About Publications

Publications from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine provide objective and straightforward advice to decision makers and the public. This site includes Health and Medicine Division (HMD) publications released after 1998. A complete list of HMD’s publications from its establishment in 1970 to the present is available as a PDF.


  • Strategies to Limit Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption ... Released: October 04, 2017
    The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board convened a workshop in Washington, DC, to explore the range of policies and programs that exist at the federal, state, tribal, and local levels to limit sugar-sweetened beverage consumption in children birth to 5 years of age. Topics examined over the course of the 1.5-day workshop included prevalence and trends in beverage intake among young children; beverage intake guidelines applicable to the age range of interest; challenges and opportunities of influencing beverage consumption; the role of industry in beverage intake; and knowledge gaps and research needs.
  • Redesigning the Process for Establishing the Dietary ... Released: September 14, 2017
    The Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) provides nutritional and dietary information with the intention of promoting health and preventing chronic disease, and serves as the basis for all federal nutrition policies and nutrition assistance programs, as well as nutrition education programs. This guidance is updated and released every 5 years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The process of updating the DGA is informed by an assessment of relevant scientific data by a federal advisory committee of nationally recognized experts, called the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC).
  • Guiding Principles for Developing Dietary Reference Intakes ... Released: August 03, 2017
    For decades, nutrient intake recommendations have been issued through the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) established by consensus committees of the Institute of Medicine, and now the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (the National Academies). For each nutrient (e.g., vitamins, minerals, water, electrolytes, carbohydrate, or protein) deemed essential, DRI committees reviews the scientific literature to help inform nutrition standards of adequacy and toxicity for groups of people of different genders and at different life stages. These DRIs are used for planning and assessing the diets of apparently healthy individuals and groups.
  • The Challenge of Treating Obesity and Overweight ... Released: July 12, 2017
    The Roundtable on Obesity Solutions of the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine held a workshop in Washington, DC, on April 6, 2017, titled “The Challenge of Treating Obesity and Overweight: A Workshop.” The workshop discussions covered treatments for obesity, overweight, and severe obesity in adults and children; emerging treatment opportunities; the development of a workforce for obesity treatments; payment and policy consid- erations; and promising ways to move forward. This Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief highlights key points made by workshop participants during the presentations and discussions. It is not intended to provide a comprehensive summary of information shared during the workshop.
  • Driving Action and Progress on Obesity Prevention and ... Released: June 05, 2017
    After decades of increases in the obesity rate among U.S. adults and children, the rate has recently dropped among some populations, particularly young children. What are the factors responsible for these changes? How can promising trends be accelerated? What else needs to be known to end the epidemic of obesity in the United States? To examine these and other pressing questions, the Roundtable on Obesity Solutions, which is part of the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, held a workshop in Washington, DC, on September 27, 2016, titled “Driving Action and Progress on Obesity Prevention and Treatment.
  • Nutrition Across the Lifespan for Healthy Aging: Proceedings ... Released: May 18, 2017
    More than 46 million people over the age of 65 years were living in the United States in 2014 and more than 70 million are predicted by 2060. Education, living arrangements, and other demographic characteristics of this older population are changing, with noted variability by sex and race/ethnicity. Health status indicators, including life expectancy and heart disease death rates, have shown improvement, as have economic indicators.
  • Optimizing the Process for Establishing the Dietary Guidelines ... Released: February 03, 2017
    The Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) is a report that provides nutritional and dietary information with the intention of promoting health and preventing disease, and serves as the basis for all federal nutrition policies and nutrition assistance programs, as well as nutrition education programs. This guidance is updated and presented every 5 years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The complicated process of updating the report begins with an assessment of relevant scientific data by a federal advisory committee of nationally recognized experts, called the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. When the 2015-2020 edition of the DGA was released, some of the content received criticism from different stakeholders leading to questions about the advisory committee’s composition and membership selection processes.
  • Review of WIC Food Packages: Improving Balance and ... Released: January 05, 2017
    Among the nutrition assistance programs available to low-income families, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is the only one that specifically targets the nutritional needs of pregnant, breastfeeding, or postpartum women; infants; and children less than 5 years of age. With support from the Food and Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened an expert committee to review and assess the nutritional status and food and nutritional needs of the WIC-eligible population and provide specific recommendations based on its review and grounded in the most recently available science.
  • Driving Action and Progress on Obesity Prevention and ... Released: January 04, 2017
    Have we begun to tip the scales towards achieving a healthy weight for all Americans? What are the best bets and most promising opportunities that will drive future progress and action in obesity prevention and treatment, and what obstacles need to be overcome? The Roundtable on Obesity Solutions of the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine held a workshop titled, “Driving Action and Progress on Obesity Prevention and Treatment” to address these questions.
  • Nutrition across the Lifespan for Healthy Aging: Proceedings ... Released: December 29, 2016
    More than 46 million people over the age of 65 years were living in the United States in 2014 and more than 70 million are predicted by 2060. Education, living arrangements, and other demographic characteristics of this older population are changing, with noted variability by sex and race/ethnicity. Health status indicators, including life expectancy and heart disease death rates, have shown improvement, as have economic indicators. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Food Forum convened a workshop with five objectives