Scientific Advisory Committee’s Advice Disregarded in Federal Dietary Guidelines

The 2020-2025 edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Department of Health and Human Services, did not include limits on sugar and alcohol intake recommended by a scientific advisory committee commissioned by the same federal agencies to advise on the content of the guidelines.

On December 28, 2020 the Federal Government released it’s 2020-2025 edition of the  “Dietary Guidelines for Americans”. On December 29, the New York Times reported that the dietary advisory committee, which authored the report, had ignored recommendations made by a scientific advisory committee commissioned by those same authors. Specifically, the science committee’s recommended that Americans cut their consumption of added sugars from 10 to 6 percent of daily calories and their alcohol consumption to one drink per day. According to the New York Times report, “officials at the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services rejected explicit caps on sugar and alcohol consumption." The move was widely criticized by public health experts. Dr. Marion Nestle, a professor emerita of nutrition and food studies at New York University commented that “the report was introduced as science-based - they used the word ‘science’ many times… but they ignored the scientific committee which they appointed, which I thought was astounding.”