Political Officials Under Trump Refuse to Adopt New Dietary Guidelines

Published Mar 21, 2022

What happened: Officials from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) ignored scientifically backed advice for sugar and alcohol intake when releasing new dietary guidelines for the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Though these agencies are responsible for updating these dietary guidelines every five years using the best available science, recommendations to limit alcohol intake to one drink per day for men and reduce added sugar intake to 6% of daily calories were both rejected. Prior limits for two alcoholic drinks a day and 10% added sugar of daily calories remain in place.

Why it matters: Yielding to industry pressure instead of using available scientific evidence to improve current dietary guidelines undermines the rigorous scientific process used by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee to evaluate current nutrition science. Pushback against the added sugar and alcohol intake recommendations was a missed opportunity to implement dietary recommendations that would have better supported the health of children and communities, and especially underserved communities.

Learn more about how USDA and HHS officials ignored advisory committee advice on dietary recommendations for sugar and alcohol intake when finalizing the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines.