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HHS/USDA Release 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Updated nutritional guidelines emphasize holistic eating patterns over the course of a lifespan.

On January 7, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) jointly issued the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (Guidelines),[1]

The Guidelines are based largely on the recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (Advisory Committee), which is comprised of expert researchers in the fields of nutrition, health, and medicine.[2] The HHS and USDA stated that the updated Guidelines are intended to “reduce obesity and prevent chronic diseases like Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.” Importantly, the Guidelines emphasize healthy eating patterns to increase population health, rather than focusing on individual nutrients or foods. The Guidelines state that Americans should focus on maintaining healthy body weight through nutrient adequacy over their lifespan. Reading between the lines, the Guidelines seem to advocate that Americans should avoid so-called “fad diets” that can lead to “yo-yo” weight fluctuations.


US Department of Health and Human Services and US Department of Agriculture, Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2010, 8th ed. (Dec. 2015) [hereinafter Dietary Guidelines] ; United States Dept. of Agriculture, HHS and USDA Release New Dietary Guidelines to Encourage Healthy Eating Patterns to Prevent Chronic Diseases (Jan, 7, 2016).

2 See Health.gov, Advisory Committee Members (Jan. 11, 2016); United States Dept. of Agriculture, Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines: Advisory Report to the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Secretary of Agriculture (Feb. 2015).

Copyright © 2017 by Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. All Rights Reserved.

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Partner

Robert G. Hibbert is a partner in Morgan Lewis's FDA and Healthcare Practice. Mr. Hibbert focuses his practice on federal regulation of the food and agricultural industries, with an emphasis on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). He also advises clients with regard to food safety and security, animal health, biotechnology, labeling, advertising, and new product development.

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Heather A. Dorsey advises companies on U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory compliance and enforcement issues including federal labeling requirements, clinical trials, and regulatory pathways for new product approval. Heather provides counsel regarding a variety of FDA regulated products including prescription and non-prescription drugs, foods, food additives, cosmetics, medical devices, homeopathic products, dietary supplements, and tobacco products. She is admitted in Maryland only, and her practice is supervised by DC Bar members.

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