The recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans are devised to help Americans make healthy food choices for long-term health. But what about the long-term health of the planet that produces these foods?

Every five years, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Agriculture publish the evidence-based Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) to inform national food, nutrition, and health policies and programs. Federal and state programs aimed at children, infants, women, and older adults all draw on the Dietary Guidelines to help guide individuals toward food choices that will maintain or improve their health and reduce the risk of chronic disease.

Of course, making those healthy choices depends on the land, water, air, and animals that provide the fruits, vegetables, meat, and dairy.

Nicole Tichenor Blackstone, N12, N16, an assistant professor at the Friedman School, is part of a team that studied the link between and the 2015-20 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

The team’s paper, published in The Lancet Planetary Health, built on work Associate Professor Tim Griffin and Professor Emerita Miriam Nelson began when they helped draft the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s first-ever chapter on food sustainability and safety for the 2015-20 Guidelines. Sustainability did not make it into the policy as the Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Agriculture determined the issue to be important, but beyond the scope of the Guidelines.

Tufts Now talked to Blackstone about sustainability, healthy eating patterns, and long-term food security.

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