I’ve been talking about the 2015 dietary guidelines for so long now I can’t believe they still haven’t been released. But there has been some “progress.” The Advisory Committee finally turned in its Scientific Report to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Believe it or not, this 570-page report STILL isn’t the final word. It’s simply what the Advisory Committee recommends, based on all of their research.
The HHS and USDA will use the report to determine the official Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and they’ll release those later this year.
It’s a tedious, drawn-out process. One based more on political agenda than science or health. And one that isn’t likely to result in any major improvements to this country’s staggering obesity epidemic.
In this month’s issue of my Logical Health Alternatives newsletter, I detail some of the proposed “big changes” creating hype in the media—and spell out what they really mean for you. Subscribers should definitely take a few minutes to look it over (and if you’re not already a subscriber, you can sign up today by clicking on the Subscriber tab at the stop of the site).
But in the meantime, one of the Advisory Committee’s biggest conclusions was that it isn’t necessary to eliminate any food groups. Instead, the focus should be on combining foods in a variety of flexible ways to meet an individual’s dietary preferences, health needs and cultural traditions.
What is that all about?
This sounds great on paper—very politically correct.
But as an Italian, my “cultural tradition” is to eat pasta every day. And my “dietary preferences” would be to eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s every night in front of the TV. Both of which would make me fat, diabetic, and eventually kill me.
Basing health recommendations on cultural sensitivity instead of science isn’t just stupid—it’s downright deadly.
Needless to say, I don’t have high hopes for the 2015 Dietary Guidelines when they finally DO come out.
Look, I will take the baby steps the revised guidelines are expected to include. Like recommendations to limit added sugar. And the “shocker” calling to eliminate current guidelines on dietary cholesterol.
Unfortunately, these guidelines aren’t just some massive book that gets locked in a vault (as much as I wish that were the case). Instead, they reverberate throughout our entire society — from schools to hospitals to prisons and beyond. In the U.S., approximately 155 million individuals are overweight or obese and 117 million individuals have chronic, preventable diseases. And I doubt these “new and improved” guidelines will make a dent in those figures.
“Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee,” Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015-scientific-report/)