HOUSTON — Consistent with their emphasis on transparency and broad public participation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is kicking off the fourth Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Meeting today in Houston, Texas. This meeting – the first in decades held outside the D.C. Beltway – is part of the multi-year long process to develop the nation’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans and includes the second opportunity for the public to provide oral comments to the committee.
“We understand how critical it is that we step out of Washington when seeking comment,” said Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Brandon Lipps. “We look forward to this feedback, and ultimately to the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee scientific findings, which will inform the development of the next edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.”
The public was invited to register on a first-come, first-served basis to provide oral comments to the committee during the meeting, which is being held at the USDA Agricultural Research Service’s Children’s Nutrition Research Center, a cooperative effort with Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital, on January 23-24, 2020. This meeting is also being webcast live, and the recording will be made available at a later date.
“Science-based dietary guidance is vital to our nation’s future health,” said ADM Brett P. Giroir, Assistant Secretary for Health, HHS. “We are pleased to bring the committee to the Southwestern U.S., making this important meeting more accessible. This gives the public more opportunity to learn more about the committee’s scientific review and to offer their comments in person.”
USDA and HHS look forward to robust public participation in the dietary guidelines process. An ongoing public comment period initiated in March 2019 will remain open throughout the committee’s deliberations, expected to conclude in May 2020. The fifth meeting will be held on March 12-13, 2020 in Washington, D.C. All those with interest in these issues can stay informed and involved by providing written comments and visiting DietaryGuidelines.gov.
The 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is made up of 20 individuals of diverse backgrounds who are regarded as national thought leaders in the areas of nutrition and health. The independent advisory committee’s review, along with public and agency comments, will help inform USDA and HHS as the departments develop the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans serve as the cornerstone of federal nutrition programs and policies, providing food-based recommendations that help prevent diet-related chronic diseases and promote overall health. According to the National Nutrition Monitoring and Related Research Act of 1990, the guidelines are published jointly by USDA and HHS every five years. In addition to co-developing the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) administers 15 nutrition assistance programs that leverage American’s agricultural abundance to ensure children and low-income individuals and families have nutritious food to eat.
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