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An early, high-profile and controversial attempt to identify and curb junk food in the American diet was launched by the so-called McGovern Committee, formally, the United States Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs, between 1968 and 1977, chaired by Senator George McGovern. Initially formed to investigate malnutrition and hunger in the US, the committee's scope progressively expanded to include environmental conditions that affected eating habits, like urban decay, then focused on the diet and nutritional habits of the American public. It criticized the use of salt, sugar and fat in processed foods, noted problems with overeating and the high percentage of ads for junk food on TV, and stated that bad eating habits could be as deadly as smoking. The findings were heavily criticized and rebutted from many directions, including the food industry, the American Medical Association, and within the committee itself. In 1977, the committee issued public guidelines under the title, Dietary Goals for the United States, which became the predecessor to Dietary Guidelines for Americans, published every five years beginning in 1980 by the US Department of Health and Human Services.