2015 – 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

This past Thursday, January 7th, the 2015 – 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans were published. Every 5 years since 1980, the Dietary Guidelines have been reviewed and updated by the U.S. Departments of Heath and Human Services (HHS) and Agriculture (USDA).  


Image from Health.gov

Why Do We Have Dietary Guidelines?

The Dietary Guidelines provide evidence-based food and beverage recommendations for Americans ages 2 and older to

  • Promote health
  • Prevent chronic disease
  • Help people reach and maintain a healthy weight.

How are the Dietary Guidelines Developed and Applied?

  1. An external Advisory Committee reviews the science and creates a Advisory Report, which is then submitted to the Secretaries of  the HHS and USDA. (Advisory Committee Members)
  2. The HHS and USDA develop a new edition of the Dietary Guidelines while using the Advisory Report, the previous edition of the Dietary Guidelines, and the consideration of the public and Federal agency comments.  (more information)
  3. The Dietary Guidelines are then applied to form the basis of federal nutrition policies and programs, which will help guide local, state and national health promotion and disease prevention initiatives. 

What’s New?

The New Edition of the Dietary Guidelines is expanded upon the 2010’s focus on weight management to address the prevention of diet-related chronic diseases.  This year’s edition emphasizes overall eating patterns verses previous editions, which focused on specific, individual dietary components. (more information)

Below is the Executive Summary:


Image from Health.gov


Why Read the Dietary Guidelines?

The 2015 – 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans are the basis in shaping federal policies and programs related to food, nutrition, and health. These programs include the National School Lunch Program, WIC (Women, Infants and Children), SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs), and many more.

To view the 2015 – 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans click here

New: Then and Now: How the Dietary Guidelines for Americans Changed from 2010 to 2015 – American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Report

Have a great Tuesday and please share below your thoughts on the NEW Dietary Guidelines

Rachelle Ausman, RD, LD, CD
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