Don’t hold your breath waiting for any significant changes in the government’s nutritional guidelines due to come out in 2010. The members of the ‘scientific’ committee have just been announced, and it is stacked with all the usual suspects.
Here is a copy of the press release:nutritional-guidelines-press-release
Take a look at the names and resumes of those on the committee, and you’ll see that they are all lipophobes and carbophiles of the deepest dye. Based on this cast of characters, it doesn’t look like much will change over the next five years. God help us all.
Let’s take a quick look at just one member of this illustrious panel that will decide how over 50 million people per day will be fed between 2010 and 2015.
Joanne L. Slavin, PhD, RD, a professor in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition and the University of Minnesota, is an expert in carbohydrates and dietary fiber. Her research expertise focuses on the impact of whole grain consumption in chronic diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes, as well as the role of dietary fiber in satiety.
Before we even get to Dr. Slavin herself, you should be aware that this department at the University of Minnesota is a hotbed of high carbery. In fact, this is where the dietitians came from who piled on the Atkins’ diet in the commentary to the bogus Lancet article I posted about a couple of years ago. (If you haven’t read it already, this is a post well worth reading just to see how screwed up the nutritional establishment really is.)
What do you think Dr. Slavin’s take is on whole grain consumption in chronic disease? Do you think she believes that whole grains are bad? How about fiber? Do you think she is aware that the idea of fiber as a protective factor against cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases has never been proven? Or do you think she blindly promotes fiber despite the lack of evidence that it’s good for anything?
Let’s take a look at one of her presentations and see. slavin-handout
From her material, it’s easy to see what her fixation is. I’m glad I’m not her child, I can tell you that.
Other than the fact that they’re incorrect, I have a couple of real problems with the nutritional guidelines.
First, they are presented as if they are the latest in scientific thought on the subject of nutrition. They aren’t. They start out as guidelines put together by the most mainstream of the mainstream, which is a strike against them in the first place. Then the lobbying starts. That’s right. The food industry gets into the act. The officials in the Department of Agriculture ultimately referee the fight between the scientists (such as they are) and Big Sugar, Big Corn, Big Wheat and the rest of them. What emerges is a sort of compromise between science and industry. But it is foisted off as pure science.
After the scientific committee started pushing for a reduction in sugar in the 2000 guidelines, Senator Trent Lott presented the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture (the agency that sets the guidelines) with a letter signed by himself and multiple other senators from sugar-producing states asking that the recommendations to cut sugar from the diet be lightened. Which, of course, they were.
My second problem is in how powerful these guidelines are in reality. Most people think, hey, who cares what the guidelines are? I eat the way I eat. I don’t pay any attention to the guidelines. Problem is the government is required by law to abide by these guidelines in feeding all the people the government feeds. And the government feeds a lot of people. Over 50 million per day, in fact. Schools, the military and prisons are just a few of the institutions the government feeds daily. Given these numbers, it’s easy to see why the food industry is so keen on how these guidelines end up being written.
In the YouTube below, you can see yours truly trying to explain all this to Bill O’Reilly.
2010 Nutritional guidelines