The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are issued and updated every five years by the United States government. The guidelines are jointly published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and are developed with substantial input from registered dietitian nutritionists.
Designed to provide authoritative advice on dietary habits to promote good health and healthy weight and to reduce risk for major chronic diseases, the Dietary Guidelines give Americans who are ages 2 and older food and beverage recommendations developed in consideration of evidence-based recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee — made up of practitioners, nutrition and medical researchers, and academics. The guidelines impact nutrition throughout the United States — serving as the basis for federal food and nutrition education programs, nutrition policy and programs, and national health promotion and disease prevention initiatives. Health-care providers, educational institutions and other public health agencies also use the Dietary Guidelines to guide their care, patient recommendations, strategy and educational programming.
Since 1980, the Dietary Guidelines have provided advice on how to make informed choices to promote overall health, including being physically active, consuming fewer calories and creating and maintaining a healthful diet. The Dietary Guidelines continue to evolve, and the federal government initiated a project to expand the population included in the guidelines, since the guidelines only have provided dietary guidance for Americans age 2 years and older. By 2020, evidence-based food and beverage guidance will be included for infants and toddlers — birth to 24 months — and women who are pregnant.
For more information on the Dietary Guidelines, visit the USDA.