Interested in being part of our process as we develop the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA)? Start today at DietaryGuidelines.gov.
Coinciding with the beginning of National Nutrition Month®, we are excited to announce, along with our partners at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), a new step early in the process to develop the 2020-2025 DGA. For the first time, USDA and HHS are posting for public comment the topics and supporting scientific questions to be examined at the start of the DGA development process. The public comment period will be open until March 30, 2018.
This important, new step reflects our continued commitment to ensure that the DGA development process is transparent, inclusive, and science-driven – and to incorporate recommendations and feedback on the process received from stakeholders.
Transparency and customer service are among the key tenets that guide our decisions at USDA. The American taxpayer is an essential customer – indeed, a shareholder. We are proud to take this important step forward toward greater transparency and ensure that the American public’s voice is heard throughout this process.
As you review the topics and supporting scientific questions posted for public consideration and comment, it’s important to note the following:
- Life stage approach: USDA and HHS are proposing a life stage approach for this edition of the DGA, focusing on priority scientific questions from birth through older adulthood. This approach is a new opportunity due in part to audience expansion, per the 2014 Farm Bill, which mandated that starting with the 2020-2025 edition, the DGA provide guidance for women who are pregnant, as well as infants and toddlers from birth to 24 months.
- Criteria: The topics USDA and HHS are posting for public comment for the 2020-2025 DGA are based on four criteria: relevance (topic is within scope of the DGA and its focus on food-based recommendations, not clinical guidelines for medical treatment); importance (topic for which there is new, relevant data and represents an area of substantial public health concern, uncertainty, and/or knowledge gap); potential federal impact (probability that guidance on the topic would inform federal food and nutrition policies and programs); and avoiding duplication (topic is not currently addressed through existing evidence-based federal guidance, other than the Dietary Guidelines).
As we go through this multiyear process to update and publish the 2020-2025 DGA, it’s also important to note that as the Dietary Guidelines has evolved over the decades, it isn’t about focusing on individual foods or food groups. We are looking at what we eat and drink as a whole, and how that can help prevent diseases and keep people healthy.
As you will see in the months and years leading up to the release of the 2020-2025 DGA, our process will include new approaches to provide the public with more transparency and opportunities to participate.
We welcome your voice as we work hard to deliver on our continued commitment to our customers – you.
You can find additional information on the DGA process at DietaryGuidelines.gov.
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would be interested in how guidelines will change.. [hopefully ]
I would like to participate.
Alma F. Tatum, MD
Hope to see an emphasis on whole food plant based as more and more research is showing that animal products are not healthy for us. However it seems as if this is a lot like the whole smoking thing. Although the research was out there forever it took decades for the govt. and medical profession to finally admit that smoking at all is bad because of the powerful tobacco industry. This is comparable to the huge influence today that the meat and dairy industry have.
I gave up added sugar and found it took a long time to not crave it, several years! No sodas, no sugared drinks or juices-- just coffee, tea, water. When I gave up eating pastries, cakes, processed crackers or bread made with white flour I had a huge change in the way I felt. My joint aches were eliminated almost immediately. I eat all sorts of nuts, more vegetables (at least one salad a day), protein that has not been cured/smoked/processed when possible, and fruit. My body feels well, I have plenty of energy, sleep well, and no one guess my age correctly.
The intake of natural plant based vegetables, fruits , nuts and grain based food products should be form the major components of the menu across the age groups with soy milk and minimum sugar and animal fat to maintain good health and stature. The senior citizens should be considered as well.
Consumption of alcoholics and tobacco should be discouraged.
I want to see low carb. diet, keto diet, intermittent fasting listed as health promoting activities. It is time the Dietary Guidelines began to reflect the science.
I truly hope to see them review the evidence on low carb high fat in its various iterations. I switched from an active job to a desk job and over the course of 2 years put on 20lbs. eating like I always had. After cutting out all refined grains, products with added sugars and the high starch foods and focusing on adding in more fats and whole vegetables I've had a huge turnaround. In 1 month I've lost 10lbs. My once to twice a week headaches have completely gone away, which I have had for nearly a decade at this point. The hunger pangs that preceded every normal meal time disappeared within about 3 days. My general appetite has been lower as well, enough that I seamlessly moved to an intermittent fasting window of 6 hours to eat, 18 hours fasting to take advantage of the benefits of autophagy.
That ends my experiential portion next I wanted to find out why this sort of diet works so I went through all the research I could find on the diets in question and other diets. I wanted to find out what the evidence said. Specifically the randomized control studies which can track actual correlations where the epidemiological studies only appear to show loose associations to create the basis for deeper review.
