Since 1980, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) have been providing information to Americans on how to make choices to reach a healthy weight, prevent disease and promote overall good health.
The Dietary Guidelines provide recommendations on food and physical activity for Americans aged two and older and are the driving force behind federal nutrition policy, education, outreach and food assistance programs, including school breakfast and lunch programs. The Guidelines are used by both the public and industry, and by a wide variety of nutrition educators, health professionals and government agencies.
So who comes up with the Guidelines and what are they based on? And what’s on the horizon for the 2015 DGA?
Where do these guidelines come from?
The guidelines are developed by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) based on the most up-to-date scientific information and released jointly every five years by the US Departments of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Agriculture (USDA).
They take a long time to create – work for the 2015 Guidelines started in 2013 with the nominations and selections for the DGAC members. After the committee was formed, members reviewed the current scientific evidence through the fall of 2014. In March of 2015, the DGAC released its scientific report and recommendations for the next set of guidelines. Finally, in the fall of 2015 the new DGA will be released to the public.
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