Thursday, November 3, 2011

When Walter Speaks

In the last issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (a research/scientific publication), Walter Willett and his colleague David Ludwig (both MDs and and PhD/DrPhs) submitted a perspective on the DGA 2010.

 I just reread the article in order to offer some highlights in the blog, but as I was doing so, I thought that it would be beneficial for you to read every word of it.  It is not very long and it is available for free by clicking this NEJM link.

The points that I elect to bring to your attention follow.  The authors feel that the guidelines have strengths and weaknesses. They bemoan the fact that there was not a lot press around them, especially because we are in a "nutritional crisis." They support the recommendations on foods to include (you should know what they are from all my blogging about them) and on the foods to limit.  They point out that there is not enough emphasis on what Americans need to limit and that nutrients should not be the focus.  The focus should be the foods themselves.  This is an important distinction which fits perfectly with my argument that nutrient supplements do not do for our bodies what nutrients in food do.  Dr. Willett is saying that the things we need to avoid or limit, such as saturated fats, occur in FOODS.  He states that a better message would be that "Americans must reduce consumption of red meat, cheese, butter, and sugar,"  and adds that if this message had been disseminated it "... would have offended powerful industries."  The Myplate graphic is also frowned upon, as you know, Harvard has made a better Myplate which you can read about in this past blog post.

The same concern about total fats versus saturated fats is iterated in this article (I say same, because I have blogged about that TOO!) as is concern over refined grains and sugars - and sodas.  The discussion regarding how the limit on total fat is having an adverse effect on programs such as school lunches is also seen in the IOMs recommendations on Front of Pack labeling (not mentioned in this article, but you may recall that the FOP system is going to list Sat Fat not Total Fat because Total Fat numbers could potentially drive people away from healthy fats).

I urge you to take a look at the published article.

*****not only was I the first person in the pool today - I dove in - yup.  Still cold though....*****

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