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February 2, 2016

Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Author Affiliations
  • 1US Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC
JAMA. 2016;315(5):457-458. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.18396

The US Departments of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Agriculture (USDA) have released the eighth edition (2015-2020) of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.1 The Dietary Guidelines are an important part of a complex and multifaceted solution to promoting health and preventing diet-related chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and obesity. The Dietary Guidelines are required under the National Nutrition Monitoring and Related Research Act of 1990 and inform the development of federal food, nutrition, and health policies and programs. They serve as the evidence-based foundation for federal government nutrition education materials and are used to inform programs like Older Americans Act Nutrition Services Programs and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that affect millions of people each day. The Dietary Guidelines can also be adapted by health care professionals to describe and recommend healthy eating to patients. Recent studies have shown that diets that align closely with the Dietary Guidelines are associated with a significant reduction in the onset of and deaths due to diet-related chronic diseases.2,3