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Work Under Way

2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee: Approaches to Examine the Evidence

As the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee works to answer the scientific questions from USDA and HHS, they are using three rigorous, protocol-driven approaches to examine the evidence: data analysis, food pattern modeling, and systematic reviews. Each of these approaches has a unique, complementary role in examining the science. The type of information the Advisory Committee needs in order to address the scientific question determines which approach they use to review the evidence.

Protocols further describe how the Advisory Committee uses one of the three approaches to answer a scientific question. For each scientific question, a protocol – or a plan for how one of the scientific approaches will be used to examine evidence related to the question – is developed by the Advisory Committee. A protocol is created before the Advisory Committee examines any evidence, and is posted online for the public to view and better understand the approach used to answer a specific scientific question.

Learn more about the three scientific approaches below. You can also see the topics and questions the Advisory Committee is addressing and follow their progress.

three methods
data analysis bar graph


Data Analysis

A collection of analyses that uses national data sets to help us understand the current health and dietary intakes of Americans. These data help make the Dietary Guidelines practical, relevant, and achievable.

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Food Pattern Modeling

Analysis that helps us understand how changes to the amounts or types of foods and beverages in a pattern might impact meeting nutrient needs across the U.S. population.

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food pattern modeling computer with graphs on screen
systematic reviews current two papers stcaked


NESR Systematic Reviews

Systematic reviews that answer questions on diet and health by searching for, evaluating, and synthesizing all relevant, peer-reviewed studies.

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