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USDA and HHS Announce the Appointment of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee


WASHINGTON.- Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer and Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt today announced the appointment of 13 nationally recognized experts to serve on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. The Committee members are made up of prominent medical and scientific researchers from universities and scientific institutions across America that are leaders in their field.

Selected for their expertise in dietary intake, human metabolism, behavioral change, and health, the new Committee will advise the Secretaries on any nutritional and dietary revisions necessary to the existing Dietary Guidelines. Following their review of the scientific literature; listening to and receiving public comment; and deliberating in open forums, the Committee will prepare an advisory Report that will be submitted to the Secretaries of Agriculture and Health and Human Services and used in setting the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

The Dietary Guidelines are based on the preponderance of scientific, medical, and related knowledge and inform both the general public and government policy makers on ways to improve the overall health of the American public through proper nutrition. As mandated by Congress, the Dietary Guidelines are reviewed for revision every five years. The administrative responsibility for supporting the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee alternates between Departments. The Department of Agriculture has the administrative lead for the 2010 revision; the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion is the agency within the Department that is leading the effort. The first Committee meeting will be October 30-31, 2008, in Washington, DC.

“Since 1894 the Department of Agriculture has developed and issued food guidance for the America public. In this long evolution of providing the most up-to-date dietary guidance, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans have become recognized as the Nation’s cornerstone of Federal food policy. The Dietary Guidelines are of particular importance to nutrition education of the general public and in strengthening the Nation’s food assistance programs which include SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program formerly known as the Food Stamp Program), and the School Lunch and WIC Programs, said Secretary Schafer. ”Additionally, I want to emphasize that this will be an open and transparent process. All meetings are open to the public, and all meeting minutes and transcripts will be posted on-line at"

“While the Dietary Guidelines are designed for a healthy population, they become increasingly important as we aim to reduce the burden of disease and death related to public health problems such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other chronic illnesses. This Committee will consider the most current and sound scientific literature as the members develop their Report. From this Report, the Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services will jointly develop the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans as well as a consumer publication,” said Secretary Leavitt. “Updating the Dietary Guidelines supports the President’s HealthierUS Initiative which promotes eating a nutritious diet, physical activity, preventive screenings and making healthy choices. We are committed to ensuring that the public receives the best nutrition guidance available that will help them live longer, healthier lives.”

The following individuals have been appointed to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee:

Linda V. Van Horn, PhD, RD, LD, (Chair) Professor and Interim Chair, Department of Preventative Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL. Dr. Van Horn has expertise extending across many areas of nutrition research and public health as a nutrition epidemiologist who has conducted population level research in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease, obesity, and breast cancer. She is currently the principal investigator in the Women’s Health Initiative Extension Study and the Dietary Intervention Study in Children.

Naomi K. Fukagawa, MD, PhD, (Vice Chair) Professor of Medicine and Associate Program Director of the Clinical Research Center, University of Vermont and Fletcher Allen Health Care, Burlington, VT. Dr. Fukagawa is a board-certified pediatrician and an expert in nutritional biochemistry and metabolism, including protein and energy metabolism; oxidants and antioxidants; and the role of diet in aging and chronic diseases, such as diabetes mellitus. She has chaired the National Institutes of Health Clinical Research Centers’ Committee and is currently a member of the National Institutes of Health Integrative Physiology of Diabetes and Obesity Study Section.

Cheryl Achterberg, PhD, Dean and Professor, College of Human Sciences, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH. Dr. Achterberg’s research has evaluated the impact of behavior on the dietary patterns of populations, including low-income and elderly Americans. She has served on panels for numerous groups, including the World Health Organization, the Institute of Medicine, and the United Nations as an expert in nutrition education and community interventions.

