white lineHegsted helped develop the “Hegsted equation” which predicted the effect of dietary cholesterol, saturated fat, monounsaturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats on blood cholesterol levels. This led to dietary recommendations to reduce the consumption of saturated fat. He was one of the first faculty recruited by the new Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health in 1942 and remained there until 1980.In 1977, Hegsted helped draft the “Dietary GoalsĀ  for the United States,” a forerunner of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, now issued every five years.

Hegsted served as the Administrator of Human Nutrition at the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 1978-1982.