My general finding was that a majority of the issues run back to two root causes high insulin levels caused by high blood sugar, and high levels of inflammation do to the extremely high Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio in the average person. The Omega-3 issue actually being the simpler of the issues to solve, the recommendations on what oils to cook with would have a large effect by adding fewer Omega-6's to the process, ex. coconut oil/butter and recommending either an Omega-3 supplement or more seafood focusing on seafood options low in mercury would be ideal. Better Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratios have long been associated with lower risks for a slew of diseases from cancer to cardiovascular issues to auto immune diseases.
The blood glucose/insulin issue has gotten pretty heated with everyone claiming to have the correct dietary answer. So here's my claim to the correct answer. It's going to depend on how each persons body handles the specific carbs they are taking in I'd point to the research of Prof. Eran Segal and Dr. Elinavs of the Weizmann Institute of science, based on the differences in the individuals a person could eat an ice cream with no effect on their blood glucose level, but would have huge spikes with a bowl of white rice. In fact the aggregate data showed that white rice affected 65% of their study participants more than ice cream 35%. This creates a problem as recommendations of what carbs to eat could be counter intuitive for some individuals and the tolerance to carbs in general can range so widely for individuals that some may not be able to tolerate any while others experience no high blood sugar/insulin issues in levels up into the 70% carb range as some studies of other cultures have shown, albeit without the processed foods. I believe that this is the number one reason that the low/ultra low carb diet has been so effective for people, without a personal glucose monitor and knowing your specific response removing the majority of the carbs from your diet simplifies keeping the blood glucose and therefore the insulin levels under control. Replacing the carbs only leaves 2 options fats and proteins, excess amounts of protein induce gluconeogenesis and create more glucose so that only leaves the fats. Which is how the conclusion became to keep fats high, carbs as low as feasible(most recommend 5-10% of quality whole vegetable carbs) and proteins on the low moderate end somewhere in the 15-30% range. To make that work you need fatty cuts of meat as well as good healthy sources of fats. An ongoing treatment plan by virta health has been running for 1 year and is seeing excellent results with reversing type II diabetes using a ketogenic diet, that being an extremely low carb diet. Results available at virtahealth.com/research
What are healthy sources of fats becomes the next question. When ignoring the epidemiological studies for the obvious problem that they show association and are meant to find data to determine a hypothesis to test, but lack the scientific rigor to show a level of correlation, the various randomized control trials on the subject continue to show no statistically significant effects from raising or lowering ones saturated fat intakes on heart disease or all cause mortality. Given that lack of correlation on saturated fats and the high degree of correlation between high insulin levels cause by prolonged excess glucose levels the safe move appears to be less processed carbs and sugars and more fats for the general population.
Estimates vary, but approximately 2-5% of the US population is now identifying as either Vegetarian or Vegan. It would also be advisable when making the new guidelines to provide more targeted guidelines to address their unique health needs primarily focusing on the most common vitamin and mineral deficiencies such as Zinc, Iron, Choline, B12, DHA & EPA, Calcium, Iodine, and Magnesium and where specifically those deficiencies could come from and how to correct them via supplementation or through dietary adjustments to avoid the foods higher in anti-nutrients. This could be especially important for pregnant women who are vegan as there appears to be an association with low DHA & EPA levels with autism which does not appear to be correctable after age 2, also children with ADHD are highly likely to be low in DHA & EPA, Zinc, and Iron cause and effect relationship unknown. To be clear that last bit is an association and no correlation has yet been proven, but the consistency of the vitamin and mineral deficiencies is well known and common so adding some advice to help them stay healthy while maintaining their ethical stances would be a very important addition to the guidelines.
I would like to participate, but I am Egyptian, can I?
@Steve Honaker II - This public comment period is now closed. We encourage you to stay engaged in the process to develop the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans at DietaryGuidelines.gov.
@Sara Elsaiedh - This public comment period is now closed. We encourage you to stay engaged in the process to develop the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans at DietaryGuidelines.gov. U.S. citizenship is not required for participation.
I started a low carb diet about two years ago. I aim for ketosis but most likely don't stay in very long. My average net carb load a day I would estimate ranges from 30-50 g. In January, my LDL reduced significantly, HDL increased, and triglycerides decreased. My weight also reduced by 30 lbs. I take a high dose of fish oil on and off, but no other supplements. I'm a busy father or two (stressed), husband, and don't exercise regularly. I have an office job and I'm seated most of the day. My daily low carb breakfast consists of regular eggs fried and a breakfast meat (sausage or bacon). At this point the only thing I would change is exercise because this diet has worked for me. I believe there should be an in-depth study of low carb (meat based and/or plant based) vs other diets. If the findings are positive they should roll out to all schools, hospitals, etc. then deal with the public. This search has not been taken seriously by many and we need more of it.
