Dietary Guidelines

The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans development process is under way. Updating the Dietary Guidelines for Americans is a multi-step, multi-year process.

Overview

The process to update the Dietary Guidelines is under way. The U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services are including new approaches to provide the public with more transparency and opportunities to participate, leading up to the release of the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Learn More About This New Step (comment period is now closed)

See the Proposed Topics and Scientific Questions

Additional Resources

 

Learn More About this New Step (comment period is now closed)

A new step in the Dietary Guidelines development process was recently introduced. The Departments asked for public comments on the topics and scientific questions to be examined in the review of the evidence supporting the development of the upcoming 2020-2025 edition of the Dietary Guidelines.

The public comment period on the topics and scientific questions is now closed. During the open public comment period of February 28-March 30, 2018, more than 12,000 comments were received via more than 6,000 submissions to Regulations.gov. (Form letters accounted for 74% of all comments.) All submissions are accessible to the public on our page on Regulations.gov. The Departments will consider all public comments in relation to the criteria listed below in refining the topics and questions to be examined in the development of the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines. Next, USDA and HHS will post a public call for nominations for the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. The areas of expertise needed will be based on the topics and supporting scientific questions identified by the Departments, resulting in a coordinated and efficient scientific review.

USDA and HHS will consider all public comments using the following criteria:

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

 

See the Proposed Topics and Scientific Questions

USDA and HHS have proposed topics for the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines within a life stages approach, focusing on priority scientific questions from birth through older adulthood. The 2014 U.S. 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 proposed topics and scientific questions are grouped by life stage as shown below. Note that for each stage of life, current dietary patterns, including intakes of food groups and nutrients, will also be described.

Infants and toddlers from birth to 24 months (healthy, full-term infants)

Children and adolescents, ages 2-18 years old (with data reviewed by age group)

Adults, ages 19-64 years old (with data reviewed by age group)

Pregnancy and lactation

Older adults, ages 65 years and older (with data reviewed by age group)
 

Note: The proposed topics and scientific questions provided below were posted for public comment from February 28-March 30, 2018. Public comments are currently under review by the Departments. Updates will be posted at DietaryGuidelines.gov when available.

Infants and toddlers from birth to 24 months (healthy, full-term infants)

Topic

Question(s)

Recommended duration of exclusive human milk or infant formula feeding

What is the relationship between the duration of exclusive human milk or infant formula consumption and 1) growth, size, and body composition; 2) food allergies and other atopic allergic diseases; and 3) long-term health outcomes?

Frequency and volume of human milk and/or infant formula feeding

What is the relationship between the frequency and volume of human milk and/or infant formula consumption and 1) micronutrient status; and 2) growth, size, and body composition?

Dietary supplements (e.g., iron, vitamin D, vitamin B12)

What is the relationship between specific micronutrient supplements for infants fed human milk and/or infant formula and 1) micronutrient status; and 2) growth, size, and body composition?

Complementary foods and beverages*: Timing of introduction, types, and amounts

*Beverages (cow’s milk, water, 100% fruit juice, sugar-sweetened beverages, milk alternatives)

What is the relationship between complementary feeding and 1) micronutrient status; 2) growth, size, and body composition; 3) developmental milestones; 4) food allergies and other atopic allergic disease; and 5) bone health?

What is the relationship between complementary feeding, including foods and beverages, and achieving nutrient and food group recommendations of infants and toddlers?

Note: Evidence related to dietary patterns (including beverage patterns) consumed during the complementary feeding period will be considered as part of these questions.

 

Children and adolescents, ages 2-18 years old (with data reviewed by age group)

Topic

Question(s)

Dietary patterns to promote health and normal growth and meet nutrient needs

What is the relationship between specific dietary patterns (Dietary Guidelines-related, Mediterranean-style, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), vegetarian/vegan, and low-carbohydrate diets) consumed during childhood and adolescence and 1) growth, size, and body composition; and 2) bone health?

Are changes to the USDA Food Patterns needed based on the relationships identified? If so, how well do USDA Food Pattern variations meet nutrient recommendations for children and adolescents?

Beverages (cow’s milk, water, 100% fruit juice, sugar-sweetened beverages, milk alternatives, caffeinated beverages)

What is the relationship between beverage consumption during childhood and adolescence and achieving nutrient and food group recommendations?

