New federal nutrition guidelines recommended by an expert health panel ignore the latest dietary research and reinforce bad advice that some believe has fueled the nation’s obesity epidemic.
That’s the upshot of a new study in the British Medical Journal – the latest in a series of analyses to question the legitimacy of the influential 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
In a newly published investigation, the journal accuses the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee – a 14-member expert panel which produces the scientific report that forms the basis of federal nutrition recommendations – of systematically ignoring recent evidence that could reverse decades of erroneous nutritional advice.
The report takes special aim at the committee’s verdict on saturated fat, which concludes that there is a “strong” link between saturated fat and cardiovascular disease and recommends that saturated fat account for no more than 10 percent of total calories. But several prominent studies published over the past five years have failed to confirm any connection between saturated fats and heart disease.
The BMJ study also faults the committee for failing to conduct a comprehensive review of low-carbohydrate diets, even though clinical trials published since 2000 show that such diets are at least equal to if not better than other nutritional approaches for controlling Type 2 diabetes, boosting weight loss, and improving most heart disease risk factors.
In both cases, the committee has produced a “misleading picture” that may compromise the health of millions of Americans, states lead researcher Nina Teicholz, a renowned nutrition expert and journalist.