Thursday, June 20, 2019

Retrospective #125: Dietary Dictocrats Double Down

As far back as 2010, the Executive Summary of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, made what I construed was an admission of neglect and attempted to make up for it. The admission: “Dietary Guidelines recommendations traditionally have been intended for healthy Americans ages 2 years and older” (emphasis mine). Previously, I infer from that, their recommendations applied only to “healthy Americans ages 2 years and older,” not to the 86% “other than healthy,” as for example the insulin resistant, overweight, obese, Pre-diabetic and Type 2 diabetic.
This new interest in all of us was further made clear for me by their next statement: “However, Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 is being released at a time of rising concern about the health of the American population. Poor diet and physical inactivity are the most important factors contributing to an epidemic of overweight and obesity affecting men, women and children in all segments of our society. Even in the absence of overweight, poor diet and physical inactivity are associated with major causes of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Therefore, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 is intended for Americans ages 2 years and older, including those at increased risk of chronic disease”  (emphasis mine again),That’s all of us “unhealthy” Americans, the 86 percent!
When I read this in 2013, I had hope of change. I hoped they would address the special needs of that segment of the population that is insulin resistant, overweight and obese. I hoped they would recognize some special dietary restriction, carbohydrate restriction, for example. I was disappointed. They do address the overweight and obese, but they do not associate it with what is the cause of most obesity: insulin resistance. And they do not associate overweight and obesity with carbohydrates or with Pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes. In fact, they don’t even mention Type 2 diabetes or the strong association of overweight or obesity with the Type 2 diabetes epidemic.
In summary, on the next two pages they prescribe the same-old “fix” for the “unhealthy” overweight and obese population as they do for the healthy population: Calorie restriction, with macronutrient balance, and exercise.
“People who are the most successful at achieving and maintaining a healthy weight do so through continued attention to consuming only enough calories from foods and beverages to meet their needs and by being physically active.” This is of course patently untrue. It is a “diet delusion,” as anyone who’s ever done it knows.
“To curb the obesity epidemic and improve their health, many Americans must decrease the calories they consume and increase the calories they expend through physical activity.” The “calories in – calories out” redux.
Then, the “Key Recommendations” begins with “Balancing Calories to Manage Weight”
·         Prevent and/or reduce overweight and obesity through improved eating and physical activity behaviors.
·         Control total calorie intake to manage body weight. For people who are overweight or obese, this will mean consuming fewer calories from foods and beverages.
·         Increase physical activity and reduce time spent in sedentary behaviors.
·         Maintain appropriate calorie energy balance during each stage of life – childhood, adolescence, adulthood, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and older age.
The USDA and HHS, who jointly created this document, are jointly IN DENIAL. They decided to just DOUBLE DOWN.
They also recommend we eat less “sodium” (salt), less “dietary cholesterol” and less “solid fats” (read saturated fats). And less added sugars and “refined grains, especially refined grain foods that contain solid fats, added sugars, and sodium.” Notice their associations of saturated fats with sugars. And, NOT A WORD ABOUT CARBOHYDRATES!
I know this is all “old news” to my readers, but I write about it again to illustrate INSTITUTIONAL DENIAL. As long as the Dietary Dictocrats in Washington, together with all the major medical associations, abetted by Agribusiness and Big Pharma with their powerful lobbies, continue to promote these recommendations, and the media trumpets it, we are left to go it alone. Self-treatment is the only choice we have left. Sadly, survival outcomes will eventually reveal the wisdom of our course of action. For many, however, including some of my friends, it will be too late.

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