2020 Dietary Guidelines – How to Get Involved

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By Kate Dixon

The process for the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) is underway in earnest. Last month, USDA-HHS, the agencies in charge of the DGA, selected the advisory committee, and that group will have its inaugural meeting on March 28th and 29th in Washington, DC. This will be the first of approximately five meetings.

Ways to Get Involved in the Guidelines Process

Attend a Committee Meeting:

All meetings are open to the public. To attend either in person or via webcast, registration is required. Click here to register for the March meeting in Washington, D.C. (registration now closed). Follow @4dietaryreform or our executive director @bigfatsurprise for live tweeting of this and future meetings.

March 28, 2019 from 9:00am - 4:30pm
March 29, 2019 from 8:30am - 3:00pm

According to the DGA website, this first meeting will include: an outline of the topics, the framework for the process, and operations expected for future meetings.

This first meeting is not be open for public comment.

UPDATE, March 28, 2019

Future meetings will be:

  • July 10-11, in Washington, D.C. This meeting open for public comment by in-person attendees

  • October 24-25, in Washington, DC. No public comments.

  • January 23-24, 2020 Houston, TX, This meeting open for public comment by in-person attendees

  • March 12-13, 2020, Washington, DC. No public comments.

We will let people know over social media or you can sign up to receive email updates from USDA here.

Submit a Public Comment:

As of March 12, public comments are being accepted, and this comment period will last through early 2020. It is imperative that the public get involved in this process to ensure that the advisory committee uses rigorous systematic reviews of the science in the development of the Guidelines. This has not always been the case in the past, as noted in a critical 2017 report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Details on the findings of that report with regard to the lack of scientific rigor in previous Guidelines can be found here.

Comments (identified by Docket FNS-2019-0001) can be submitted either electronically (this link goes to a page with a “Comment Now” button in the top right corner) or via regular mail to:

Kristin Koegel
USDA Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services
Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion
3101 Park Center Drive, Room 1034
Alexandria, VA 22302

For access to Docket FNS-2019-0001 to read background documents or comments received, go to www.regulations.gov and enter in the FNS number in the search bar.

Suggested Comments/Questions for the Committee:

The Nutrition Coalition is founded upon the hope that nutrition policy will be backed by sound science. This is our sole aim for the 2020 Dietary Guidelines.

Here are some of our initial concerns:

  • How will the Committee deal with having a 7th Day Adventist among its members? This church group promotes a vegetarian diet on the basis of religion, not science.

  • What will the Committee do regarding its review of dietary fats, one of the topics specified to be covered for the 2020 Guidelines, when no member of the committee appears to have any particular expertise in this area (except for perhaps omega 3 fatty acids)?

As the committee moves forward, the Nutrition Coalition will continue to suggest comments and questions for potential submission. Subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay informed. Don’t miss an opportunity to have your voice be heard in the development of the Guidelines. We need everyone to speak up.

The “Get Involved” link on this website gives complete information about ways the public can get involved in this highly important process.

#4dietaryreform