The use of the ketogenic diet in the treatment of cancer needs to be addressed. Cancer research specialists Lewis Cantley and Thomas Seyfield are getting amazing results in shrinking tumors, in several cases down to zero.
A ban on added fructose and it's involvement with NAFLD, as researched by Robert Lustig, also needs to be strongly considered.
Thirdly, the reversal of diabetes symptoms by use of the ketogenic diet, as demonstrated by Dr Sarah Hallberg at her clinic, Virta Health, also needs to be strongly considered, with her condemnation of sugar.
Hello, my name is Adaobi Nwoka and I frequently visit Dietary Guidelines for Americans. It is with great pleasure to be given an opportunity to comment for the next dietary guideline cycle.
We are currently living in a generation that glorifies social media and it plays a major impact on what we eat. As we begin to think about the next 5 years, we must emphasize the shift in eating habits as a result of technology/social media and how that applies to the social ecological model.
In Chapter 3 (the introduction of the social ecological model), it would be worth giving examples for each bullet point under the categories (individual, settings, sectors and social and cultural norms and values) and how they play a role in our eating and physical activity habits. While the model makes sense to public health professionals, your general audience may not understand what that looks like.
I think we need to emphasize that everyone plays a role in healthy eating habits. It is not a journey one must face alone. For example, grocery stores using promotional strategies to drive up vegetables and fruits sales or churches promoting healthy potluck events etc.
It will also be helpful to provide tech-friendly tips for staying active and eating healthy in the appendix section.
You need to remove the "fat scare" you have created all these years.
I am on a ketogenic diet, high fat/moderate protein /very low carb. There is science after science (including NIH studies) that proves high (healthy) fats, moderate protein and very low carbs, fixes diabetes, inflammation, high blood pressure, fatty liver, assists with chemotherapies, assists with cognitive abilities with alzheizmers, and keeps the culprit of all our health issues ="insulin"... calm.
Fat is the "other" fuel source (ketones) for our body instead of carbs. That's how you cure our diabetes epidemic in the US.
You also need to get FRUTOSE off the market - it has DOUBLE the insulin affect on our bodies as regular sugar.
Please invite the following scientists to an open forum so you can learn:
Dr. Benjamin Bikman
Valter Longo , PHD
Dr. Dominic D'agostino
Dr. Jason Fung
Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt
Dr. Tim Noakes
This time do it based on "real" science .
Get all animal product off the list of healthy foods. The research has been there for years. Get rid of the meat and dairy lobbyists. You all know the truth. Please quit deceiving the public in the name of $$$.
Some of your healthy choice recipes look great, I think I may even have to try a few. Balancing out nutrition and making health choices in our students is important as they grow into young adults I am hopeful they will carry on this information and make good choices and healthy behaviors for their futures and continue to pass it on!
People have done their research and are changing their diets because the low fat high grain diet has not worked. We are fatter and sicker than ever. There is no study that shows a correlation between fat and heart disease. The food pyramid needs to based on modern science.
1. For the MyPlate put a glass of water next to the Dairy glass
2. Have arms holding the plate to signify exercising.
Plain and simple
I would like the USDA to discuss the importance of sodium/potassium balance in the diet rather than isolating salt intake/ Particularly with reference to reducing high blood pressure. It is very well described that high potassium diets such as the DASH diet have significant effects on reducing hypertension.
The USDA MyPlate infographic has some obvious drawbacks. The simplest is that the illustration includes Dairy which excludes lactose-intolerant individuals. Another clear problem with the infographic is that the plate illustrates fruits and vegetables on the same plate. I teach hundreds of college students nutrition each year and not one places fruits and vegetables on the same plate for any meal. This makes the MyPlate infographic difficult to understand impossible to follow. I understand that MyPlate supersedes the food pyramid (which was even worse) however you must be able to do better! Think inclusive, think real-world, think healthy eating patterns!
How about MyDay rather than MyPlate?
@Douglas B Woods - thank you for your feedback. We encourage you to stay engaged in the process to develop the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans at DietaryGuidelines.gov.
I have lost a heap of weight eating low carb healthy fat and I feel the best I have ever felt, why do we recommend low fat?
