The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) play a pivotal role in determining the foods and diet patterns recommended via all federal nutrition programs and activities. While plant-based foods have been included as part of past DGAs, PBFA is actively working to solidify the place of plant-based diets and foods within the newly developed 2025-2030 guidelines. In May 2022, PBFA submitted comments on the scientific questions that the DGA Committee would use in the development of the new recommendations. Our input emphasized the connection between personal and planetary health and the importance of crafting updates to the DGA that reflect the cross-cutting and high-priority dynamic between nutrition and climate change. 

As the process for developing the DGAs progresses, PBFA has stayed abreast of opportunities to highlight the benefits of an increased emphasis on plant-based foods and eating patterns and most recently provided comments related to dietary patterns and plant-based milk within the Nutrition Evidence Systematic Review protocols.

In the letter, the PBFA’s Vice President of Policy and Food Systems Nicole Negowetti shared our strong support the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s focus on health equity and diverse dietary patterns as part of their review. Rather than focusing on specific dietary patterns, the process will incorporate data on dietary patterns overall and then assess how dietary patterns are defined in the research in connections with health outcomes. As Nicole writes, “Various eating patterns represent and include plant-based foods and plant-based diets. Including a diversity of dietary patterns within evidence review and subsequent recommendations will support the DGAC’s focus on health equity.”

Additionally, the letter supports the inclusion of plant-based milks in questions related to milk intake and health, and also emphasizes the need to assess a variety of plant-based milks that are referred to with different terminology and plant-based yogurt as well.

We will continue to keep you updated on the progression of the DGAs and PBFA’s work to advance the inclusion of plant-based foods and diets. To read the full comments, click here.