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Holding steady year after year MyPlate the USDAs guidance for healthy eating choosemyplategov continues to play an important role in nutrition education with 73 percent of dietitians using MyPlate as a tool to help consumers eat right Photo by the USDAs Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion

New members named to dietary guidelines committee

Committee will hold first public meeting in coming weeks.

To ensure that America’s dietary guidance reflects the latest science, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and U.S. Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar announced the appointment of 20 nationally recognized scientists to serve on the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. The committee will hold its first public meeting in the coming weeks.

The independent advisory committee will review scientific evidence on topics and questions identified by the departments and will provide a report on its findings to the secretaries. Their review, along with public and agency comments, will help inform the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services on development of the 2020-25 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

“USDA is committed to ensuring everything we do is data driven and based in scientific facts, which is why this expert committee’s work in objectively evaluating the science is of the utmost importance to the departments and to this process,” Perdue said. “The committee will evaluate existing research and develop a report objectively, with an open mind.”

“The scientists we selected to serve on the committee are national leaders in the areas of nutrition and health,” Azar said. “HHS, USDA and all Americans will benefit from the collective experience and expertise of the committee, which will conduct a rigorous examination of the scientific evidence on several diet-related health outcomes, including the prevention of cancer, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, which are three of the leading causes of death in the United States.”

The list of members appointed to the expert committee can be found at DietaryGuidelines.gov (and listed below). Several colleges had more than one member named, including Purdue University, the University of California-Davis and the University of Hawaii.

The committee’s work will kick off at a public meeting to be announced in the coming weeks. The committee will review scientific evidence on specific nutrition- and health-related topics and scientific questions (pdf, 477 kb) that, for the first time, reflect both public comments and federal agency input. Throughout their deliberations, the public and other stakeholders will be encouraged to provide comments and feedback.

“In our continuing commitment to transparency and customer service, we invite the American public to engage in this process,” Perdue said. “We want to hear from everyone and all viewpoints. I encourage everyone with an interest to attend public meetings and to send comments through the Federal Register once the committee begins their work.”

The next edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans will continue to focus on dietary patterns of what Americans eat and drink as a whole, on average and over time, to help prevent disease and keep people healthy. Additionally, the review process will take a life-stage approach and will, for the first time, include pregnant women and children from birth to 24 months, as mandated by the 2014 farm bill.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are updated every five years and serve as the cornerstone of federal nutrition programs and policies, providing food-based recommendations to help prevent diet-related chronic diseases and promote overall health.

Below includes those named to the committee:

  • Jamy Ard, MD – Wake Forest School of Medicine
  • Regan Bailey, PhD, MPH, RD – Purdue University
  • Lydia Bazzano, MD, PhD – Tulane University and Ochsner Health System
  • Carol Boushey, PhD, MPH, RD – University of Hawaii
  • Teresa Davis, PhD – Baylor College of Medicine
  • Kathryn Dewey, PhD – University of California, Davis
  • Sharon Donovan, PhD, RD – University of Illinois, Urbana
  • Steven Heymsfield, MD – Louisiana State University, Pennington Biomedical Research Center
  • Ronald Kleinman, MD – Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School
  • Heather Leidy, PhD – University of Texas at Austin (Summer 2019)
  • Richard Mattes, PhD, MPH, RD – Purdue University
  • Elizabeth Mayer-Davis, PhD, RD – University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Timothy Naimi, MD, MPH – Boston University
  • Rachel Novotny, PhD, RDN, LD – University of Hawaii
  • Joan Sabaté, DrPH, MD – Loma Linda University
  • Barbara Schneeman, PhD – University of California, Davis
  • Linda Snetselaar, PhD, RD – University of Iowa
  • Jamie Stang, PhD – University of Minnesota
  • Elsie Taveras, MD, MPH – Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard Chan School of Public Health
  • Linda Van Horn, PhD, RDN, LD – Northwestern University
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