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Public Comments Submitted for 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines

Dairy Council of California presents evidence-based comments for consideration by Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee

By: Ashley Rosales, RDN and Megan Holdaway, RDN

  • Tuesday, February 11, 2020
  • 3 Minute Read   

Gain guidance on how Americans can eat a healthier diet.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, written for policymakers and health professionals, provide guidance for how to help Americans eat a healthier diet. Published jointly by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Dietary Guidelines are updated every five years and include recommendations for Americans ages 2 and older; the aim is to promote health, prevent chronic disease and help people reach and maintain a healthy weight. 

In addition to providing recommendations for individuals, the Dietary Guidelines has a significant impact on federal nutrition policy and programs. Due to its importance across multiple sectors and levels of government, the Dietary Guidelines must accurately reflect the body of nutrition science that is available at the time of publication. 

To review the current nutrition science and provide insight on the development of new dietary recommendations, a Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee of nutrition and medical researchers, academics and practitioners is created. In a series of public meetings, the advisory committee hears and reviews oral and written comments from the public; organizations and individuals share their concerns and present their findings for consideration. The resulting scientific report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is used by HHS and USDA, in combination with comments from the public and federal agencies, to inform the new Dietary Guidelines. 

Dairy Council of California formally submitted comments for consideration in advance of the fourth meeting of the 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee and final opportunity for public comments. These comments provide evidence for the committee to consider in its review of the science related to dietary patterns and beverage consumption and their relationship to growth and development at all stages of the life cycle, including from birth to 24 months, and body composition and micronutrient status during pregnancy.

Summary of key points: 

  • Dairy foods play an important role in plant-based, sustainable eating patterns. 
  • Milk and dairy foods offer a unique package of nutrients essential for optimal health, growth and development in children and adolescents. 
  • Access to nutrition and wholesome foods is essential to helping children reach their full health potential. 
  • Early childhood is a key opportunity to establish healthy dietary patterns, impacting growth and development in the short term, as well as eating habits later in life. 

Milk and dairy foods offer a unique package of nutrients essential for optimal health, growth and development. To ensure the health of families and communities, the nutritional needs of vulnerable populations, including young women of child-bearing years, pregnant women, infants and young children, must be kept at the forefront of the recommendations made in the Dietary Guidelines. Establishing healthy eating patterns for vulnerable populations is a key component of disease prevention efforts. For these reasons, Dairy Council of California’s comments recommend continued inclusion of milk and dairy foods as an essential component of healthy dietary patterns across the life span. 

To read the full public comments and associated references, click here

About the Dietary Guidelines. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion website. https://health.gov/our-work/food-nutrition/about-dietary-guidelines. Updated October 21, 2019. Accessed February 10, 2020. 

Ashley Rosales, RDN

Ashley Rosales, RDN

Ashley, Nutrition Science Officer, is a practicing registered dietitian nutritionist with more than a decade of experience.


Megan Holdaway, RDN

Megan Holdaway, RDN

Megan Holdaway is a registered dietitian nutritionist and the Nutrition Science Program Manager at Dairy Council of California.

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