Pam Schoenfeld, RD presents at the Northeast Farming Association of New Jersey.
Adele Hite speaks with Jimmy Moore of Livin’ La Vida Low Carb about the Dietary Guidelines, food policy, and what we can do to change the system.
he 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends restricting our intake of saturated fat to less than 7 percent of calories, and our cholesterol intake to less than 300 mg per day (less than two eggs). They promote the use of low-fat milk and lean meat, and the use of “meat substitutes” in school lunches. These recommendations are consistent with the official dietary policy that began in 1977 with the release of the first Dietary Goals for the United States by the United States Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs. These guidelines were not justified by the then-available science. They were adopted despite the concerns of researchers and physicians. Subsequent research has disproven the hypothesis upon which they were based. They have failed to produce the promised benefits. Since animal products are a significant source of saturated fat and cholesterol, the official advice has been to limit the consumption of animal products in general and red meat in particular. At best animal products have been wrongly accused and unfairly impacted by public policy; at worst vast physical and fiscal harm has been done to the American public.”
(see USDA Secret Panel for full story)
Adele Hite is the Policy Chair and founder of the Healthy Nation Coalition. The coalition works to expose the flaws and misuse of science in the formation of our nation’s dietary guidelines. Promulgated by USDA, these guidelines are not based in current science and have resulted in a 30 year decline in our population’s health. Individuals should be empowered to become informed about what works best for their individual nutritional needs.
It seems nobody likes the government to tell us what to eat.
In the face of a federal push to restrict salt in food production, the industry’s trade association has launched a pro-salt campaign that it describes as its most aggressive challenge ever to federal research.
Food industry groups have fought for decades to shape federal nutritional guidelines. In the past several months, salt advocates have taken aim at the government’s methodology, joining a chorus of doctors and dietitians who have long questioned the scientific basis of many federal dietary recommendations.
Concerns that were raised with the first dietary recommendations 30 y ago have yet to be adequately addressed. The initial Dietary Goals for Americans (1977) proposed increases in carbohydrate intake and decreases in fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and salt consumption that are carried further in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) Report. Important aspects of these recommendations remain unproven, yet a dietary shift in this direction has already taken place even as overweight/obesity and diabetes have increased. Although appealing to an evidence-based methodology, the DGAC Report demonstrates several critical weaknesses, including use of an incomplete body of relevant science; inaccurately representing, interpreting, or summarizing the literature; and drawing conclusions and/or making recommendations that do not reflect the limitations or controversies in the science. An objective assessment of evidence in the DGAC Report does not suggest a conclusive proscription against low-carbohydrate diets. The DGAC Report does not provide sufficient evidence to conclude that increases in whole grain and fiber and decreases in dietary saturated fat, salt, and animal protein will lead to positive health outcomes. Lack of supporting evidence limits the value of the proposed recommendations as guidance for consumers or as the basis for public health policy. It is time to reexamine how US dietary guidelines are created and ask whether the current process is still appropriate for our needs.
The USDA states that, “[b]ecause of their focus on health promotion and disease risk reduction, the Dietary Guidelines form the basis for nutrition policy in Federal food, education, and information programs.” Yet, since the USDA introduced the nation‟s first Dietary Guidelines, Americans have not become healthier. Since 1980, obesity in America has increased dramatically [Figure 1]; in addition, 46% of Americans have developed diabetes or prediabetes.