Earlier this month, the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee met for the fifth and final time before they draft the Scientific Report that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will use to craft the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines.
The Advisory Committee first met nearly a year ago to begin reviewing the body of scientific evidence on nutrition and health from birth into older adulthood. All meetings have been open to the public and more than 40,000 public comments have been submitted to the Committee over the past year.
The draft of the Committee’s Scientific Report is scheduled to be discussed in a webinar (viewable by the public) on May 11, 2020. After this, the Committee has until the end of May to deliver the final report to USDA and HHS.
The final step in this multi-year process? USDA and HHS will use the Scientific Report to develop the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines.
Why do we need the Dietary Guidelines and why should we be ready to teach them? Here are just a few reasons taken from a handy infographic you can find here:
- It’s no surprise that Americans just don’t eat right. The Healthy Eating Index Score grades us on how well we align our food choices with the Dietary Guidelines. For Americans, the average score is 59, on a scale of 0 to 100! We need to do what we can to change this.
- Eight out of ten Americans say diet advice is confusing — also not a surprise.
- Billions of dollars are spent every year to treat diet-related health conditions like obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
- In a world of fad diets and celebrities giving medical advice, one thing is certain – the Dietary Guidelines are based on science.
What can you be doing? While waiting for the new Dietary Guidelines to come out, we have some recommendations for you:
- Follow along here or at least subscribe here to get updates on the process and find out when the new Dietary Guidelines are released.
- Take time now to review the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines, because in most cases the new guidelines will build on the previous edition. To give you a glimpse of what’s to come, consider the working groups of the Advisory Committee:
- Dietary Patterns
- Pregnancy and Lactation
- Birth to 24 Months
- Beverages and Added Sugars
- Dietary Fats and Seafood
- Frequency of Eating
- If you work with pregnant women, parents, or children under two years of age, get ready to see something new. The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines will for the first time provide guidance for women who are pregnant, as well as infants and toddlers from birth to 24 months.
Take time now to plan how YOU will incorporate the new Dietary Guidelines into your classes, counseling sessions, social media, and more. Take a look at our 12 Lessons Programs. These comprehensive wellness and weight management programs, based on the Dietary Guidelines, make health and nutrition education fun and easy. We keep them up to date, too. When the new Dietary Guidelines are released, we’ll update the digital files and send them to you via email.