Published every five years, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) recommends what Americans should eat and drink to promote health and prevent chronic disease.  Since 1985, each DGA edition has been informed by the Advisory Committee’s Scientific Report: the latest, the Scientific Report of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, was published July 2020.  This report reviews the current state of nutrition science, offering evidence-based advice to support the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in the release of the next edition of the DGA, the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, scheduled for publication December 2020.

Members of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, the group responsible for the development of the Scientific Report, were appointed in February 2019 by USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue and HHS Secretary Alex Azar.  ASN is proud to note that 16 of the 20 appointees are ASN members, including three past ASN Presidents: Richard Mattes, Sharon Donovan, and Teresa Davis.

There is no doubt that the work done by the committee will support the best nutrition guidelines and policies

—Teresa Davis, Editor-in-Chief, The Journal of Nutrition

“As Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Nutrition, I am proud to see The Journal of Nutrition was cited 85 times throughout the Advisory Committee’s report. There is no doubt that the work done by the committee will support the best nutrition guidelines and policies.” said Teresa Davis, PhD, a member of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee and the Birth-24 Months Subcommittee. This subcommittee had the important role of offering nutrition guidance for this age group for the first time in the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s Scientific Report, and the Data Analysis and Food Pattern Modeling Working Group, which assisted other subcommittees with the life-stage approach.

Click here for a complete list of ASN members who served on the 2020 Advisory Committee. 

Working with the Nutrition Evidence Systematic Review (NESR), the 2020 Advisory Committee searched, analyzed, and synthesized the body of scientific evidence to establish best dietary practices.  In particular, the committee was tasked with presenting a life-stage approach to nutrition and, for the first time, offering nutrition guidelines for pregnant women and children from birth to 24 months, as mandated by the 2014 Farm Bill.

Notably, the Scientific Report of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee includes citations to 289 ASN journal articles, constituting more than 10% of the report’s total citations.  Moreover, ASN journal articles were cited in all major topics addressed by the report, from the nutrition needs of pregnant and lactating women to the latest research on added sugars and alcoholic beverages.

In short, ASN is proud of the role its members and authors have played in the development of the soon-to-be-published 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.  We will continue to support their important work to ensure that nutrition guidelines and policies are informed by the best scientific research possible. ∎