YES! Not only did this month’s journal Nutrition question the validity of the new 2010 USDA dietary guidelines, but the story was picked up by the popular magazine SELF!
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the tide really was turning? If the USDA had finally bitten off more than it could chew?
From the SELF article:
Although Americans have dutifully and steadily reduced their intake of fat and cholesterol and increased their consumption of grains, obesity and other diet-related diseases have steadily increased.
What if the dietary guidelines are wrong?
Could you have imagined someone in the mainstream media asking this question 5 years ago? Yet here they are, today, asking it.
Of course, they probably feel safe asking it because of this month’s critical article published in the journal Nutrition. The article took the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) to task.
You see, the DGAC blames our current obesity epidemic on the public’s failure to follow their dietary guidelines. The evidence, though, suggests that the public is following the DGAC’s low-fat, low-cholesterol, high-grain diet and staying within caloric boundaries. In other words, the public has done exactly what the DGAC recommended, yet they’re getting more obese. They’re facing an epidemic of Type II Diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
The recent Nutrition article makes that explicit:
In short, the macronutrient content of the diet has shifted in the direction recommended since the 1977 dietary goals. Total and saturated fat intakes have decreased as a percentage of caloriesdfor men, the absolute amount has decreaseddwhereas carbohydrate intake has increased . Notable from the DGAC Report is the absence of any concern that this shift in macronutrient content may be a factor in the increase in overweight/obesity and chronic disease; the proposed recommendations suggest that this trend should not only continue but also become more pronounced.
Why is that, do you think? Why, in the face of all the evidence, does the DGAC continue to recommend dietary guidelines that are making the public more fat and unhealthy?
Could it be that they’re in the hands of giant agribusinesses? After all, what is the USDA if not the regulatory body created to ensure that the U.S. agricultural commodities (like corn, soy, and wheat) are profitable? Why are THEY the ones writing our dietary guidelines, anyway?
From the abstract:
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. 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.