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  1. Lupton, Joanne R. PhD


The mandate to the 2005 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) was to produce a report that contained nutritional and dietary information and guidelines for the general public (healthy Americans 2 years and older) based on the preponderance of scientific and medical knowledge current at the time of publication.1 Unlike any of the previous DGAC, the 2005 committee had the seeming advantage of having access to a complete set of Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) reports to use as a potential basis for their guidelines recommendations. The last volume of the set (water, potassium, sodium, chloride, and sulfate) was released during the tenure of the committee.2 Although this set of DRI committee reports provided recommended values for all of the nutrients (either a recommended dietary allowance [RDA], or if less scientific data were available, an adequate intake [AI]), this was both a blessing and a curse, because it meant that all of the DRI values and the evidence for them had to be considered by the Committee, and these recommendations for individual nutrients had to be translated into recommendations for dietary patterns-no small task. In addition, the committee was asked (again as a first) to come to their conclusions using an evidence-based review system. How the DGAC went from recommendations on nutrient in take (RDAs and AIs) to food pattern recommendations using an evidence-based system is the subject of this report.