020 Advisory Committee were organized by topic-driven subcommittees: (1) Dietary Patterns Subcommittee, (2) Pregnancy and Lactation Subcommittee; (3) Birth to 24 Months Subcommittee; (4) Beverages and Added Sugars Subcommittee; (5) Dietary Fats and Seafood Cubcommittee; and (6) Frequency of Eating Subcommitteee. (Click on this link for a summary of the questions examined by each of these subcommittees.)
The Center For Science In The Public Interest (CSPI) has issued a warning that the advice of the 2020 Advisory Committee is now under attack by the food industry and its lobbyists at this critical moment when the USDA and HHS will shortly issue the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Founded in 1971, this independent science-based consumer advocacy organization is encouraging its supporters (and others who respect science) to urge the USDA not to weaken the panel’s evidence-based recommendations in putting together the final Dietary Guidelines.
We join the CSPI and encourage our readers to comment today and urge the USDA not to weaken the panel’s evidence-based recommendations.
(Frank W. Barrie, 8/7/20)