Lawrence J. Appel, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology, and International Health (Human Nutrition), Division of General Internal Medicine, and Director, ProHealth Clinical Research Unit, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD. Dr. Appel is a physician whose research pertains to the prevention of hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and kidney disease, typically through lifestyle modification, such as dietary intake of sodium and potassium. Dr. Appel served on the 2005 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee as a member of the science review subcommittee and Chair of the electrolytes subcommittee. He has also served on several committees for the Institute of Medicine, including the Dietary Reference Intake Panel for electrolytes and water, which he chaired.

Roger A. Clemens, DrPH, Associate Director, Regulatory Science, and Adjunct Professor, Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Science, The University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA. Dr. Clemens has extensive experience in functional foods and technology with a special emphasis on probiotics and prebiotics. He has expertise in toxicology and food safety, as well as knowledge of food processing and the food industry. He is a spokesperson for the American Society for Nutrition and the Institute of Food Technologists.

Miriam E. Nelson, PhD, Director, John Hancock Center for Physical Activity and Nutrition, Tufts University, Boston, MA. Dr. Nelson is a leading authority on physical activity and energy balance, with extensive research experience integrating the science of energy balance into behavior change programs. She recently served as Vice Chair of the first Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Advisory Committee chartered by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Sharon M. Nickols-Richardson, PhD, RD, Associate Professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA. Dr. Nickols-Richardson’s expertise focuses on dietary and physical activity determinants of muscle strength and bone density, as well as dietary interventions for obesity and nutrition over the lifecycle from child nutrition to older adults. She served the Institute of Medicine as a consultant on the Dietary Reference Intakes book “The Essential Guide to Nutrient Requirements.”

Thomas A. Pearson, MD, PhD, MPH, Senior Associate Dean, Clinical Research and Albert D. Kaiser Professor, Department of Community and Preventive Medicine, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY. Dr. Pearson is an epidemiologist specializing in lipid metabolism and the prevention of cardiovascular disease. He contributed significantly to the American Heart Association’s guidelines for prevention of heart disease and stroke, and is as a founding member of the World Heart Forum for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention.

Rafael Pérez-Escamilla, PhD, Professor, Nutritional Sciences and Public Health, University of Connecticut, and Director, Connecticut Center of Excellence for Eliminating Health Disparities among Latinos, Storrs, CT. Dr. Perez-Escamilla is an internationally recognized scholar in the area of community nutrition for his work in food safety, obesity, diabetes, and food security, with a specialty in Latinos and low-income American populations. He is currently serving the Institute of Medicine in re-examining the pregnancy weight gain guidelines.

Xavier Pi-Sunyer, MD, MPH, Professor, Applied Physiology, Columbia University Teachers College and Chief, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Nutrition, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York, NY. Dr. Pi-Sunyer has expertise in obesity, type 2 diabetes, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, and general medicine with over 250 research papers on these topics. He chaired a National Heart Lung and Blood Institute obesity committee and has served on the Institute of Medicine Dietary Reference Intake Panel on macronutrients. He was also a member of the 2005 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee where he chaired the energy balance and weight maintenance subcommittee.

Eric B. Rimm, ScD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA. Dr. Rimm is an epidemiologist whose research evaluates the impact of lifestyle factors, particularly diet, that relate to the risk for obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. He is internationally known for his work on moderate alcohol consumption and health and has served on the Institute of Medicine Dietary Reference Intakes Panel for macronutrients.

Joanne L. Slavin, PhD, RD, Professor, Department of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN. Dr. Slavin is an expert in carbohydrates and dietary fiber. Her research expertise focuses on the impact of whole grain consumption in chronic diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes, as well as the role of dietary fiber in satiety.

Christine L. Williams, MD, MPH, Vice President and Medical Director

Healthy Directions, Inc., and former Professor, Clinical Pediatrics, and Director, Children’s Cardiovascular Health Center, Columbia University, New York, NY. Dr. Williams is an expert in nutrition in cancer prevention and preventive cardiology, especially hypercholesterolemia, in children. She received the prestigious Preventive Cardiology Academic Award from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health for her work in preventive cardiology for children.


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