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December 20, 2019 12:00 pm News Staff – Family physicians who would like to help shape the foundational document for federal nutrition policy and education programs have a chance to comment on the next edition of Dietary Guidelines for Americans in writing or in person at a January meeting.
First published in 1980 and updated every five years since, Dietary Guidelines is a valuable resource for family physicians and other health care professionals, providing food-based recommendations FPs can use to prevent or reduce diet-related diseases and improve public health.
To prepare for publication of the next edition, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee scheduled a series of meetings in 2019 and 2020 designed to keep the public engaged and allow active participation in the development process. While the first three meetings -- held in March, July and October -- were all in Washington, D.C., the next public meeting will be held Jan. 23-24, 2020, at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Children's Nutrition Research Center in Houston.
The January meeting is notable for two reasons. First, the public can register online and attend the meeting via webcast. Second, it marks the final time the public will have an opportunity to provide oral comments directly to the advisory committee.
Registration for oral comments will be confirmed on a first-come, first-served basis. Individuals can provide up to three minutes of oral comments and can deliver comments on their own behalf or on behalf of an organization.
There is a catch, though. To provide oral comments, individuals must attend the Houston meeting in person.
Anyone unable to attend the meeting in person, however, is strongly encouraged to submit comments to the committee electronically or through postal mail. Members of the public may comment on any topic or question the committee examines.
The fifth and final public meeting will be held in Washington, D.C., March 12-13, 2020.
According to the advisory committee's timeline, the group will continue to accept public comments and review evidence on nutrition and health through the spring of 2020. Once the committee completes its work, it will submit a scientific report to HHS and the Department of Agriculture.
After the report is submitted, it will be posted on the Dietary Guidelines website for public comment. Both agencies will then host a meeting to allow additional oral comments that will be considered along with input from other federal agencies as they prepare to publish the 2020-2025 edition of the guidelines.
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