Proposed Scientific Questions to Inform the Development of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2025-2030
Available for Public Comment Starting April 15th
As the first step in the development process of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2025-2030 (Dietary Guidelines), the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Agriculture (USDA) are releasing proposed scientific questions for public comment. The public comment period will be open for 30 days starting April 15, 2022, through May 16, 2022 at 11:59 PM ET. HHS and USDA are committed to transparency and providing opportunities for public participation during this five-step process leading up to the release of the Dietary Guidelines in 2025.
Updating the Dietary Guidelines is a multi-year, multi-step process. First, HHS and USDA are requesting public comments on the proposed scientific questions. Next, there will be a call for nominations from the public and the appointment of a Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (Committee). The Committee will then conduct a review of the evidence related to the scientific questions, which culminates in the submission of a scientific report to the Secretaries of HHS and USDA.
The Committee will discuss its work in public meetings and supporting materials will be provided to the public through DietaryGuidelines.gov. HHS and USDA will consider the Committee’s report, along with federal agency and public comments, as they develop the next edition of the Dietary Guidelines. Once released, the new edition is implemented throughout the nutrition and health community both within and outside of the federal government.
The proposed questions are available on DietaryGuidelines.gov and focus on diet and health outcomes across the entire lifespan. This includes the relationship between diet and risk of overweight and obesity with a new emphasis on weight loss and weight maintenance. New questions also address ultra-processed foods and food-based strategies that can be used by individuals and families to support implementation of the Dietary Guidelines and help prevent or manage overweight and obesity.
All prioritized 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.
HHS and USDA proposed these scientific questions 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 for the proposed questions to determine whether there is sufficient evidence available to conduct a new review or update an existing systematic review. Topics addressed by existing federal resources are not included on the list of proposed scientific questions, although many will be addressed in the next edition of the Dietary Guidelines.
Anyone can comment via Regulations.gov (docket number OASH-2022-0005). A link to the specific Regulations.gov page will be posted on DietaryGuidelines.gov. HHS and USDA will consider all public comments posted to Regulations.gov in relation to the specified criteria above in prioritizing the scientific questions to be examined by the Committee to inform the development of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2025-2030.
Following this public comment period, HHS and USDA will seek nominations for the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee from the public. The public can sign up to receive email updates on the Dietary Guidelines development process and other related news, including future opportunities for public involvement.
The Dietary Guidelines provides science-based advice on what to eat and drink to promote health, reduce risk of chronic disease, and meet nutrient needs. It is designed for policymakers and nutrition and health professionals to help all individuals and their families consume a healthy, nutritionally adequate diet. The information in the Dietary Guidelines is used to develop, implement, and evaluate federal food, nutrition, and health policies. It also is the basis for federal nutrition education materials designed for the public and for the nutrition education components of HHS and USDA nutrition programs.
Find more information on the Dietary Guidelines by visiting DietaryGuidelines.gov.