Cardiometabolic Health Congress faculty and obesity scientist Dr. Fatima Cody Stanford has been appointed to the 2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, tasked with issuing new food-based recommendations to help prevent diet-related chronic disease. The Committee will review the current body of nutrition science and make recommendations to guide the development of the 10th edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Dr. Stanford, along with 19 other experts in diet, nutrition, obesity, lifestyle and exercise, has been appointed to the joint U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) 2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. The cornerstone of federal nutrition programs and policies, these federal nutrition guidelines provide food-based recommendations to help prevent diet-related chronic diseases and promote overall health. The responsibility for leading the process alternates each five years between the HHS and USDA, and in 2025 the HHS Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion will lead the effort.
“Diet-related diseases are on the rise across all age groups, and we must rise to the challenge by providing nutrition guidance that people from all walks of life can tailor to meet their needs. We are fortunate to have a committee of nutrition experts who will provide science-driven recommendations with health equity in mind. I am confident this committee will provide our Departments with evidence-based recommendations that help all Americans achieve better nutrition and health.” – Tom Vilsack, USDA Secretary
A history of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans
The U.S. government has provided advice in some form to its citizens on what to eat and drink for at least 100 years. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans was first released in 1980, and was mandated by U.S. Congress to be released every five years under the 1990 National Nutrition Monitoring and Related Research Act. The law requires each iteration to be based on the current body of nutrition science, and keep in-step with developments in nutrition science, public health, and best practices in scientific review and guidance development. Each edition of the guidelines builds on the previous, with the scientific basis for revisions informed by the scientific report from the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, and review of public and agency comments.
Using an external advisory committee
To meet the ambitious goal of reviewing the vast body of literature in nutrition science, the U.S. health agencies select 20 external (non-government) committee members with substantial experience in health equity and human nutrition in diverse populations. The current committee, as past committees have been, is made up of nationally recognized scientific experts in nutrition and medicine. The product of the committee’s work will be an evidence-based scientific report, based on a thorough and equity-minded review to ensure their recommendations to the HHS and USDA consider factors like socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, and culture to the greatest extent possible. The committee will regularly involve the public and open their discussions to feedback.
“The recent White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health underscored the need to understand the science of nutrition and the role that social structures play when it comes to people eating healthy food. The advisory committee’s work will play an instrumental role in that effort, and in helping HHS and USDA improve the health and wellbeing of all Americans.” – Xavier Becerra, HHS Secretary
Updating the Dietary Guidelines for Americans for 2025-2030 is a scientifically rigorous and involved process. The Committee examines thousands of pages of nutrition science publications collectively to inform its report, using three key strategies:
- Systematic review. A rigorous process to search, evaluate, and synthesize the body of published research on a specific topic pertaining to nutrition.
- Data analysis. The evaluation of the health of Americans and their diets.
- Food pattern modeling. Predicting specific changes in amounts or types of foods and beverages in a dietary pattern on meeting food group recommendations and nutrient needs.
The committee’s report informs the final Dietary Guidelines for Americans
The scientific report produced by Dr. Stanford and the rest of the committee examining the relationship between diet and health across the lifespan will use a “health equity lens across its evidence review to ensure factors such as socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, and culture,” but it is not a draft of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The USDA and HHS will use the report as a basis for their guidelines, drawing on the evidence provided from the scientific literature and data to ensure that the information in the 10th edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans is relevant to people with diverse racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds.
Join Dr. Stanford and get involved
The HHS and USDA are committed to providing clear information to the public and providing opportunities for public participation during the process. To promote transparency, the committee discusses all of its work in public meetings and supporting materials are provided to the public through dietaryguidelines.gov and the public is also welcome to participate throughout process in these ways:
Read more about Dr. Stanford
Fatima Cody Stanford, MD, MPH, MPA, MBA, FAAP, FACP, FAHA, FAMWA, FTOS