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CRITICS ASSAIL USDA DIETARY GUIDELINES High-Carb, Low-Fat Diets Cause Obesity, Heart Disease, Diabetes, Scientists Claim

July 16, 2010

CRITICS ASSAIL USDA DIETARY GUIDELINES

High-Carb, Low-Fat Diets Cause Obesity, Heart Disease, Diabetes, Scientists Claim

Monday, July 12, 2010–WASHINGTON, D.C.–The USDA Dietary Guidelines are a leading cause of the American health and obesity crisis, according to scientists, nutritionists and consumers who testified last Thursday at a USDA public hearing on the report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC). Dissenters argued that the proposed 2010 revisions to the Dietary Guidelines are worse, and will not prevent obesity and will only increase degenerative disease in the U.S.

Those testifying against the Guidelines focused on the Committee’s misuse of scientific data to justify a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet. Dr. Jeff Volek, scientist and academic researcher at the University of Connecticut, noted that the DGAC report ignored scientific studies showing the effectiveness of low carbohydrate diets for weight loss.  “Americans deserve to have official support for the low-carb dietary option,” he said.

“I have followed the work of the DGAC all the way through this process as an academic project. I have dug into their nutrition evidence library,” said Adele Hite, a graduate student in nutrition and public health at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. “Time after time, the scientific evidence the DGAC cited to oppose low-carb diets actually says the exact opposite of the Committee’s conclusions.” Hite testified to losing sixty pounds on a low-carbohydrate diet.

Morton Satin of the Salt Institute sharply criticized the Committee’s recommendation to reduce sodium consumption to 1500 mg per day. “The Committee is suggesting that Americans consume less than 4 grams of salt per day.  No modern society consumes so little salt, making this proposal nothing less than a call for an uncontrolled experiment on more than 300 million Americans.” Satin provided references showing the critical role of salt in digestion, blood pressure regulation and brain development.

Four of the dissenters presented the views of the Nutrition and Metabolism Society, a group of nutrition researchers and medical professionals who have studied the benefits of a low-carbohydrate diet for weight loss, insulin regulation and protection against chronic disease. “We expected the new guidelines to recognize current research that vindicates saturated fats as a cause of heart disease and weight gain, and to acknowledge the demonstrated benefits of lower carbohydrate diets,” said Dr. Richard Feinman of Downstate University, New York.

In response to the DGAC report, the Nutrition and Metabolism Society recently launched the Committee for a Healthy Nation (CHN). “The CHN is a working coalition of professionals who oppose the low-fat, plant-based thrust of the DGAC report. We feel strongly that the scientific evidence omitted from or misrepresented by their report must be considered in the final outcome,” said Feinman.

“Five years ago, I was the lone voice testifying against the guidelines,” said Sally Fallon Morell, president of the Weston A. Price Foundation and member of the CHN. “This year I was happy to be joined by members of the medical and research community in opposition to USDA’s unscientific prescription.” Fallon Morell’s testimony focused on nutrient deficiencies common in those following low-fat diets.

Dr. Feinman challenged the DGAC panel to an open public debate on the scientific evidence underpinning the Guidelines. “Our nation’s citizens need a range of dietary options to choose from, not a one-size-fits-all approach. We must allow for lifestyle, activity levels and metabolism as factors in choosing an optimal diet for each individual.”

The Committee for a Healthy Nation membership is open to professionals and organizations interested in developing guidelines that will offer a range of choices to the American public.

The Committee for a Healthy Nation is a project of The Nutrition & Metabolism Society, a 501(c)3 nonprofit health organization providing research, information and education in the application of fundamental science to nutrition, particularly dedicated to the problems of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.  Their office is located at 24 Spruce Street, Bedminster, N.J. 07921. For further information or to join the CHN, contact by E-mail: info@nmsociety.org or call 908-326-6464 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              908-326-6464      end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

MEDIA CONTACTS:  Kimberly Hartke, 703-675-5557 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              703-675-5557      end_of_the_skype_highlighting  press@westonaprice.org

Pam Schoenfeld,  609-439-8237 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              609-439-8237      end_of_the_skype_highlighting  Pam@MetabolismSociety.org

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