The 2015 dietary guidelines advisory committee scientific report: Development and major conclusions

Barbara E. Millen, Steve Abrams, Lucile Adams-Campbell, Cheryl A M Anderson, J. Thomas Brenna, Wayne W. Campbell, Steven Clinton, Frank Hu, Miriam Nelson, Marian L. Neuhouser, Rafael Perez-Escamilla, Anna Maria Siega-Riz, Mary Story, Alice H. Lichtenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

125 Scopus citations


The Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) is published every 5 y jointly by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the USDA and provides a framework for US-based food and nutrition programs, health promotion and disease prevention initiatives, and research priorities. Summarized in this report are the methods, major conclusions, and recommendations of the Scientific Report of the 2015 US Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC). Early in the process, the DGAC developed a conceptual model and formulated questions to examine nutritional risk and determinants and impact of dietary patterns in relation to numerous health outcomes among individuals aged ≥2 y. As detailed in the report, an expansive, transparent, and comprehensive process was used to address each question, with multiple opportunities for public input included. Consensus was reached on all DGAC's findings, including each conclusion and recommendation, and the entire report. When research questions were answered by original systematic literature reviews and/or with existing, high-quality expert reports, the quality and strength of the evidence was formally graded. The report was organized around the following 5 themes: 1) food and nutrient intakes and health: current status and trends; 2) dietary patterns, foods and nutrients, and health outcomes; 3) diet and physical activity behavior change; 4) food and physical activity environments; and 5) food sustainability and food safety. The following 3 cross-cutting topics were addressed: 1) sodium, 2) saturated fat, and 3) added sugars. Physical activity recommendations from recent expert reports were endorsed. The overall quality of the American diet was assessed to identify overconsumed and underconsumed nutrients of public health concern. Common food characteristics of healthy dietary patterns were determined. Features of effective interventions to change individual and population diet and physical activity behaviors in clinical, public health, and community settings were identified. The report was used by the HHS and the USDA to develop the 2015 DGA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)438-444
Number of pages7
JournalAdvances in Nutrition
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Conceptual model
  • Dietary Guidelines
  • Dietary patterns
  • Nutrition
  • Physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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