Want a prime example of the influence CTAHR research has over national and global behavior? Look no further than the dinner table.
The USDA just posted the final scientific report of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, an in-depth review of the latest available science on specific nutrition topics. The report’s findings will help to shape the 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which will provide hundreds of millions of Americans—and nutritionists around the world—with recommendations on what to eat and drink to promote health and prevent chronic disease.
Rachel Novotny, Dept. of Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences, is one of only 20 nationally recognized scientists on this independent advisory committee, appointed by the US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar.
“The Dietary Guidelines translate current science into food and beverage intake guidance for the US population, which is used as the basis for key federal food-assistance programs such as the School Breakfast and Lunch Program and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps),” Rachel explains.
“What’s interesting is that the 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines are the first to include the whole life span, including 0–2 years of age, and to focus on patterns of food and beverage intake,” she adds.
The Guidelines, co-developed by USDA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, are the cornerstone of US nutrition programs and policies, so the work of Rachel and her colleagues has far-reaching implications for years to come.
The committee’s work was informed by more than 62,000 public comments, a marker of USDA and HHS’s commitment to public involvement in the dietary guidelines process. In addition to co-developing the Guidelines, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) administers 15 nutrition-assistance programs to ensure children and low-income individuals and families have nutritious food to eat.