The purpose of a systematic evidence-based review is to integrate the best of the research literature in an objective manner. Although this approach has been used in a number of nutrition content reviews, reviewing food- and nutrition-related behaviors presents a different set of challenges. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee followed the American Dietetic Association systematic method for an evidenced-based review as closely as possible. This article examines the steps that the committee used to generate the advisory recommendations for the dietary guidelines, identifies the difficulties in application, and suggests changes to the process for the next cycle of review.
An eminent past member of the Dietary Guidelines Committee provides some useful observations on what to do and what not to do when it comes to evidence-based processes in nutrition analysis.
Cheryl Achterberg, PhD, is a professor of Human Nutrition and Dean of the College of Education and Human Ecology at The Ohio State University. She also was a member of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. The author or coauthor of numerous monographs, book chapters, and articles in the field of nutrition, Dr Achterberg has also published widely in the area of higher education and research methodology and has delivered scores of invited lectures.
The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose.
Correspondence: Cheryl Achterberg, PhD, College of Education and Human Ecology, The Ohio State University, 127 Arps Hall, 1945 N High St, Columbus, OH 43210 (firstname.lastname@example.org).