By all accounts, many Americans are increasingly concerned with good nutrition. Now, a new report from the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee makes some recommendations that will affect development of the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which is expected to be released later this year by the federal U.S. Department of Agriculture and Health and Human Services.

The report has two main themes:

  • Life stage should be included in the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines. The stages include pregnancy, lactation, birth to age 24 months, adolescence and adulthood, with special considerations attached to each stage.

  • Healthy dietary patterns —which include the quality of foods, as well as foods that should be limited —should be considered. "Food choices as a whole, rather than isolated food components, are important for healthful eating practices," the report said.

The report also said the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans should take into account "the context of the food environment and the overall food system. Such topics include areas such as sustainability of the food supply and food insecurity."

The Union of Concerned Scientists, in a written statement, called that "a major development," and one that should be taken seriously by USDA and HHS.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, published every five years, seeks to provide science-based advice to promote health, reduce risk of diet-related chronic diseases and meet nutrient needs. The guidelines help health professionals and policymakers to advise Americans about healthy food choices.

To read the report: