The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2025-2030 (Dietary Guidelines) development process is under way. Updating the Dietary Guidelines is a multi-year, multi-step process. The U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Agriculture (USDA) are committed to transparency and providing opportunities for public participation, leading up to the release of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2025-2030.
HHS and USDA recently asked for public comments on proposed scientific questions to inform the development of the next edition of the Dietary Guidelines. The call for public comments on the proposed scientific questions was open from April 15 - May 16, 2022. The Departments are now reviewing each public comment.
The Departments proposed a list of scientific questions as the first step in the Dietary Guidelines development process to inform the expertise needed on the 2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (Committee), to support an efficient and effective process that allows for public engagement, and to ensure the scientific review conducted by the Committee addresses Federal nutrition policy and program needs.
The next step in the process will be to issue a public call for nominations for the 2025 Committee. This announcement will be made through DietaryGuidelines.gov and the Federal Register in the coming months.
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Identifying the Proposed Scientific Questions
The proposed scientific questions to inform the next edition of the Dietary Guidelines focus on diet and health outcomes across the lifespan. This includes the relationship between diet and risk of overweight and obesity with a new emphasis on weight loss and weight maintenance. All scientific questions will be reviewed with a health equity lens to ensure that resulting guidance in the Dietary Guidelines is inclusive of people with diverse racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds.
The proposed scientific questions were informed by:
- Questions addressed by the 2020 Committee, particularly those that informed the development of the current Dietary Guidelines, and future directions documented in the Scientific Report of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee.
- Consideration of current nutrition science and potential new topics of public health interest.
- Input from Federal nutrition scientists and program experts from across the Federal government.
Topics addressed by existing Federal resources were not included on the list of proposed scientific questions, although many will be addressed in the next edition of the Dietary Guidelines. Evidence-based Federal guidance can be communicated in the Dietary Guidelines, 2025-2030 without undergoing review by the Committee to avoid duplication of Federal efforts. While developing the proposed scientific questions, HHS and USDA conducted a review of Federal resources that may be used to inform the next edition of the Dietary Guidelines.
Scientific Question Criteria
HHS and USDA proposed scientific questions to inform the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2025-2030 based on the following criteria:
- Relevance – Question is within scope of the Dietary Guidelines and its focus on food-based recommendations, not clinical guidelines for medical treatment.
- Importance – Question addresses an area of substantial public health concern, uncertainty, and/or knowledge gap.
- Potential Impact to Federal Programs – There is a high probability that the question will provide the scientific foundation for guidance that would inform Federal food and nutrition policies and programs.
- Avoiding Duplication – Question is not addressed through existing or planned evidence-based Federal guidance (other than the Dietary Guidelines).
Research availability will also be evaluated to determine whether there is sufficient evidence available to conduct a new review or update an existing systematic review for each scientific question. If sufficient research is not available, the question will be identified as an area needing more research.