USDA, HHS reveal dietary guidelines committee

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON – The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and US Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on May 30 announced the appointment of 15 experts to serve on the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. The committee’s recommendations and rationale will serve as a basis for the eighth edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

The Dietary Guidelines serve as the foundation for national nutrition programs, standards and education. In addition, they provide key recommendations for the general population as well as specific population groups to help people choose an overall healthy diet that works for them.

“As we aim to improve the health of all Americans, we look forward to the important work of this committee,” Sebelius said. “Their guidance will help shape recommendations on how we can all live healthier lives by eating a nutritious diet — a key factor in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.”

Vilsack said President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama have made it a priority to ensure Americans have access to the information they need to improve overall health and nutrition.

“USDA takes great pride in partnering with the Department of Health and Human Services as we strive to reverse childhood obesity and build a healthier next generation based on the solid science that undergirds the Dietary Guidelines for Americans,” Vilsack said.

Every five years, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans are updated and published jointly by the HHS and the USDA. The administrative responsibility for leading the process alternates between departments. The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at the HHS is the administrative lead for the 2015 process.

The inaugural meeting of the committee is scheduled for June 13-14 and will be open to the public. Additional information, including meeting details, press releases and fact sheets will be available at www.DietaryGuidelines.gov.

The following individuals have been appointed to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee:

• Chair: Barbara Millen, Dr.P.H, R.D.: professor, Department of Family Medicine, Boston Univ. School of Medicine. Dr. Millen is the founder and president of Millennium Prevention, Inc., a U.S.-based start-up company with a public health mission, which develops web-based platforms and mobile applications to encourage healthy preventive lifestyle behaviors for clinical settings and corporate, academic, and community wellness initiatives. Dr. Millen’s academic research career focused on dietary patterns and lifestyle determinants of health and chronic disease risk as well as evidence-based public health strategies to promote optimal nutrition and well-being in older adult, low-income, and minority populations. She has advised research groups nationally and globally, including the World Health Organization, and is on the present NIH expert panels for Management of Overweight and Obesity in Adults and for Lifestyle and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduction.

• Vice chair: Alice H. Lichtenstein, D.Sc.: Stanley N. Gershoff Professor of Nutrition Science and Policy, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, and director and senior scientist, Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University, Boston. Dr. Lichtenstein has broad expertise in nutrition and cardiovascular disease reduction. She previously was a member of the 2000 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee and a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Dietary Reference Intake Panel on Macronutrients. Dr. Lichtenstein recently was the vice-chair of the IOM. Committee on Examination of Front-of-Package Nutrient Rating System and Symbols and a member of the IOM. Committee on the Consequences of Sodium Reduction in Populations. She also is the lead author on the American Heart Association’s current Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations.

• Steven Abrams, M.D.: professor of pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston. Dr. Abrams is also an adjunct professor at the Univ. of Texas School of Public Health and the Medical Director for the Neonatal Nutrition Program at Baylor College of Medicine. He is an expert on mineral requirements in children, including calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, and copper.

• Lucile Adams-Campbell, Ph.D.: professor of oncology, Georgetown Univ. Medical Center, Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Washington. Dr. Adams-Campbell also is the associate director of minority health and health disparities research and associate dean of community health and outreach at Georgetown University Medical Center Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Adams-Campbell is an epidemiologist who specializes in community health research, interventions, and outreach and is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.

• Cheryl Anderson, M.P.H., Ph.D.: associate professor, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine, Univ. of California, San Diego, La Jolla, Calif. Dr. Anderson is also an adjunct assistant professor, Department of Epidemiology at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Univ. Her research expertise includes chronic disease prevention in minority and underserved populations and in particular, the influence of dietary sodium and potassium on cardiovascular disease.

• J. Thomas Brenna, Ph.D.: professor of human nutrition, chemistry and food science, Cornell Univ., Ithaca, N.Y. Dr. Brenna is also an adjunct professor, Department of Public Health Sciences at the Univ. of Rochester College of Medicine and Dentistry. He is an expert in the field of fatty acid and lipid metabolism. His research focuses on the role of omega-3 fatty acids throughout the life cycle, in particular the effect of intake during pregnancy and lactation on fetal and infant development.

