The New B-24 Dietary Guidelines: What You Need to Know


Birth Through 24 Months (B-24)

  • It is readily acknowledged that the first 1,000 days of life (pregnancy – 2 years) is a critical window of time for human growth and development, laying the groundwork for lifelong health.
  • There is no other period of life when nutrition is believed to have as profound an impact as during the first 1,000 days, which is why the U.S. is taking the important step of initiating dietary recommendations for pregnancy and the birth through 24 month (B-24) period.

All Dietary Guidelines Need to be Evidence-Based and Reflect the Balance of Science

  • The Dietary Guidelines for Americans play a critical role by serving as the scientific basis for federal nutrition polices and are used by a range of audiences including consumers, nutrition educators, health professionals, regulators and industry.
  • Given their importance to all Americans and because they form the foundation for national nutrition policies, it has long been understood that Dietary Guidelines should be based on sound and balanced science; this is especially true for those developed for pregnancy and the B-24 period.

Consider Parent, Family, and Caregiver Education Needs

  • The U.S. has never before developed Dietary Guidelines for pregnant women, infants and young children, and this new information will be valuable for new parents, families, and caregivers.
  • It is essential that communication of the Dietary Guidelines derived from the B-24 Project be effective and that the information communicated is accurate, effective, and evidence-based.
  • The success of the U.S. Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) as a health and nutrition program suggests that education can have a significant effect on diet-related outcomes in this population.
  • Parents, families, and caregivers need guidance that is easy to read and understand, clear in its meaning, and simple to remember and use. Specific research should be initiated on the best methods of education to ensure the information is interpreted and used by these targeted groups.

Unique Limitations When Considering Infant Nutrition Science and Research

  • Nutrition science in general is complicated because of the complex composition of foods, potential interactions between nutrients, genetic factors, and many other considerations. This complexity is further amplified when considering infant nutrition science and research.
  • Regardless of the complexity, sound research is needed to address the known research gaps and those that will be identified.