News Bite: 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report: What Does it Mean for the Actual Guidelines?

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) recently submitted their report to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), providing its recommendations for what Americans should be eating. Many specific food ingredients and components are addressed in the report, including “hot-button” issues such as added sugars, aspartame, caffeine, sustainability, cholesterol, and red and lean meat.

While the DGAC report has historically influenced what the final Guidelines say, the DHHS will determine what is and is not included in the actual Guidelines (The recommendations in the Report itself are not the Guidelines).

Former DGAC Members Weigh In

Upon the Report’s release, the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation invited members of past Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committees to participate in a conference call for members of the media to offer their perspectives on the 2015 report and the Dietary Guidelines process. The six participating former panelists (listed along with the year they served on the DGAC in parentheses) included: Cheryl Achterberg, PhD, Ohio State University (2010); Roger Clemens, DrPH, University of Southern California (2010); Joanne Lupton, PhD, Texas A&M University (2005); Theresa Nicklas, DrPH, Baylor College of Medicine (2005); Linda Van Horn, PhD, RD, Northwestern University (2010); and Connie Weaver, PhD, Purdue University (2005). To listen to the IFIC Foundation conference call with former DGAC members, click here.

What Happens Next?

As part of the Dietary Guidelines process, there is a comment period following the release of the Report, as well as a public meeting hosted by USDA and HHS. The meeting will be held on March 24 at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, and will offer the public an opportunity to provide oral comments. Those interested in participating in the meeting in-person or by webcast can register at here. (Registration for oral comments is now full.)

For more information on the Dietary Guidelines process, check out the IFIC Foundation’s new infographic, Dietary Guidelines For Americans: By The Numbers.

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