Added sugars

What is the relationship between added sugars consumption during childhood and adolescence and achieving nutrient and food group recommendations?

How much added sugars can be accommodated in a healthy diet during childhood and adolescence while still meeting food group and nutrient needs?

 

Adults, ages 19-64 years old (with data reviewed by age group)

Topic

Question(s)

Dietary patterns to promote health, prevent disease, and meet nutrient needs

What is the relationship between specific dietary patterns (Dietary Guidelines-related, Mediterranean-style, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension [DASH], vegetarian/vegan, and low-carbohydrate diets) consumed during adulthood and 1) body weight or obesity; 2) risk of cardiovascular disease; 3) risk of type 2 diabetes; and 4) risk of certain types of cancer?

Are changes to the USDA Food Patterns needed based on the relationships identified? If so, how well do USDA Food Pattern variations meet nutrient recommendations for adults?

Beverages (cow’s milk, water, 100% fruit juice, sugar-sweetened beverages, milk alternatives, caffeinated beverages)

What is the relationship between beverage consumption during adulthood and achieving nutrient and food group recommendations?

Added sugars

What is the relationship between added sugars consumption during adulthood and achieving nutrient and food group recommendations?

How much added sugars can be accommodated in a healthy diet during adulthood while still meeting food group and nutrient needs?

Saturated fats

What is the relationship between saturated fats consumption (types and amounts) during adulthood and risk of cardiovascular disease?

 

Pregnancy and lactation

Topic

Question(s)

How additional calorie needs should be met during pregnancy and lactation

What is the relationship between specific dietary patterns (Dietary Guidelines-related, Mediterranean-style, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), vegetarian/vegan, and low-carbohydrate diets) consumed among women who are pregnant and 1) risk of gestational diabetes; 2) risk of hypertensive disorders during pregnancy; 3) gestational age at birth; and 4) birth weight standardized for gestational age and sex?

What is the relationship between specific dietary patterns (Dietary Guidelines-related, Mediterranean-style, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), vegetarian/vegan, and low-carbohydrate diets) consumed among women who are lactating and human milk composition and quantity?

Are changes to the USDA Food Patterns needed based on the relationships identified? If so, how well do USDA Food Pattern variations meet nutrient recommendations for women who are pregnant or lactating?

Dietary supplements (e.g., iron, folate, vitamin D)

What is the relationship between micronutrient supplements consumed during pregnancy and lactation and 1) micronutrient status; 2) birth outcomes; and 3) human milk composition and quantity?

Diet during pregnancy and lactation and risk of food allergy in the infant

What is the relationship between maternal diet during pregnancy and lactation and risk of infant allergies and other atopic allergic disease?

Seafood

What is the relationship between seafood consumption during pregnancy and lactation and neurocognitive development of the infant?

Beverages (cow’s milk, water, 100% fruit juice, sugar-sweetened beverages, milk alternatives, caffeinated beverages)

What is the relationship between beverage consumption during pregnancy and lactation and 1) achieving nutrient and food group recommendations; 2) birth outcomes; and 3) human milk composition and quantity?

Alcoholic beverages

What is the relationship between maternal alcohol consumption during lactation and human milk composition and quantity?

 

Older adults, ages 65 years and older (with data reviewed by age group)

Topic

Question(s)

Dietary patterns to promote health, prevent disease, and meet nutrient needs

What is the relationship between specific dietary patterns (Dietary Guidelines-related, Mediterranean-style, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), vegetarian/vegan, and low-carbohydrate diets) consumed across the lifespan and 1) body weight or obesity; 2) risk of cardiovascular disease; 3) risk of type 2 diabetes; 4) risk of certain types of cancer; and 5) risk of osteoporosis?

What modifications to dietary patterns are effective in preventing or reversing declines in muscle mass or bone density in older adults? 

Are changes to the USDA Food Patterns needed based on the relationships identified? If so, how well do USDA Food Pattern variations meet nutrient recommendations for older adults, age 65-80 years and those age 81+ years?

Specific nutritional needs related to older adults

What modifications to food and beverage choices promote meeting nutrient needs in older adults with impaired dentition, dry mouth, or other aspects of aging that interfere with food and beverage consumption?

Additional Resources

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