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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 approaches to examine the evidence: data analysis, food pattern modeling, and systematic reviews. Each of these approaches has its own rigorous, protocol-driven methodology, and plays 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.

To answer each scientific question, the Committee develops a protocol – or a plan that further describes how the Advisory Committee will apply the methodology of one of the three approaches to examine the evidence related to that specific question. A protocol is created before the Advisory Committee examines any evidence, and is posted online for the public to view and better understand how a specific scientific question will be answered.

More information about the methodologies for each of the three scientific approaches is available below. You can also see the protocols for the topics and questions the Advisory Committee is addressing and follow their progress.

three methods
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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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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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