Opinions from major governmental and medical organizations
Although opinions regarding low-carbohydrate diets vary greatly throughout the medical and nutritional science communities, major government bodies as well as major medical and nutritional associations have generally opposed this nutritional regimen. In recent years, however, some[who?] of these same organizations have gradually begun to relax their opposition to the point that some have even voiced cautious support for low-carbohydrate diets. The following are official statements from some of these organizations.
American Academy of Family Physicians
The AAFP released a discussion paper on the Atkins Diet specifically in 2006. Although the paper expresses reservations about the Atkins plan they acknowledge it as a legitimate weight loss approach.
American Diabetes Association
The ADA revised their Nutrition Recommendations and Interventions for Diabetes in 2008 to acknowledge low-carbohydrate diets as a legitimate weight-loss plan. The recommendations fall short of endorsing low-carbohydrate diets as a long-term health plan nor do they give any preference to these diets. Nevertheless, this is perhaps the first statement of support—albeit for the short-term—by one of the foremost medical organizations. In its 2009 publication of Clinical Practice Recommendations, the ADA again reaffirmed its acceptance of carbohydrate-controlled diets as an effective treatment for short-term (up to one year) weight loss among obese people suffering from type two diabetes.
American Dietetic Association
As of 2003 in commenting on a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association reiterated the association's belief that "there is no magic bullet to safe and healthful weight loss." The Association specifically endorses the high-carbohydrate diet recommended by the National Academy of Sciences. They have stated "Calories cause weight gain. Excess calories from carbohydrates are not any more fattening than calories from other sources. Despite the claims of low-carb diets, a high-carbohydrate diet does not promote fat storage by enhancing insulin resistance."
American Heart Association
The official statement from the AHA regarding these diets states categorically that the association "doesn't recommend high-protein diets." A science advisory from the association further states the association's belief that these diets are "associated with increased risk for coronary heart disease." The AHA has been one of the most adamant opponents of low-carbohydrate diets. Dr. Robert Eckel, past president, noted that the association supported low-fat and low-saturated-fat diets, but that a low-carbohydrate diet could potentially meet AHA guidelines.
Australian Heart Foundation
The position statement by the Heart Foundation regarding low-carbohydrate diets states that "the Heart Foundation does not support the adoption of VLCARB diets for weight loss." Although the statement recommends against use of low-carbohydrate diets it explains that their major concern is saturated fats as opposed to carbohydrate restriction and protein. Moreover, other statements suggest that their position might be re-evaluated in the event of more evidence from longer-term studies.
Food Standards Agency (UK)
The consumer advice statements of the FSA regarding low-carbohydrate diets state that "rather than avoiding starchy foods, it's better to try and base your meals on them." They further state concerns regarding fat consumption in low-carbohydrate diets.
Heart & Stroke Foundation (Canada)
The official position statement of the Heart & Stroke Foundation states "Do not follow a low carbohydrate diet for purposes of weight loss." They state concerns regarding numerous health risks particularly those related to high consumption of "saturated and trans fats".
National Board of Health and Welfare (Sweden)
In 2008, the Socialstyrelsen in Sweden altered its standing regarding low-carbohydrate diets. Although formal endorsement of this regimen has not yet appeared, the government has given its formal approval for using carbohydrate-controlled diets for medically supervised weight loss.
In recommendation for diets suitable for diabetes patients published in 2011 a moderate low-carb option (30–40%) is suggested.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
The HHS issues consumer guidelines for maintaining heart health which state regarding low-carbohydrate diets that "they're not the route to healthy, long-term weight management."
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