TOS President, Members Named to 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee

SILVER SPRING, Md., Feb. 26, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- President of The Obesity Society (TOS) Steven B. Heymsfield, MD, FTOS, Council member Jamy Ard, MD, FTOS, and three Society members are among the 20 nationally-recognized scientists named to the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. The committee will review scientific evidence identified by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The scientists' findings, with public and agency comments, will influence the development of the 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 

The Obesity Society Logo. (PRNewsFoto/The Obesity Society) (PRNewsfoto/The Obesity Society)

"Defining the optimum diets that promote growth, development, and a long healthy lifespan is an ongoing process and a major challenge to medical and nutritional scientists," said Heymsfield, professor and director of the Metabolism and Body Composition Laboratory at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La. "Being selected to take part in this process is an honor. As a group, we can use our expertise to help make a difference in the health of all Americans."

Ard, professor of epidemiology and prevention at Wake Forest School of Medicine and co-director of the Weight Management Center at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem, NC, also expressed excitement about serving on the committee. "I hope to contribute in a meaningful way based on my experience as a practicing obesity medicine physician and as a researcher focused on lifestyle interventions for chronic disease prevention and control."

Other TOS members named to the committee include Richard Mattes, PhD, MPH, RD, of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., Elizabeth Mayer-Davis, PhD, RD, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Elsie M. Taveras, MD, MPH, of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston.

"The scientists we selected to serve on the committee are national leaders in the areas of nutrition and health," said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. "HHS, USDA and all Americans will benefit from the collective experience and expertise of the committee, which will conduct a rigorous examination of the scientific evidence on several diet-related health outcomes, including the prevention of cancer, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, which are three of the leading causes of death in the United States."

The next edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans will continue to focus on dietary patterns of what Americans eat and drink as a whole, on average and over time, to help prevent disease and keep people healthy. The review process will take a life-stage approach. For the first time, women who are pregnant and children from birth to 24 months will be included as part of the review, as mandated by the 2014 Farm Bill.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are updated every five years and serve as the cornerstone of federal nutrition programs and policies, providing food-based recommendations to help prevent diet-related chronic diseases and promote overall health.

Committee members will begin their work at a public meeting that will be announced in the coming weeks.

The Obesity Society (TOS) is the leading organization of scientists and health professionals devoted to understanding and reversing the epidemic of obesity and its adverse health, economic and societal effects. Combining the perspective of physicians and other clinicians, scientists, policymakers and patients, TOS promotes innovative research, education, and evidence-based clinical care to improve the health and well-being of all people with obesity. For more information, visit and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Kristin D. Collins
Director of Communications
The Obesity Society


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SOURCE The Obesity Society

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