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.


The process to update the Dietary Guidelines is under way.

Currently, the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services are requesting nominations to the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. The deadline to submit nominations is October 6, 2018, midnight Eastern Time.

As part of this announcement, USDA and HHS are also providing the topics and supporting scientific questions that the selected Committee will be asked to address. Submitted nominees should have expertise in one or more of these areas.

See What to Include in a Nomination Package

A nomination package must include the following for each nominee. Only complete nomination packages will be considered.  

  1. A cover letter that includes the name and place of work for the person being nominated, an explanation of what qualifies the person to serve on the Committee, and a statement to confirm that the individual would be willing to serve as a member of the Committee, if selected;
  2. The name, address, telephone number, and electronic mail address for a) nominator, and b) the individual being nominated; and
  3. A copy of the nominee’s curriculum vitae or resume, limited to no more than 15 pages. The curriculum vitae/resume should include the following information. If the nominee does not have anything to report for section(s) below, you must indicate “none”:

(a) Education;
(b) Experience (current and former);
(c) Affiliations (food, nutrition, public health, and/or other relevant associations, including positions held);
(d) Memberships (expert panels, committees, or other relevant groups, including positions held);
(e) Peer-reviewed publications (for past 10 years);
(f) Oral presentations (for past 5 years);
(g) Editorials, opinion pieces, and blogs (for past 5 years);
(h) Grant funding (for past 15 years);
(i) Name of any corporation, professional society, association, panel, company, firm, government agency (Federal, state, and local), research organization, educational institution, or other organization or institution (government, private, and not-for-profit; domestic and foreign) in which  the nominee’s services have been, will be, or are expected to be provided, with or without compensation, including on a part-time or seasonal basis as an officer, medical staff, board member, owner, trustee, director, expert advisor, consultant, official spokesperson, member of speakers bureau, or expert witness (for past 5 years and upcoming);
(j) Other paid travel or honoraria received, not included above (for past 5 years).

Web links to publications, presentations, and other materials available online are requested, when available. In all cases, a limited selection of earlier publications, presentations, affiliations, etc. applicable to the qualifications may also be included.

4. A completed Advisory Committee Membership Background Information form (AD-755; OMB Number 0505-0001). (This form can be submitted in the nomination package or it can be submitted separately by the nominee.)

Please note that the applicant can insert “See curriculum vitae/resume” into the relevant section(s) of the form, if applicable. Also, responses in section 7 are voluntary, and section 10 does not need to be completed by applicants to the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. See a sample form.

Nominations may be submitted by any of the following ways:

  • Email:
  • Mail: Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Nominations, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 1034, Alexandria, VA 22302
  • Fax: (703) 305-3300 (Attn: Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Nominations)

Nominations will be accepted between September 6 and October 6, 2018, midnight Eastern Time.

Questions? Contact us at

Use this checklist to make sure your nomination package is complete.

Interested in sharing the call for nominations with friends, colleagues, and organizations? See our outreach toolkit.

See the Topics and Scientific Questions to be Examined by the Committee

A new step in the Dietary Guidelines development process was introduced recently. The Departments asked for public comments on proposed 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 topics and scientific questions will shape the areas of scientific expertise needed on the Committee.

  • For full transparency, USDA and HHS are providing the refined topics and scientific questions reflecting USDA and HHS review of public and Federal agency comments to the public in two formats:
    • List A is organized by life stage, which follows the format of the topics and questions posted for public comment. This format makes it as easy as possible for the public to see what has changed.
    • List B provides the identical topics and questions, organized to reduce redundancy and better reflect how the Departments will ask the Committee to proceed with its scientific review. (The Committee will be asked to maintain the life stages approach in its scientific report for USDA and HHS.)
  • View the proposed topics and scientific questions originally posted for public and Federal agency comment.
  • View information on the process used to identify the initial and refined topics and scientific questions.

In addition to a focus on life stages, the topics and questions highlight a continued focus on patterns of what we eat and drink as a whole, on average and over time, to help prevent disease and keep people healthy – now from birth into older adulthood.

Learn How USDA-HHS Will Establish the Committee

USDA intends for the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee to be formed and governed under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, which provides standards for the formation and use of advisory committees. The Committee will be established to provide independent, science-based advice and recommendations to be considered by USDA and HHS, along with public and Federal agency comments, as the Departments develop the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

USDA and HHS are currently asking for nominations to the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (see Federal Register notice). All complete nomination packages will be reviewed by program staff from USDA Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services (FNCS), the USDA Research, Education, and Economics (REE), and the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH).

The following factors will be considered in reviewing nominations:

  • Educational background – advanced degree in nutrition- or health-related field, including registered dietitians, nutrition scientists, physicians, and those with public health degrees
  • Professional experience – at least 10 years of experience as an academic, researcher, practitioner, or other health professional in a field related to one or more of the topics to be examined; consideration of leadership experience and participation on previous committees or panels
  • Demonstrated scientific expertise – expertise related to one or more of the topics to be examined by the committee as demonstrated by number and quality of peer-reviewed publications and presentations
  • Obligations under the Federal Advisory Committee Act – ensuring the Committee is balanced fairly in points of view and types of expertise
  • Requirements regarding a balanced membership – including, to the extent possible, individuals who are minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and representatives from different geographic areas and institutions

Nominees then will be evaluated by the USDA Acting Deputy Under Secretaries of FNCS and REE, in consultation with the HHS Assistant Secretary for Health. The vetting process also will include a background check by the USDA Office of the Secretary to determine if any of the candidates have a financial, ethical, legal, and/or criminal conflict of interest that would prohibit them from serving on the Committee. USDA ethics officials will ensure interests and affiliations of proposed Advisory Committee members comply with applicable conflict of interest statutes, regulations issued by the U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE), supplemental agency requirements, and other applicable Federal ethics rules. Each committee member will submit a financial disclosure report upon appointment and annually thereafter. Each report will be reviewed by USDA ethics officials for financial conflicts of interest and compliance with Federal ethics rules.

Formal nomination recommendations will be prepared for review by the Secretaries of USDA and HHS. Individuals who are appointed to serve as members of the Committee will be jointly agreed upon by the Secretaries of USDA and HHS. Each committee member will also receive ethics training upon entry on duty and on an annual basis throughout their tenure on the committee.

We hope to announce membership to the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee later this year/early next year. The Committee will review evidence from that time until early 2020. It will meet approximately five times; all Committee meetings will be open to the public. Additionally, the public will be encouraged to submit public comments throughout the course of its operation. The activities of the Committee will terminate upon delivery of its report to the Secretaries or when its 2-year charter expires (whichever comes first).

Additional Resources

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