You are here

Dietary Guidelines for Americans - 2015 Updates

You can read the summary and the most recent 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines before diving into the articles and commentary about them below.



  • A hearing on the development of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans was held on October 7. The US Department of Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack, and the Health and Human Services Secretary, Sylvia Burwell, testified. Learn more about what went on here.
  • Directly before this hearing mentioned above, this blog was released from the US Department of Agriculture.
  • Around the time of the hearing, there was a debate around the validity of the Dietary Guidelines. The British Medical Journal (BMJ) led an interview accusing the Dietary Guideline committee of lacking a decent research base for recommendations. After many health professionals refuted their claims, the BMJ drew back some of their accusatory remarks.
  • Earlier this year, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee concluded that a diet rich in plant-based foods promotes good health for humans and the planet. However, combining nutrition advice with food system recommendations proved controversial. More on it, here.


  • The Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee has been written with the intention to inform the Federal government of current scientific evidence on topics related to diet, nutrition, and health. This document will lay the foundation for the policy-based, finalized 2015 Dietary Guidelines. You can download 500+ page document and supplemental material from this website.
  • After the report's release, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics voiced their opinion on various recommendations.
  • Also, before the House Agriculture Appropriations Committee's 2016 spending bill was approved, they suggested provisions to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans report were suggested (1) remove recommendations related to environmental sustainability and (2) delete language like, “plant-based foods” in diets. 60 public health groups responded to this request in a letter sent to House.
  • The House Appropriations Committee did end up approving the 2016 spending bill. It calls upon the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee to remove anything relating to agricultural practices such as sustainability, taxes, labeling and marketing. In return, the Whitehouse delivered a letter outlining their concerns with the bill, taking special issue with the nutrition section. Though this bill is not ready for further deliberation until September, you can see summary of the legislation by clicking here.
  • The Senate Appropriations Committee adopted its 2016 Agriculture spending bill. They echoed the House's request to limit on the 2015 Dietary Guidelines recommendations. The bill also delays the enactment of restaurant menu labeling rules, along with sodium restrictions and whole grain requirements in school lunch.


  • The Dietary Guidelines for American Summit happened on May 21st to review the scientific paper behind the guidelines and the public’s response. The agenda and other resources from the meeting can be found here. Check out how 29,000 comments on the report are being handled here.
  • Did you know that you could access all the planning information leading up to the 2015 Dietary Guideline release?! Access the timeline, overview of the guidelines, public meetings, resources, public comment, and Q/A at this website.
  • Compare America's Dietary Guidelines with the rest of the world through the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Dietary Guidelines website which serves as an information exchange on dietary guidelines around the world. It contains a growing collection of guidelines from 67+ countries.