One of the links I got from a reader this morning was to the subject article in The Dallas Morning News. Very worthwhile read, very nice dealing with the science and best of all, wide in scope.
Thirty years ago, America declared war against fat. The inaugural edition of Dietary Guidelines for Americans, published in 1980 and subsequently updated every five years, advised people to steer clear of "too much fat, saturated fat and cholesterol" because of purported ties between fat intake and heart disease. The message has remained essentially the same ever since, with current guidelines recommending that Americans consume less than 10 percent of their daily calories from saturated fat.
But heart disease continues to devastate the country, and, as you may have noticed, we certainly haven’t gotten any thinner. Ultimately, that’s because fat should never have been our enemy. The big question is whether the 2010 Dietary Guidelines, due out at the end of the year, will finally announce retreat. The foundation for the "fat is bad" mantra comes from the following logic: Since saturated fat is known to increase blood levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol, and people with high LDL cholesterol are more likely to develop heart disease, saturated fat must increase heart disease risk. If A equals B and B equals C, then A must equal C.
And then she goes on to summarize the scientific broad strokes that all add up to a simple conclusion. Lots of stuff there and the implications should be obvious to anyone paying attention.
And in the end?
Will this new research on fat and carbs be reflected in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines? According to Meir Stampfer, a Harvard professor of nutrition and epidemiology who worked on the 2000 guidelines, scientists on this year’s committee know perfectly well what the evidence says. But few researchers want to shake the status quo or risk confusing the public.
Better a dead & maimed public than a "confused" one, I guess. Or, more likely, "few researchers want to shake the status quo or risk" pissing off Big Agra & Big Pharma, losing their golden eggs.
If indeed these researchers "know perfectly well what the evidence says" then they’re essentially the equivalent of paid hit men if they allow the genocide to persist unfettered. And who are they for the 2010 guidelines, yet to be published? What are they up to?
Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer and Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt today announced the appointment of 13 nationally recognized experts to serve on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. The Committee members are made up of prominent medical and scientific researchers from universities and scientific institutions across America that are leaders in their field.
Selected for their expertise in dietary intake, human metabolism, behavioral change, and health, the new Committee will advise the Secretaries on any nutritional and dietary revisions necessary to the existing Dietary Guidelines. Following their review of the scientific literature; listening to and receiving public comment; and deliberating in open forums, the Committee will prepare an advisory Report that will be submitted to the Secretaries of Agriculture and Health and Human Services and used in setting the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
The Dietary Guidelines are based on the preponderance of scientific, medical, and related knowledge and inform both the general public and government policy makers on ways to improve the overall health of the American public through proper nutrition. As mandated by Congress, the Dietary Guidelines are reviewed for revision every five years. The administrative responsibility for supporting the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee alternates between Departments. The Department of Agriculture has the administrative lead for the 2010 revision; the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion is the agency within the Department that is leading the effort. The first Committee meeting will be October 30-31, 2008, in Washington, DC.
So given Ms. Moyer’s avalanche of evidence that buries the saturated fat myth miles deep, combined with the statement that "[t]he Dietary Guidelines are based on the preponderance of scientific, medical, and related knowledge," I guess we’ll know soon enough whether the secretaries and their 13 nationally recognized stooges are liars and paid hit men or people with the courage to stand against Big Government, Big Agriculture and Big Parma. And who are the stooge candidates?
Linda V. Van Horn, PhD, RD, LD, (Chair) Professor and Interim Chair, Department of Preventative Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL. […]
Naomi K. Fukagawa, MD, PhD, (Vice Chair) Professor of Medicine and Associate Program Director of the Clinical Research Center, University of Vermont and Fletcher Allen Health Care, Burlington, VT. […]
Cheryl Achterberg, PhD, Dean and Professor, College of Education and Human Ecology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH. […]
Lawrence J. Appel, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology, and International Health (Human Nutrition), Division of General Internal Medicine, and Director, ProHealth Clinical Research Unit, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD. […]
Roger A. Clemens, DrPH, Associate Director, Regulatory Science, and Adjunct Professor, Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Science, The University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA. […]
Miriam E. Nelson, PhD, Director, John Hancock Center for Physical Activity and Nutrition, Tufts University, Boston, MA. […]
Thomas A. Pearson, MD, PhD, MPH, Senior Associate Dean, Clinical Research and Albert D. Kaiser Professor, Department of Community and Preventive Medicine, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY. […]
Rafael Pérez-Escamilla, PhD, Professor, Nutritional Sciences and Public Health, University of Connecticut, and Director, Connecticut Center of Excellence for Eliminating Health Disparities among Latinos, Storrs, CT. […]
Xavier Pi-Sunyer, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and Chief, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Nutrition, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York, NY. […]
Eric B. Rimm, ScD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA. […]
Joanne L. Slavin, PhD, RD, Professor, Department of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN. […]
Christine L. Williams, MD, MPH, Vice President and Medical Director Healthy Directions, Inc., and former Professor, Clinical Pediatrics, and Director, Children’s Cardiovascular Health Center, Columbia University, New York, NY.
We’ll have to wait & see but so far the reports I’ve heard are not encouraging and while I’m sure there will be dissenters in the ranks, how they’re judged should be determined by how loud and how long they scream against the prevailing insanity responsible for the maiming and early deaths of millions. This is a serious matter. These people should be held accountable for what they produce. If anyone has any knowledge concerning the direction things are going, please let us know in comments.
At any rate, this is a great mainstream article to have in your arsenal. Pass it around liberally. Hat’s off to Ms. Moyer.
Update: It appears the linked article originally appeared in Slate. I saw that last week and somehow it didn’t grab me like it did this time. At any rate, now there’s two links in case someone you send it to might respond better to one than the other.