The clock is ticking to submit candidates for what is arguably the most important group of nutrition experts on Earth. On September 5, USDA-HHS announced that they were opening a 1-month candidate nomination period for the advisory committee of the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Control of the guidelines oscillates every five years between US-HHS and USDA, and for this iteration, USDA is the lead agency.
The Nutrition Coalition is supporting candidates strong in evidence-based policy. The “lack of scientific rigor” in the guidelines was documented last year in a report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), which was the first-ever outside review of the Dietary Guidelines process. The report stated that the guidelines fell short of “best practices for conducting systematic review,” implying a need for this kind of expertise.
The Nutrition Coalition is also supporting candidates who can offer balance on two key topics that the 2020 Guidelines will address: saturated fats and low-carb diets. These are both topics that USDA selected to be addressed in the 2020 guidelines (We’d like to think, in part, because so many members of the Nutrition Coalition wrote in to urge review on these issues.) The Nutrition Coalition believes that the current guidelines do not reflect the best and most current science on these issues.
The Nutrition Coalition believes that we cannot afford another guidelines that simply rubber stamp the status quo. Former guidelines cherry picked the science and did not fully review the most rigorous evidence. Given the failure of the guidelines to combat nutrition-related diseases to date, we need a strong, open-minded group of experts who are up-to-date on the science and can review that science according to best practices.
USDA has provided details of its nomination process at www.dietaryguidelines.gov, with a far more exhaustive list of materials required of nominees than in previous cycles. The nomination period closes at midnight on October 6th.