On February 9 and 10, 2023, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) hosted the first meeting of the 2025 DGAC. The meeting addressed Committee operations and timeline, the scientific evidence review process, proposed scientific questions and opportunities for public engagement. Here are four key takeaways food and beverage stakeholders should know about the DGAC process.
- The DGAC is poised to make health equity the central focus of the 2025-2030 DGA.
- The 2025 DGAC is one of the most diverse Committees, in both racial/ethnic background and expertise area, and many members have an acute focus on health equity. This Committee is likely to hone in on how the 2025-2030 DGA can better reflect the diverse U.S. population from a race/ethnic, gender, socioeconomic and ability standpoint.
- Research and public comments that address this health equity focus will be critical to this Committee.
- Global recommendations and tools may influence DGAC conclusions.
- Federal staff are looking to international scientific work to improve the DGA process. This includes potentially repurposing systematic reviews from global authorities like the World Health Organization and Health Canada, as well as assessing how other countries develop healthy dietary patterns to inspire U.S. food pattern modeling work.
- Understanding global food-based dietary guidelines trends will be increasingly important to DGA interested parties moving forward.
- Ultra-processed foods (UPF) will be major point of discussion for this Committee.
- Multiple 2025 DGAC members have authored scientific studies or positions on UPF in the last two years, but positions across the Committee are mixed. There are likely to be robust discussions around how to define, measure and assess UPF associations with weight outcomes.
- If the U.S. makes recommendations around UPF, it will join the ranks of almost a dozen countries around the world that mention UPF in their food-based dietary guidelines.
- The DGAC is already thinking about how to weigh public comments to reflect a wider variety of stakeholder voices.
- This Committee is particularly interested in the perspectives of individuals living with nutrition insecurity given the DGA’s role as the cornerstone of federal nutrition assistance programs.
- The group discussed ways to ensure they hear from these groups, including seeking public comments from specific audiences – which echoes the focus of the 2022 White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health to reflect input from those with lived experiences of hunger and diet-related disease.
Interested in learning more? FoodMinds’ Global Food & Nutrition Affairs team is closely monitoring the ongoing Dietary Guidelines for Americans process. Connect with us at FoodMinds to learn more about our food and nutrition approach and services.