Today, the U.S Department of Agriculture posted the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s final scientific report, a review of the latest available science on specific nutrition topics. The report’s findings will inform USDA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as they co-develop the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which will provide recommendations on what to eat and drink to promote health and prevent chronic disease.
USDA and HHS are accepting written public comments on the committee’s final report through August 13, 2020. The public will also have an opportunity to provide oral comments on the scientific report to the departments at a public meeting on August 11, 2020.
The National Milk Producers Federation said it was pleased that the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s final report reaffirms dairy’s crucial role in a nutritious diet but expressed concern that the committee failed to recognize newer, broader science that shows the benefits of dairy foods at all fat levels.
Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of National Milk Producers Federation said it was disappointing that the committee largely reflected long-held assumptions on saturated fat, despite numerous studies that have called traditional anti-fat guidance into question. “We repeatedly called on the committee to take a fresh look at multiple studies that show beneficial or neutral effects of dairy on chronic disease risk at all fat levels,” Mulhern said. “Unfortunately, the DGAC report does not reflect this newer science.”
Moving into the next stage of development of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, USDA and HHS will leverage the scientific advice in the committee’s report, as well as comments from the public and other federal agencies to develop the upcoming edition of the dietary guidelines. The departments plan to publish the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans by the end of December 2020.
Throughout the entire 2020-2025 dietary guidelines process, USDA and HHS have taken numerous steps to promote transparency, integrity and public involvement. Most recently, the advisory committee held a webinar — the first of its kind in the dietary guidelines process — to publicly present their draft conclusions. The committee considered all of these conclusions holistically to develop the report they provided USDA and HHS.
In another step, the topics and questions the committee examined were made public prior to scientific review. These topics and questions were defined with input from the public and other federal agencies, and based on how well they informed dietary guidance for public health. Similar to prior committees, this committee addressed all of the topics and the majority of the scientific questions set forth for review. All of this information can be found in their scientific report document released today.
The committee’s work was informed by more than 62,000 public comments, a testament to USDA and HHS’s commitment to public involvement in the dietary guidelines process. For comparison, prior committees received an average of about 450 comments. To date, the public has had more than 18 months to provide comments to help shape the committee’s review and the forthcoming dietary guidelines.