In the ‘news to me’ department, I just ran across this on the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health website and thought I would pass it along in case you also missed it.
We got new dietary guidelines from the government back in January with needed updates on sugar intake and total fat. However, the USDA and HHS didn’t act on all the recommendations of the advisory committee of experts that they appointed.
On the positive side, they recommended:
• A variety of vegetables from all of the subgroups—dark green, red and orange, legumes (beans and peas), starchy, and other
• Fruits, especially whole fruits
• Grains, at least half of which are whole grains
• Fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt, cheese, and/or fortified soy beverages
• A variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), and nuts, seeds, and soy products
However, on the negative side, “Clearly these Guidelines bear the hoof prints of the Cattleman’s Association and the sticky fingerprints of Big Soda. They fail to represent the best available scientific evidence and are a disservice to the American public,” according to the School of Public Health at Harvard.
Dr. Walter Willett, Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition and Chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health said this about the new Guidelines:
“The 2016 Dietary Guidelines are improved in some important ways, especially the removal of the restriction on percentage of calories from total fat and the new limit for added sugar. Unfortunately, Congress censored the scientific Advisory Committee’s conclusion that red meat consumption should be reduced for reasons of planetary health; this was within the scope of the committee because it is not possible to have food security if our food supply is not sustainable. However, the USDA went further and also censored the scientific Advisory Committee’s conclusion that consumption of red and processed meat should be reduced for health reasons.
“Further, the clear scientific conclusion that sugar-sweetened beverages should be reduced were also censored in the final recommendations. The rationale for the USDA to produce the final Dietary Guidelines after the report of the scientific Advisory Committee is that they would translate the science into messages that would be clear for the American Public. Instead, the report of the Scientific Committee was very clear about the adverse health effects of red and processed meat and sugar sweetened beverages, and the USDA has engaged in censorship and obfuscation.”
Having had friends who damaged themselves drinking too much soda, I posted a Page – What’s wrong with soft drinks? some time ago.
It’s unfortunate that the government only went halfway on this important subject. The good news is that we can still make up our own minds about what we want to put in our bodies. Hopefully, more of us will be relying on our own decision making rather than the government’s.
Famous last words, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”