Government

From the 'Settled Science' Files: USDA Nutrition Guidelines Upside Down

New research finds that high carbohydrate intake is worse for one's health than a diet high in fats.

Culture Beat · Feb. 8, 2018

Go ahead and put a slice of cheese and extra bacon on that burger. A recently published study in The Lancet calls into question the long-running nutritional guidelines advocated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) since its formation in 1960. The study, which followed 135,335 people in 18 countries on five continents, found that “high carbohydrate intake was associated with higher risk of mortality, whereas total fat and individual types of fat were related to lower total mortality.” It was also concluded, “Total fat and types of fat were not associated with cardiovascular disease, myocardial infarction, or cardiovascular disease mortality, whereas saturated fat had an inverse association with stroke.” The researchers suggest, “Dietary guidelines should be reconsidered in light of these findings.”

This research seems to corroborate a 2010 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that asserted, “There is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease.”

Yet the USDA nutritional guidelines continue to promote the notion that a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet is healthier. Meanwhile, the obesity problem in America has only been getting worse. Of course, government-recommended dietary guidelines on food consumption may not be the primary culprit for America’s obesity epidemic, as lower average activity levels since the 1980s may be the greater cause. But the point is that the science is not settled on this issue, even though the USDA has projected it as such for decades.

Might there be a lesson here for those who think “the science is settled” on global climate fluctuations?

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