Demand that quality science determine the 2015 U.S. Dietary Guidelines
For 30 years, the U.S. government, by way of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), has given us nutrition guidance – first with the food pyramid and now with MyPlate, both showing us what we should eat to be healthy. The next set of dietary guidelines are expected to be announced by the end of 2015, and, based on a preliminary report, it appears that the recommendations will continue in the same vein as the past guidelines.
While these dietary guidelines are well-intended, clearly something isn’t working. Because, also in the past 30 years, adult obesity rates have doubled, and according to The Trust for American’s Health Report, they are projected to rise to 50 percent by 2030. Additionally, it is estimated that at least 50 percent of Americans today have diabetes or pre-diabetes, according to a recent Journal of the American Medical Association article. The numbers are staggering for our children as well, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting that obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents. Obesity in America is a public health crisis.
It is becoming evident that the guidelines are developed without the backing of current scientific data, proven through recent reversals of guidance; for instance, we were told to avoid eggs due to their cholesterol content, but now eggs are deemed safe to eat. We were told to eat margarine instead of butter, only to learn that the ingredients in margarine aren’t healthy for us. Milk is now said to be good again. These are all whole foods that should have never been cautioned against in the first place.
It is also now coming to the forefront that the recommendation to consume low-fat foods and restrict full-fat options was based on limited evidence, and has consequently led to the overconsumption of starches, sugars and carbohydrates to replace fat. There is extensive evidence-based research demonstrating that controlling carbohydrate intake has numerous health benefits for everyone, yet nowhere is this research acknowledged in the current report despite the direct link between the sharp rise in carbohydrate intake and the obesity crisis.
It’s time for all Americans to look beyond MyPlate and begin asking for dietary guidelines based on quality science generated from a variety of different experimental approaches that encompasses a range of different diet approaches. It is also time we have dietary guidelines that eliminate the one-size-fits-all eating plan and focuses on the needs of a very diverse group of people. This can only be done by disrupting the status quo and recognizing the insights of newer, better and more credible science.
By demanding scientific scrutiny in our dietary guidelines that calls for change, Americans can find a healthier way to eat and live, and in the process save millions of lives. Join me in signing this Change.org petition.
Speak up and tell the U.S. Government to start basing our Dietary Guidelines on the full array of science.
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