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Redesigning the Process for Establishing the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2017)

Chapter: Appendix G: Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix G: Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Redesigning the Process for Establishing the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24883.
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Appendix G

Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest

The conflict-of-interest policy of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (www.nationalacademies.org/coi) prohibits the appointment of an individual to a committee like the one that authored this Consensus Study Report if the individual has a conflict of interest that is relevant to the task to be performed. An exception to this prohibition is permitted only if the National Academies determine that the conflict is unavoidable and the conflict is promptly and publicly disclosed.

When the committee that authored this report was established a determination of whether there was a conflict of interest was made for each committee member given the individual’s circumstances and the task being undertaken by the committee. A determination that an individual has a conflict of interest is not an assessment of that individual’s actual behavior or character or ability to act objectively despite the conflicting interest.

Dr. Jamy Ard was determined to have a conflict of interest because in addition to his academic appointments, he serves as medical director for a medical food-based program that is owned by a company in the food industry.

Dr. Susan Roberts was determined to have a conflict of interest because she serves as chief scientific advisor and shareholder of a weight management company.

Dr. Barbara Schneeman was determined to have a conflict of interest because she serves on two scientific advisory councils in the food and agriculture industries.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix G: Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Redesigning the Process for Establishing the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24883.
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In each case, the National Academies determined that the experience and expertise of the individuals were needed for the committee to accomplish the task for which it was established. The National Academies could not find other available individuals with the equivalent experience and expertise who did not have conflicts of interest. Therefore, the National Academies concluded that the conflicts were unavoidable and publicly disclosed them through the National Academies Current Projects System (www8.nationalacademies.org/cp).

Suggested Citation:"Appendix G: Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Redesigning the Process for Establishing the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24883.
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Page 265
Suggested Citation:"Appendix G: Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Redesigning the Process for Establishing the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24883.
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What foods should Americans eat to promote their health, and in what amounts? What is the scientific evidence that supports specific recommendations for dietary intake to reduce the risk of multifactorial chronic disease? These questions are critically important because dietary intake has been recognized to have a role as a key determinant of health.

As the primary federal source of consistent, evidence-based information on dietary practices for optimal nutrition, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) have the promise to empower Americans to make informed decisions about what and how much they eat to improve health and reduce the risk of chronic disease. The adoption and widespread translation of the DGA requires that they be universally viewed as valid, evidence-based, and free of bias and conflicts of interest to the extent possible. However, this has not routinely been the case.

A first short report meant to inform the 2020 review cycle explored how the advisory committee selection process can be improved to provide more transparency, eliminate bias, and include committee members with a range of viewpoints. This second and final report recommends changes to the DGA process to reduce and manage sources of bias and conflicts of interest, improve timely opportunities for engagement by all interested parties, enhance transparency, and strengthen the science base of the process.

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