Editor’s Note:   This story was edited include the extended comment period information.  

Anyone who wants to get a toe in the quinquennial task of writing dietary guidelines for the government to pass along to people  has two more chances for in-person testimony, and the comment period for written submissions has been extended to May 1, 2020

The official portal for public comment closed on March 30 after collecting 6,069 submissions, but has since been re-opened for the much extended time period.

The 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee plans to hear from the public at two meetings, July 10-11 in Washingon D.C., and Jan. 23-24, 2020 in Houston.

The deadline to register for the July 10-11 committee meeting is quickly approaching. In person, registration closes at 5 pm ET on Monday, July 1. Persons who make the deadline will be on the security list for access to USDA’s South Building where the meeting will begin at 9 am on Wednesday and 8:30 am on Thursday.

It is also possible to register for the webcasts of the meetings.

This round work on the dietary guidelines, a joint USDA and Health and Humans Services (HHS) task got last underway last March and won’t wrap up until early 2020.

Barbara Schneeman from the University of California Davis chairs the 20-member advisory committee. Ronald Kleinman of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School is vice chair.

The committee’s assignment is to review dietary questions or issues in light of the best scientific evidence. It will then report to the USDA and HHS Secretaries.

The committee is studying dietary patterns and such issues like obesity, cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, cancer, bone health, neurocognitive health and sarcopenia along with sigh all-cause mortality.

USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue and HHS Secretary Alex M. Azar II will then issue 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Current guidelines from 5 years ago stressed healthy eating “across the lifespan,” nutrient density; limiting calories from added sugars and saturated fat, and reduced sodium intake. Healthier food and beverage choices and healthy eating patterns were also encouraged.

USDA and HHS have jointly issued the dietary guidelines every five years since 1980. The two departments built on the publication of “Dietary Goals for the United States” by the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs, led by Senator George McGovern.

Other members of the 2020 Advisory Committee are:

Jamy Ard, MD 
Wake Forest School of Medicine
Regan Bailey, PhD, MPH, RD
Purdue University
Lydia Bazzano, MD, PhD
Tulane University and Ochsner Health System
Carol Boushey, PhD, MPH, RD
University of Hawaii
Teresa Davis, PhD
Baylor College of Medicine
Kathryn Dewey, PhD
University of California, Davis
Sharon Donovan, PhD, RD
University of Illinois, Urbana
Steven Heymsfield, MD
Louisiana State University, Pennington Biomedical Research Center
Heather Leidy, PhD
University of Texas at Austin (summer 2019)
Richard Mattes, PhD, MPH, RD
Purdue University
Elizabeth Mayer-Davis, PhD, RD
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Timothy Naimi, MD, MPH
Boston University
Rachel Novotny, PhD, RDN, LD
University of Hawaii
Joan Sabaté, DrPH, MD
Loma Linda University
Linda Snetselaar, PhD, RD
University of Iowa
Jamie Stang, PhD, MPH, RD
University of Minnesota