Academy Urges Congress to Continue Science-based Development and Scope of Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Monday, October 5, 2015

CHICAGO – In advance of a scheduled Congressional hearing October 7 on the development of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and other leading health and medical organizations have sent letters encouraging Congress to avoid an "overreach" regarding scientific evidence in the Dietary Guidelines process and to urge the process to "continue without interference by Congress."

"These letters were sent in response to House and Senate Appropriations Bills that include changes that will severely limit the scope of the Dietary Guidelines to positively affect the public's health if they are included in the final budget deal," said registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy President Dr. Evelyn F. Crayton.

"The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee appropriately developed and directed recommendations for improving the nutrition and diets of Americans at the entities and individuals most able to effect the respective changes, whether on micro or macro levels. The Academy supports these recommendations that will improve how and what Americans eat," Crayton said.

In the past week, scientists at the Academy and their counterparts at the other professional medical associations wrote to Congress:

We are concerned that the proposed language in the House's Departments of Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies (section 734) and Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Education and Related Agencies, (section 232) Fiscal Year 2016 Appropriations Bills is an overreach regarding the intention of evidence-based science.

In a separate letter to Congress, leaders of the Academy and other nutrition organizations wrote:

…We ask for your support of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines process to continue without interference by Congress. We are concerned that the proposed language in the House’s Departments of Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies (section 734) and Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Education and Related Agencies,(section 232) Fiscal Year 2016 Appropriations Bills will halt the progress of this important nutrition policy that could improve public health.

In May, the Academy commended the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee "for drafting a strong, evidence-based Scientific Report outlining recommendations and rational for the forthcoming 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans."

The final 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans are expected to be released at the end of this year.

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The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation's health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the Academy at eatright.org.