As the first step in the development process of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans for 2025-2030, the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture are releasing proposed scientific questions for public comment.
The public comment period will be open for 30 days from today, through May 16, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. EDT.
Officials with the Health Department and USDA claim they are committed to transparency and providing opportunities for public participation during the five-step process leading up to the release of the new Dietary Guidelines in 2025.
The proposed questions are available on DietaryGuidelines.gov and focus on diet and health outcomes across the entire lifespan. This includes the relationship between diet and the risk of overweight and obesity with a new emphasis on weight loss and weight maintenance. New questions also address ultra-processed foods and food-based strategies that can be used by individuals and families to support the implementation of the Dietary Guidelines and help prevent or manage overweight and obesity.
All prioritized scientific questions will be reviewed with a health equity lens to ensure that the resulting guidance in the Dietary Guidelines is inclusive of people with diverse racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds, according to officials.
The Department of Health and Human Services and USDA proposed the scientific questions based on the following criteria:
- Relevance – The question is within the scope of the Dietary Guidelines and its focus on food-based recommendations, not clinical guidelines for medical treatment.
- Importance – The question addresses an area of substantial public health concern, uncertainty, and/or knowledge gap.
- Potential Impact on federal programs – There is a high probability that the question will provide the scientific foundation for guidance that would inform federal food and nutrition policies and programs.
- Avoiding Duplication – The question is not addressed through existing or planned evidence-based federal guidance other than the Dietary Guidelines.
- Research availability will also be evaluated for the proposed questions to determine whether there is sufficient evidence available to conduct a new review or update an existing systematic review.
Topics addressed by existing federal resources are not included on the list of proposed scientific questions, although many will be addressed in the next edition of the Dietary Guidelines.
Anyone can comment via Regulations.gov by using docket number OASH-2022-0005. A link to the specific Regulations.gov page will be posted on DietaryGuidelines.gov. HHS and USDA will consider all public comments posted to Regulations.gov in relation to the specified criteria above in prioritizing the scientific questions to be examined by the Committee to inform the development of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans for 2025-2030.
Following this public comment period, HHS and USDA will seek nominations for the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee from the public. The public can sign up to receive email updates on the Dietary Guidelines development process and other related news, including future opportunities for public involvement.
About the Dietary Guidelines
The Dietary Guidelines provide science-based advice on what to eat and drink to promote health, reduce the risk of chronic disease, and meet nutrient needs. It is designed for policymakers and nutrition and health professionals to help all individuals and their families consume a healthy, nutritionally adequate diet.
The information in the Dietary Guidelines is used to develop, implement, and evaluate federal food, nutrition, and health policies. It also is the basis for federal nutrition education materials designed for the public and for the nutrition education components of HHS and USDA nutrition programs.
Find more information on the Dietary Guidelines by visiting DietaryGuidelines.gov.