• Wayne Campbell, Ph.D.: professor, Department of Nutrition Science, Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, Ind. Dr. Campbell is also an adjunct faculty in the Department of Health and Kinesiology, Purdue University. He is the director of the Indiana Clinical Research Center at Purdue, which is a component of the NIH-supported Indiana Clinical and Translational Science Institute at the Indiana Univ. School of Medicine. Dr. Campbell’s expertise includes evaluating the effects of protein, carbohydrate, and energy intakes and exercise training on macronutrient metabolism, body composition, and muscle strength and function. In addition, his research endeavors include studying the effects of food form, portion size, and dietary patterning on appetite and weight control with a special emphasis on the aging population.

• Steven Clinton, M.D., Ph.D.: John B. and Jane T. McCoy Chair of Cancer Research, The Ohio State Univ. Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Professor, Division of Medical Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, The Ohio State Univ. School of Medicine, Columbus. Dr. Clinton also holds appointments in the Department of Human Nutrition in the College of Education and Human Ecology and in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences in the College of Public Health. He is a physician-scientist who has devoted his career to research in cancer etiology and prevention. Dr. Clinton's research focuses on epidemiology, clinical trials, community research, and experimental models, as well as cell and molecular systems.

• Gary Foster, Ph.D.: director, Center for Obesity Research and Education, Laura Carnell Professor of Medicine, Public Health and Psychology, Temple Univ., Philadelphia. Dr. Foster is an international expert on obesity. His research interests include the behavioral determinants and treatment of obesity, the effects of various macronutrients on weight loss, and the effects of obesity and weight loss on diabetes and sleep apnea. Dr. Foster also investigates the prevention of obesity in children in community settings, such as schools, corner stores, supermarkets and YMCAs.

• Frank Hu, M.D., Ph.D.: director, Harvard Transdisciplinary Research in Energetics and Cancer Center, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston. Dr. Hu also is director, Boston Nutrition and Obesity Research Center Epidemiology and Genetics Core, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Channing Division of Network Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital. Dr. Hu is an epidemiologist and an expert in the areas of dietary and lifestyle determinants of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. He is the principal investigator for the diabetes component of the Nurses' Health Study.

• Miriam Nelson, Ph.D.: professor, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Boston. Dr. Nelson is founder of the Strong Women Initiative and Co-Founder of ChildObesity180 at Tufts Univ. She is an expert on nutrition and physical activity, with extensive research experience integrating the science of energy balance into national-scale approaches. Dr. Nelson served as vice chair of the Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee in 2008 and was a member of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. She chairs the Science Board of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition.

• Marian Neuhouser, Ph.D., R.D.: full member, Cancer Prevention Program, Division of Public Health Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle. Dr. Neuhouser is also an affiliate professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Core Faculty in the Graduate Program in Nutritional Sciences, School of Public Health, Univ. of Washington. Dr. Neuhouser is a nutritional epidemiologist with experience in large clinical trials, including the Women’s Health Initiative and the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial, small-scale controlled dietary interventions and large observational cohorts.

• Rafael Pérez-Escamilla, Ph.D.: professor of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, Conn. Dr. Pérez-Escamilla also is director of the Office of Public Health Practice at the Yale School of Public Health. He is an internationally recognized scholar in the area of community nutrition for his work in pregnancy and lactation, food security, obesity, diabetes, and food safety. Dr. Pérez-Escamilla has specialized experience with Hispanic and low-income Americans, as well as populations in low and middle income countries.

• Anna Maria Siega-Riz, Ph.D., R.D.: professor of the Departments of Epidemiology and Nutrition, Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC. Dr. Siega-Riz is also the associate dean for Academic Affairs at the School of Public Health and Program Leader for the Reproductive, Perinatal, and Pediatric Program in the Department of Epidemiology, Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Siega-Riz has focused her research on maternal nutritional status, including maternal obesity and gestational weight gain and their effect on birth outcomes as well as the determinants of early childhood obesity. She studies dietary patterns among Hispanic adults and children.

• Mary Story, Ph.D., R.D.: senior associate dean for academic and student affairs and professor of the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Dr. Story is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine at the Univ. of Minnesota. Dr. Story concurrently is director of the National Program Office for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Healthy Eating Research Program that supports research on environmental and policy strategies to promote healthy eating among children to prevent childhood obesity. She has conducted numerous school and community-based environmental intervention and obesity prevention studies for children, adolescents, and families.
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