PLANT BASED - ELIMINATE DAIRY, MEAT AND EGGS! Unless the industries are funding this new set of guidelines of course :)
There seems to be extensive peer reviewed research and evidence towards plant based nutrition. I would like to see guidelines which represent what the science clearly has shown to prevent and reverse chronic diseases such as diabetes/heart disease. It would be nice if the USDA informed the public of what they should eat to be healthy rather than advise them to eat what the meat/dairy/egg industry wants them to be eating.
As a dietitian, I am interested in giving feedback.
Please please please take dairy off of the recommendations once and for all!!
I am 10-year oil-free, whole food plant-based lifestyle. I do not like to say "diet". It gives me more energetic, alert, and feel great. My blood work result was fine. For 27 years, I was semi-vegetarian with dairy, egg and white meats (chicken and fish/seafood). I haven't eaten beef for 40 years. It made me sick, low-energy, constipation, etc. I will never look back to my old diet from dead animals, steal from cow’s milk, toxic fish, and eggs. This really sums up the reason for the fact that 150 million animals die per day. For much of the civilized western world, animal products are a luxury, not a necessity. You can live perfectly fine by just consuming fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts/seeds, and legumes. Plant-based lifestyle saves our lives, alleviate hunger, reduce the impacts of climate change, save water, and minimize agricultural land use. Please eliminate dairy, fish, egg and animal meats on DGA.
A whole food plant based agriculture and lifestyle are what will keep the world and humanity healthy and thriving. A whole food plant based diet, is the only way of eating that has been shown in peer reviewed studies to prevent, control and/ even reverse chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, etc. It is time that farmers who want to produce healthy and nutritious fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds in an organic and responsible manner have a fair shot. By providing the considerations based on science we can modify agriculture subsidies to make sure these foods are grown and sold at fair, affordable prices.
Last but not least, we are the only species who drink another species milk which has not been shown to be protective of bone diseases. In fact, independent studies have shown the contrary. Please make the essential drink is water and the recommendations are a plate full of colorful fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
A whole-food plant based diet should be the basis for the human body. If prevent the leading causes of death to humans was the only benefit to human health, we should really consider this when raising our children.
Stop creating future consumers for industries and instead promote a healthy microbiome/body through the most abundant diet, a vegan diet.
*Oil is not a health food, just like refined sugar is not.
*All meat is high in saturated fat.
*Milk has animal hormones. (Sex and stress hormones.)
*A whole food plant-based diet is the only diet that can prevent and reverse the leading causes of death and illness in humans.
I currently have the old print out dietary guidelines for Americans 2005. I looked up your new version of your healthy guidelines and I noticed it is 144 pages. I don't have a printer and I don't know anyone who has one. I cant go to the library to print because I have no vehicle now. I was wondering if you all would be much oblige to send me a booklet of your guidelines. that would be so cool. The 2005 version I have gives me the food source of vitamins and that is what I was looking for. it would be much appreciated.
@cheryl - thank you for your comment. We currently are unable to mail out the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans booklet at this time. Please check back with us at a later date by contacting our help desk at SM.FN.CNPPSupport@usda.gov. In the meantime, another option available is to order the booklet from GPO here: bookstore.gpo.gov/products/dietary-guidelines-americans-2015-2020-1. Thank you!
Looks like I’m too late, but in case anyone is listening, dairy obviously needs to be removed from the dietary guidelines. And please help small dairy farmers switch their farms over to sustainable farming of fruits and vegetables. Subsidize healthy foods rather than animal agriculture. Objective unbiased science show dairy is unhealthy (and unethical). Please put health above profit.
I would love to be a part of this. I studied nutrition management in undergraduate school and nutrition education in graduate school, and it has always been my passion. I have also been a vegetarian for over 15 years, and being that more and more people are now looking for vegetarian and vegan options, I would love to give input. Thank you!
It would be nice to get rid of obsolete nutrient content claims and put ones that are meaningful on the front of the package people can connect with and understand. For example, peanuts I purchased recently that were lightly salted boasting of being a good source of magnesium, manganese, niacin. Who cares? These are not relevant like they may have been in 1940. Why not say peanuts are a good source of fat and calories and a mild source of protein. Macronutrients are more important and meaningful as something people care about and can connect with... micronutrients? When is the last time I had a nutrition counseling client come into the office and say "gosh darn it, my diet sucks because I'm not getting enough manganese!" No, it's about weight, diabetes, cholesterol now. Not micronutrient deficiencies.
The front of the label also claimed of 75 mg sodium per serving vs 150, both amounts fairly insignificant for the front of a label and even for someone on a DASH diet limiting sodium to 1500mg/day.
