June 19, 2020
The 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee continues to work on developing the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which are due out by the end of the year.
The committee, which does not write the guidelines, but reviews the latest science and advises the government on what they should say, unveiled its conclusions in draft form on June 17, Politico reports. The final advice to the agencies is expected to be publicly released in mid-July.
Who's on the committee?
The 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is made up of 20 individuals who are regarded as national thought leaders in the areas of nutrition and health. The independent advisory committee’s review, along with public and agency comments, will help inform USDA and Health and Human Services as the departments develop the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
More than half of the panel has ties to the food industry, The New York Times reports, and government watchdog groups have questioned the panel's objectivity.
Guidelines for moms and babies
For the first time, the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans will include recommendations for pregnant women, and children from birth to 24 months.
Kay Dewey, a maternal and child nutrition expert and chair of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines advisory subcommittee tasked with creating the guidelines for children younger than 24 months, encouraged limiting food that contains added sugar. "Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is linked with increased risk of overweight," Dewey said, according to Food Navigator.
There were a few standout moments during the June 17 online conference, the Union of Concerned Scientists said, including one where the committee announced a new recommendation that would limit added sugar intake to no more than 6% of total daily calories, down from previous limit of 10%.
Calls for delay
The Nutrition Coalition is calling on the secretaries of USDA and HHS to delay the expert report by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee to ensure adequate time for a thorough investigation of allegations made about the guidelines process.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans serves as the cornerstone of federal nutrition programs and policies, providing food-based recommendations that help prevent diet-related chronic diseases and promote overall health. According to the National Nutrition Monitoring and Related Research Act of 1990, the guidelines are mandated to reflect the preponderance of scientific evidence and are published jointly by USDA and HHS every five years.
The next meeting of the committee is July 10-11 at USDA headquarters in Washington, D.C. Visit https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov for registration details.
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