"National dietary guidelines have become an easy target for those looking for a scapegoat for bad diets in prosperous countries. And an article just published in the BMJ about the scientific evidence for the US dietary guidelines provides further needless fuel for the fire.
In February 2015, an advisory committee of 14 experts appointed to review research evidence and inform the government of the relevant science underpinning the US dietary guidelines issued a 570-page report. Among its conclusions, the report recommended guiding the population to dietary patterns that are:
* rich in vegetables, fruit, whole grains, seafood, legumes and nuts
* moderate in low-fat and non-fat dairy products and alcohol (among adults)
* lower in red and processed meat, and
* low in sugar-sweetened foods and beverages and refined grains.
The report also recommended limiting marketing of unhealthy foods to children, clearer food labelling, and greater consideration of sustainability issues.
The report generated much angst. This was not unexpected – because so many people feel they’re experts in nutrition, and because it upset many groups with vested interests in maintaining the current US diet with its high levels of meat, junk foods and drinks.
The advisory committee received more than 29,000 written responses to its recommendations. The Sugar Association, the National Pork Producers Council, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the National Chicken Council all challenged the report.
Dietary guidelines produced in other countries, including Australia, also attract mud-slinging. Sadly, this serves to confuse the public and leads some to abandon advice because “experts are always changing their minds”.'
Complete article by the well respected Rosemary Stanton, Nutritionist & Visiting Fellow, UNSW Australia:
Worth reading for the insight it gives into the difficulties of establishing National dietary guidelines...
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