Canada removed dairy as a food group from their dietary guidelines and added more plant-based foods in the protein section, and the US should do the same. About a third of Americans are lactose intolerant and if they followed the current guidelines they would be sick. There is nothing in dairy that the body needs that can't be found in healthier foods. There is no reason dairy should be a food group- humans obviously do not need to drink the breast milk of cows to be healthy. Cows' breast milk is made for baby cows, not humans. Contrary to popular belief, consumption of dairy increases the risk of osteoporosis, as well as hormonal cancers like breast and prostate cancer, which are two of the leading causes of death in the US. Also, the research is clear that the amount of meat Americans eat is contributing to their poor health, and they would benefit from eating more plant-based sources of protein instead, like nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, potatoes, tofu, chickpeas, edamame, etc. Please remove dairy as a food group and add more plant-based sources of protein to the dietary guidelines.
Why is it recommended for humans to drink cows breast milk? We stop drinking breastmilk from our own mothers as toddlers. Why are we drinking breast milk from another species at all, much less as adults?
- change dietary fat recommendations (there is no evidence that saturated fat causes heart disease
- lower carbohydrate recommendations as an option for the millions of people with metabolic syndrome, obesity and diabetes.
The problem is that the dietary recommendations are designed for the small minority of people who are already healthy and want to stay healthy. They do not serve the millions of people with obesity, diabetes and other metabolic issues.
I would like dietary cholesterol to be removed from food labels and not have a limit on it. Dietary cholesterol does not affect blood chemistry nor does it get absorbed. It shouldn’t even be a thing anymore. Also, studies have proven that Saturated fat does not affect heart health. What affects heart health is sugar and refined carbs. Also, ban hfcs and have food/drink companies use regular corn syrup, glucose syrup, or regular sugar. HFCS causes so many health problems. I think there should also be a strict limit on added sugars. If we cut the sugar intake in half on sodas and cut out hfcs, it would still taste just fine and be at least better for us. I think we should also slap giant taxes on unhealthy foods to make healthy foods seem cheaper and more desirable and to maybe bring unhealthy food/drink companies out of business.
I have another comment. This is about nutrition needs for kids. The nutrition recommendations for kids is currently a minimum of 55% carbs. I do not believe kids need this much carbs in any form. Carbs are important as they give you energy, but growing kids need more protein and fat. Protein plays a role by helping to help develop muscles, bones, and organs. Protein needs are so little in kids. 0.3 to 0.4 grams per pound is not enough. I believe kids need at least 0.5 grams for every pound of body weight and they can go up 1 gram for every pound to build muscle/gain weight. This will not harm their kidneys or liver. That is a big lie. About fat. Fat is essential. Especially omega 3, omega 9, and saturated fat. Those will all help to regulate a healthy cholesterol range and provide endocrine support and brain function. The brain does not need and does not heavily rely on glucose. That is another big lie. The brain needs cholesterol/fat to function too just as much as it uses glucose. Fat should be at least 90 grams a day for kids and teens. Carbs can be down to 15 percent for weight loss and up to 45% for weight gain and 25 to 40 percent for maintenance. Low carb diets and intermittent fasting for kids who severely need to lose weight should be an option and will not affect growth or brain function.
Meat is not bad for you. Humans are omnivores, not herbivores. Animal foods are much better sources of the vast majority of nutrients than plant foods. Factory-farmed, processed meat is bad for us. We need to shift away from avoiding meat to improving the quality and sustainability of the meat we eat.
Carbs are not the preferred source of fuel for the body. Most people's bodies run much better off of fat, yes, event the brain. Ketosis is not ketoacidosis. Breastfed babies are in ketosis much of the time and have beautifully-developed brains. Lowering blood sugar and insulin is key to healing most chronic diseases.
Dairy and dairy fat is not bad for you. People are intolerant of dairy because of the way it is processed and because our gut microbiota is being destroyed. Cow milk is very similar to human milk. Much evidence suggests people have become healthier since consuming dairy into adulthood. We won't really know until we fix our gut bacteria and stop overheating and over-processing our milk. Milk is a delicate bio-fluid with a complex and fragile microstructure. Heat damages this structure and many nutrients.
Learn from diets of the past. We cannot assume any manmade food is safe or more healthy than foods grown and raised naturally.
Interested to review the updated guidelines and how they impact secondary prevention of cardiac diseases in a rehabilitative setting. Specifically interested in an update to the macronutrient requirements and if the guidelines continue to suggest cholesterol is the primary prevention goal for impacting the risk for cardiovascular disease.
Definitely think emphasis of more fruits and vegetables is extremely important as well as no recommendation to eat processed meats 100% and possibly no red meat (considering they are classified as type 1 and type 2 carcinogens from WHO as well as proven to be major causes of heart disease)