The Dietary Guidelines was first released in 1980. In 1990, Congress passed the National Nutrition Monitoring and Related Research Act, which mandates in Section 301 that HHS and USDA jointly review, update, and publish the Dietary Guidelines every 5 years.

The Dietary Guidelines evolves to address pressing public health concerns and the nutrition needs of specific populations. For example, the Dietary Guidelines has traditionally focused on Americans ages 2 years old and older. However, science shows that dietary intake from birth — and a mother’s diet during pregnancy — can have a lasting effect on a child’s health.

As a result, the federal government has initiated a project to begin to evaluate the scientific evidence available with the potential to support future dietary guidance for infants and toddlers from birth to 24 months and for women who are pregnant. By 2020, the Dietary Guidelines will expand to include additional guidance for these populations.

To learn more about the Birth to 24 Months and Pregnancy project, visit www.cnpp.usda.gov/birthto24months.