National WIC Association

December 29, 2020

USDA and HHS Announce Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025

Press Contact: Natalie Moran

Earlier today, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)  and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) jointly issued the latest version of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025, "Make Every Bite Count." The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are critical nutrition standards set to guide all federal nutrition programs and Americans as they consider their own nutritional and dietary practices.

Rev. Douglas Greenaway, President & CEO of the National WIC Association (NWA) issued the following statement in response:

"The National WIC Association applauds the work of the US Department of Agriculture and Health and Human Services for issuing the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs), 2020-2025 with the inclusion, for the first time, of the unique life stages of infancy through 24 months, pregnancy, and lactation. As WIC providers, we recognize the importance of tailored nutrition recommendations to shape lifelong habits that yield positive health outcomes. For WIC families and WIC staff, the DGAs are critical tools in support of positive birth, maternal, and child health outcomes. The National WIC Association applauds the DGA Committee for their life-stage approach and continued commitment to promoting science-based research and recommendations.

"This iteration of the Dietary Guidelines supplements the independent review of the WIC Food Package by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) in January 2017. The Guidelines not only inform the administration of federal nutrition programs, but they also play an integral role in determining the foods deemed appropriate for WIC participants. The release of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans further highlights the essential importance of implementing science-based recommendations when expanding food options in the WIC food package, ensuring that WIC families receive age- and life stage-appropriate foods to meet their nutritional needs.

"NWA applauds the Committee for referencing WIC as a key support in the chapters on Infants and Toddlers, Children and Adolescents, and Pregnancy and Lactation. The DGA Committee affirms the significance of WIC breastfeeding practices that support exclusive breastfeeding through age 6 months and continued through a year and beyond. The Committee also affirms the role WIC plays in encouraging healthy dietary patterns during pre-pregnancy, throughout pregnancy, and through lactation in supporting and shaping positive maternal and child health outcomes.

"Today’s release makes available the most up-to-date evidence on dietary behaviors that promote health and possibly the prevention of chronic disease. It is our hope that these recommendations would provide additional information to guide our participants in achieving their optimum dietary goals."