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UH Epidemiologists to Help Develop U.S. Dietary Guidelines

February 26, 2019, 11:55 AM HST
* Updated February 26, 11:57 AM
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The nutritional health of all Americans is guided by a federal 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, which now includes University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa nutritional epidemiologists Rachel Novotny of the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources and Carol Boushey of the University of Hawai‘i Cancer Center.

Rachel Novotny. Courtesy UH Mānoa.

“We will be considering the diversity of the United States population,” noted Novotny. “Our goal will be to synthesize current nutrition science that will guide policy to provide food and nutrition for our diverse population.”

“I am so honored to have the opportunity to participate in recommendations to positively influence the health of Americans,” said Boushey, who is also a registered dietician. “The appointment also recognizes the value of the research we do at the UH Cancer Center, and UH as being important for people across the United States. Our work investigating diet quality and the relationships of diet quality to health and disease will allow our work to reach a broader audience.”

Novotny and Boushey will be joined by 18 other nationally recognized scientists on the independent advisory committee. They will review scientific evidence on specific nutrition and health-related topics.

Their recommendations along with public and agency comments will help inform U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) development of the cornerstone of federal nutrition programs and policies through the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Carol Boushey. Courtesy UH Mānoa

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“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.”

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“USDA is committed to ensuring everything we do is data-driven and based in scientific facts, which is why this expert committee’s work in objectively evaluating the science is of the utmost importance to the departments and to this process,” adds USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue. “The committee will evaluate existing research and develop a report objectively, with an open mind.”

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