Call for Public Comments on Topics and Scientific Questions for the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

USDA and HHS have added a new step in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans development process. For the first time, the Departments will seek public comments on the proposed topics and supporting scientific questions that will be considered during the development of the upcoming 2020-2025 edition.

Learn more about this call for public comment

USDA and HHS are proposing a life stage approach for this edition of the Dietary Guidelines, focusing on priority scientific questions from birth through older adulthood. The 2014 Farm Bill mandated that, starting with the 2020-2025 edition, the Dietary Guidelines provide guidance for women who are pregnant, as well as infants and toddlers from birth to 24 months. In addition to a focus on life stages, the topics and supporting questions for public comment reflect a continued focus on patterns of what we eat and drink as a whole, on average and over time.

The topics which USDA and HHS propose are based on four criteria:

  • Relevance – the topic is within the scope of the DGA and its focus on food-based recommendations, not clinical guidelines for medical treatment;
  • Importance – the topic has new, relevant data and represents an area of substantial public health concern, uncertainty, and/or knowledge gap;
  • Potential federal impact – there is a probability that guidance on the topic would inform federal food and nutrition policies and programs; and
  • Avoiding duplication – the topic is not currently addressed through existing evidence-based federal guidance (other than the Dietary Guidelines).

How do I submit a comment?

The public may submit comments through the Federal Register; the comment period is open from Feb. 28, 2018 to March 30, 2018. To comment, first review the topics and scientific questions and then go to our page on (Docket Number FNS-2018-005) to view the Federal Register notice and submit public comments.

USDA and HHS will consider all public comments submitted in finalizing the list of topics and supporting questions to be examined in the development of the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

What comes next?

After receiving public and agency comments on the topics and supporting questions, USDA and HHS will post a public call for the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee nominations. Nominations will be sought in areas of expertise informed by the topics and supporting scientific questions. USDA and HHS anticipate that this new step will ultimately streamline the work of the Advisory Committee.

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