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Work Under Way

Topics and Questions to be Examined by the Committee

The 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is examining specific topics and supporting scientific questions identified by USDA and HHS. The questions are grouped by subcommittee below. Subcommittees review the evidence on questions and report on their work at the Committee meetings, which are open to the public. All deliberation and decisions are made by the full Committee at its public meetings.

Each question is under review by only one subcommittee, but some topics (like dietary patterns) and populations (like women who are pregnant) are addressed in multiple questions – and sometimes by more than one subcommittee. Look at all of the questions to get a complete view of the work under way by the Committee.

Updates will be posted over the course of the Committee’s work, and progress is marked with the icons described below.

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Review of this question is still to come. Check back for updates.
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The subcommittee is developing the plan for reviewing the evidence to answer the question. For systematic review questions, this includes defining terms, identifying inclusion and exclusion criteria, and determining databases to search. Once a plan is developed, a draft protocol is posted for public viewing and comment. A protocol may be updated after it is posted. The bottom of the first page includes the date of the protocol, and any changes will be noted, with rationale.
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The question is under review. For systematic review questions, this means the search, screening, and review have begun. For other approaches, this means analysis is under way. Over time, draft systematic review protocols will be updated to include search results and lists of included and excluded articles. The bottom of the first page will include the date that the protocol was last updated, and updates will be identified.
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The subcommittee has developed a draft answer to the question. Draft conclusions are not considered final until they have been deliberated with and decided upon by the full Committee and published in the Committee’s report.

Pregnancy and Lactation Subcommittee

Dietary Patterns

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Status Question
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What is the relationship between dietary patterns consumed during pregnancy and risk of gestational diabetes?
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What is the relationship between dietary patterns consumed during pregnancy and risk of hypertensive disorders during pregnancy?
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What is the relationship between dietary patterns consumed during pregnancy and gestational age at birth?
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What is the relationship between dietary patterns consumed during pregnancy and birth weight standardized for gestational age and sex?
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What is the relationship between dietary patterns consumed during pregnancy and gestational weight gain?
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What is the relationship between dietary patterns consumed during pregnancy and micronutrient status?
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What is the relationship between dietary patterns consumed during lactation and human milk composition and quantity?
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What is the relationship between dietary patterns consumed during lactation and infant developmental milestones, including neurocognitive development?
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What is the relationship between dietary patterns consumed during lactation and post-partum weight loss?

Specific Nutrients from Supplements and/or Fortified Foods

Status Question
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What is the relationship between iron from supplements and/or fortified foods consumed before and during pregnancy and lactation and specific health outcomes?
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What is the relationship between folic acid from supplements and/or fortified foods consumed before and during pregnancy and lactation and specific health outcomes?
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What is the relationship between vitamin D from supplements and/or fortified foods consumed before and during pregnancy and lactation and specific health outcomes?
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What is the relationship between omega-3 fatty acids from supplements and/or fortified foods consumed before and during pregnancy and lactation and specific health outcomes?
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What is the relationship between vitamin B12 from supplements and/or fortified foods consumed before and during pregnancy and lactation and specific health outcomes?
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What is the relationship between iodine from supplements and/or fortified foods consumed before and during pregnancy and lactation and specific health outcomes?

Maternal Diet During Pregnancy and Lactation and Risk of Food Allergy/Atopic Disease

Status Question
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What is the relationship between maternal diet during pregnancy and lactation and risk of infant and child food allergies and atopic allergic diseases?

Complementary Foods and Beverages

Status Question
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What is the relationship between complementary feeding and micronutrient status?
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What is the relationship between complementary feeding and growth, size, and body composition?
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What is the relationship between complementary feeding and developmental milestones, including neurocognitive development?
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What is the relationship between complementary feeding and food allergies and atopic allergic diseases?
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What is the relationship between complementary feeding and bone health?

Alcohol

Status Question
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What is the relationship between alcohol consumption and growth, size, body composition, and risk of overweight and obesity?
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What is the relationship between alcohol consumption and risk of certain types of cancer?
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What is the relationship between alcohol consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease?
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What is the relationship between alcohol consumption and neurocognitive health?
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What is the relationship between alcohol consumption and all-cause mortality?
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What is the relationship between alcohol consumption during lactation and post-partum weight loss?
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What is the relationship between alcohol consumption during lactation and human milk composition and quantity?
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What is the relationship between alcohol consumption during lactation and infant developmental milestones, including neurocognitive development?

Added Sugars

Status Question
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What is the relationship between added sugars consumption and growth, size, body composition, and risk of overweight and obesity?
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What is the relationship between added sugars consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease?
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What is the relationship between added sugars consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes?
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What is the relationship between added sugars consumption during pregnancy and gestational weight gain?
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What is the relationship between added sugars consumption during lactation and post-partum weight loss?

Data Analysis and Food Pattern Modeling Cross-Cutting Working Group

Data Analysis Questions

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Status Question
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Describe/evaluate current dietary patterns and beverages.
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Describe/evaluate current intakes of food groups and nutrients.
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Describe/evaluate nutrients of public health concern.
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Describe/evaluate prevalence of nutrition-related chronic health conditions.
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How does dietary intake, particularly dietary patterns, track across life stages from the introduction of foods, into childhood, and through older adulthood?
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What is the relationship between beverage consumption and achieving nutrient and food group recommendations?
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What is the relationship between alcohol consumption and achieving nutrient and food group recommendations?
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What is the relationship between added sugars consumption and achieving nutrient and food group recommendations?
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What is the relationship between the frequency of eating and achieving nutrient and food group recommendations?

Food Pattern Modeling Questions

Status Question
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[For 2 years and older] Are changes to the USDA Food Patterns needed based on the relationships identified [in the systematic reviews]? If so, how well do USDA Food Pattern variations meet nutrient recommendations for each stage of life? If nutrient needs are not met, is there evidence to support supplementation and/or consumption of fortified foods to meet nutrient adequacy?
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[For those under 2 years of age] Can USDA Food Patterns be established based on the relationships identified [in the systematic reviews]? If so, how well do USDA Food Pattern variations meet nutrient recommendations for infants and toddlers? If nutrient needs are not met, is there evidence to support supplementation and/or consumption of fortified foods to meet nutrient adequacy?
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How much added sugars can be accommodated in a healthy diet while still meeting food group and nutrient needs?