We are in the middle of a health crisis. Every five years, the U.S. government releases its dietary guidelines, which are supposed to help Americans make healthy food choices. While its recommendations may be appropriate for 25% of the population who are lean , it fails to address the health crisis we are experiencing in the US. In the last three decades, since the guidelines were first released in 1980 (with its recommendation to avoid fat, which then kick-started the overconsumption of starches, sugars and carbohydrates), here’s what has happened:
· Adult obesity rates have doubled, and they are predicted to increase by another 50% by 2030.
· Childhood obesity and diabetes diagnoses have tripled.
· 70% of U.S. adults are overweight, one-third is obese, in fact, a recent JAMA study showed that 52% of the U.S. population is diabetic or pre-diabetic. Since diabetes is a carbohydrate-intolerance disease it is insane to recommend that 50 to 60% of calories should come in the form of carbohydrates no matter how healthy they may be.
These guidelines drive nutrition policy worldwide, and concern about the validity of these proposed guidelines is at an all-time high. In a recent article in The BMJ, Nina Teicholz reports that the 2015 U.S. Dietary Guidelines fail to reflect relevant scientific literature. The Nutrition Coalition, made up of the nation’s leading academics and concerned doctors, was just formed to raise awareness about the need to strengthen the federal government’s dietary guidelines to help Americans prevent diet-related diseases, and to improve the health of citizens across the country. And Congress just conducted a hearing on October 7 to address these issues.
Two key areas that the current committee is failing to
take into account are:
· Saturated fat
· Low-carb diets
Since the committee started its work on the current guidelines in 2012, conclusive research has been conducted and published showing there may not be an association between saturated fats and heart disease. Yet, in the current proposed guidelines, saturated fat is categorized as “empty calories.” Does that mean eggs, poultry, fish, seafood, red meat and cheese, which all contain saturated fat, should be considered “empty calories”? And recently, there is evidence questioning the committee’s original recommendation to avoid full-fat dairy products in favor of low-fat or fat-free versions. It turns out that we may have been better off consuming whole milk.
Despite the overwhelming amount of scientific evidence showing that low-carb diets are effective in helping people lose weight, prevent or control diabetes, improve risk factors for heart disease, none of this is taken into account. The low carb scientific evidence includes: 9 pilot studies, 19 case studies, 19 observational studies, at least 77 randomized controlled trials,8 meta-analyses, and 16 reviews. The conclusion? Low-carb diets work and can reverse the trends we are seeing in health outcomes of a diet that is high in carbohydrates, especially sugar and starches.
You would think, considering our current obesity-driven health crisis, that the members of this committee proposing these guidelines would embrace new, research-backed dietary solutions that could help fix this problem.
If this concerns you as much as it does me, you have a chance to make your voice heard. Sign the petition Change.org and share this with your friends and family. Help us reach a goal of 100,000 signatures—that’s when this petition will be brought to the attention of the President. We want him to know how important this is to us!
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