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The Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) is a report that provides nutritional and dietary information with the intention of promoting health and preventing disease, and serves as the basis for all federal nutrition policies and nutrition assistance programs, as well as nutrition education programs. This guidance is updated and presented every 5 years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The complicated process of updating the report begins with an assessment of relevant scientific data by a federal advisory committee of nationally recognized experts, called the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. When the 2015-2020 edition of the DGA was released, some of the content received criticism from different stakeholders leading to questions about the advisory committee’s composition and membership selection processes.
In response to such concerns, Congress mandated that the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine produce two reports evaluating the entire process used to develop the DGA
. In this first report, Optimizing the Process for Establishing the Dietary Guidelines for Americans
: The Selection Process, the ad hoc National Academies committee examines how the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee selection process can be improved to provide more transparency, eliminate bias, and include committee members with a range of viewpoints.