Final 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

On January 7, 2016 – the federal government published its latest recommendations intended to shape people’s diets based on the latest research – The Dietary Guidelines for Americans: 2015-2020. The guidelines form the basis for all federal nutrition policies, including the National School Lunch Program, which serves thirty-one million children daily; the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). And they serve as guideposts to the latest scientific thinking for health professionals throughout the country.

This seven-page brief reviews the history of the Dietary Guidelines, the process by which this most recent set of recommendations was formulated. This article also summarizes the dietary guidance offered and the nature of the debate/controversies that surround this latest set of recommendations. Finally, the brief looks ahead to the next set of recommendations, to be released in 2020 – emphasizing the rising influence that the Dietary Guidelines will have in the coming years.