The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2025-2030 (Dietary Guidelines) development process is underway. Updating the Dietary Guidelines is a scientifically rigorous, multi-year process. The U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Agriculture (USDA) established the 2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee to support the development of the next edition of the Dietary Guidelines. The Committee will review the evidence on high priority scientific questions related to nutrition and health from birth to older adulthood. Their review will form the basis of the Committee’s independent, science-based advice and recommendations to HHS and USDA, which will be considered as the Departments develop the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2025-2030.
Systematic reviews are one of three approaches that the Committee will use to examine the evidence. The USDA’s Nutrition Evidence Systematic Review (NESR) team is supporting the Committee in conducting its systematic reviews.
A NESR systematic review is a gold-standard evidence synthesis project that answers a nutrition question of public health importance using systematic, transparent, rigorous, and protocol-driven methods to search for, evaluate, synthesize, and grade the strength of the eligible body of evidence. This approach allows the Committee to answer high priority scientific questions by reviewing the total body of scientific evidence that has been published on a particular topic.
NESR’s Systematic Review Methodology for the 2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee
The Committee will use NESR’s rigorous and transparent methodology to conduct and/or update systematic reviews. NESR’s systematic review methodology involves:
- developing a systematic review protocol,
- searching for and screening articles,
- extracting data from and assessing the risk of bias of each included article,
- synthesizing the evidence,
- developing the conclusion statement(s),
- grading the evidence underlying the conclusion statement(s), and
- recommending future research.
NESR’s systematic review methodology is described in our methodology manual. The manual describes NESR’s methods for conducting (Chapters 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7) and updating (Chapter 8) systematic reviews. The manual also describes processes for evaluating research availability to determine whether sufficient evidence exists to conduct or update a NESR systematic review (Chapters 2, 9, and 10).
For each systematic review that the Committee conducts, they will begin by developing a protocol. Each systematic review protocol describes the methods that will be used to conduct the systematic review, including an analytic framework, inclusion and exclusion criteria, and a synthesis plan, which are tailored to the specific systematic review question. As protocols are developed by the Committee, they can be accessed on NESR’s Protocol page (forthcoming).
Once protocols have been established, Committee members will proceed with conducting their systematic reviews. Information related to their reviews will be shared publicly during Committee meetings and posted online. Sign up to receive updates about the Committee's work at DietaryGuidelines.gov.
Nutrition Evidence Systematic Review Team
NESR is a team of career Federal scientists from the USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP), made up of analysts and librarians. NESR analysts have doctoral (PhD, DrPH) or master’s (MS, MPH) degrees in nutritional science or a related field such as public health, biochemistry, biology, or biostatistics. Some are registered dietitians (RD) or registered dietitian nutritionists (RDN). NESR analysts are scientists with a unique combination of expertise in both systematic review and evidence synthesis methodology and a range of diet and health-related topics.
NESR librarians are information specialists with master’s degrees in library and information science, as well as experience with biomedical topics. NESR librarians have expertise in methodology and technology related to literature searching and in-depth knowledge of bibliographic databases, including search syntax appropriate for each database, and search refinements, such as search filters.
More information about NESR can be found at the following link: https://nesr.usda.gov/about.
For more information
Please visit DietaryGuidelines.gov for information about the process to update the Dietary Guidelines. The Committee’s systematic review protocols can be accessed on NESR’s Protocol page (forthcoming).