Who will decide what's in the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans?

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Who will decide what's in the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans?

Related tags: Public health, Nutrition

The identity of the 15 experts who will frame the 2015 dietary guidelines for Americans has been announced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC)​, which will meet for the first time at an open meeting on June 13-14, will be tasked with updating the 2010 guidelines to reflect the latest research.

The guidelines - which are published every five years - serve as the cornerstone for all Federal nutrition education and program activities and are based on a rigorous review of relevant scientific evidence.

Writing in the FDA law blog​ today, Hyman, Phelps & McNamara attorney Ricardo Carvajal said: "It is difficult to overstate the importance of the DGAC’s deliberations, given the influence of the Dietary Guidelines on food formulation and marketing."

The DGAC will hold several meetings into next year, with the goal of issuing a report to Dept of HHS and USDA in late 2014.  The agencies will consider the DGAC’s report in developing the next iteration of the Dietary Guidelines policy document, which is expected to be published in late 2015.

The selection process

Public nominations to the DGAC were sought in the fall of 2012, with expertise sought in areas including cardiovascular disease; type 2 diabetes; obesity; osteoporosis; cancer; pediatrics; gerontology; maternal/gestational nutrition; epidemiology; general medicine; energy balance and physical activity; nutrient bioavailability; nutrition biochemistry and physiology; food processing science, safety, and technology; public health; nutrition education and behavior change; and/or nutrition-related systematic review methodology.

The full list of members is below:

Chair: Barbara Millen, Dr.P.H, R.D: Professor, Department of Family Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA (through 2009).​ Dr. Millen is the founder of Millennium Prevention, Inc, a start-up that develops web-based platforms and mobile applications to encourage healthy lifestyles.

Vice Chair: Alice H. Lichtenstein, D.Sc: Stanley N. Gershoff Professor of Nutrition Science and Policy, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, and Director and Senior Scientist, Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University, Boston, MA.​ Dr. Lichtenstein has broad expertise in nutrition and cardiovascular disease reduction.

Steven Abrams, M.D: Professor of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX​. Dr. Abrams is an expert on mineral requirements in children, including calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, and copper.

Lucile Adams-Campbell, Ph.D.: Professor of Oncology, Georgetown University Medical Center, Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Washington, DC.​ Dr. Adams-Campbell is an epidemiologist who specializes in community health research, interventions, and outreach.

Cheryl Anderson, M.P.H., Ph.D: Associate Professor, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, Calif.​ Dr. Anderson is an expert in chronic disease prevention in minority and underserved populations and in particular, the influence of dietary sodium and potassium on cardiovascular disease.  

J. Thomas Brenna, Ph.D: Professor of Human Nutrition, Chemistry and Food Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.​ Dr. Brenna is an expert in the field of fatty acid and lipid metabolism.  

Wayne Campbell, Ph.D: Professor, Department of Nutrition Science, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN.​ Dr. Campbell is an expert in evaluating the effects of protein, carbohydrate, and energy intakes and exercise training on macronutrient metabolism, body composition, and muscle strength and function.  

Steven Clinton, M.D., Ph.D: John B. and Jane T. McCoy Chair of Cancer Research, The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Professor, Division of Medical Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, The Ohio State University School of Medicine, Columbus, OH​. Dr. Clinton is a physician-scientist who has devoted his career to research in cancer etiology and prevention.  

Gary Foster, Ph.D: Director, Center for Obesity Research and Education, Laura Carnell Professor of Medicine, Public Health and Psychology, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA.​ Dr. Foster is an international expert on obesity.  

Frank Hu, M.D., Ph.D: Director, Harvard Transdisciplinary Research in Energetics and Cancer Center, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA.​ Dr. Hu is an epidemiologist and an expert in the areas of dietary and lifestyle determinants of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.  

Miriam Nelson, Ph.D: Professor, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Boston, MA.​ Dr. Nelson is an expert on nutrition and physical activity, with extensive research experience integrating the science of energy balance into national-scale approaches.  

Marian Neuhouser, Ph.D., R.D: Full Member, Cancer Prevention Program, Division of Public Health Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA​. Dr. Neuhouser is a nutritional epidemiologist with expertise in the role of numerous dietary components in cancer risk, including carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and vitamin D.  

Rafael Pérez-Escamilla, Ph.D: Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT. ​Dr. Pérez-Escamilla is an internationally recognized scholar in the area of community nutrition for his work in pregnancy and lactation, food security, obesity, diabetes, and food safety.  

Anna Maria Siega-Riz, Ph.D., R.D: Professor, Departments of Epidemiology and Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC.​ Dr. Siega-Riz has focused her research on maternal nutritional status, including maternal obesity and gestational weight gain and their effect on birth outcomes as well as the determinants of early childhood obesity.  

Mary Story, Ph.D., R.D: Senior Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs and Professor, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.​ Dr. Story specializes in research on environmental and policy strategies to promote healthy eating to prevent childhood obesity.  

The committee will examine the state of current scientific evidence using systematic reviews, data analyses, and/or food pattern modeling analyses. Additional sources of information may include scientific evidence-based reports, input from expert guest speakers, as well as oral and written comments from the public.

For more information, click here​.

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WHOLE by T. Colin Campbell - Required reading!

Posted by Chris Dee,

As a nutrition professional trained in both food technology and nutrition science, I would hope that the members would read the newly published book WHOLE - Rethinking the Science of Nutrition by T. Colin Campbell before they begin their work!

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Very narrow perspective

Posted by Fatih Yildiz,

The food and dietary supplements side are totally absent. Even the list did not include the medical fields. For example pathology and cytopathology is not included
for a wise comments of the clinical data on human nutrition.

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Not the best selection of committee member for the dietary supplement industry

Posted by Alexander Schauss, PhD, FACN, CFS,

A number of the nominees to the committee have repeatedly taken a public position that we should be getting all our macro and micro-nutrients from food, and not from supplements. Most of the selected committee members have limited expertise on the role of phytochemicals and their nutrient composition that can be derived from herbs and other botanicals, instead relying on the typical foods listed in USDA food composition tables. Several are "experts" on obesity, yet look at the obesity problem that persists in the USA. What is that telling us? The industry will have to monitor the committee's proceedings carefully at every stage of deliberation, and make sure its input is heard.

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