Scrutiny Over Expertise with Dietary Guidelines

From NY Times: Scientific Panel on New Dietary Guidelines Draws Criticism from Health Advocates

An excerpt:

More than half the members of a panel considering changes to the nation’s blueprint for healthy eating have ties to the food industry…

Marion Nestle, a nutrition expert at New York University who served on the advisory panel in 1995, said the large number of experts with industry ties reflected the dearth of public funding for nutrition science, which forces many researchers to accept funding from food companies and industry associations. “Anyone who thinks it’s not OK to accept corporate money would never get appointed to that committee,” she said. “That’s considered so biased that you’re too biased to function.”

Despite concerns about this year’s process, Ms. Nestle said she believed the new guidelines would likely resemble the recommendations that were issued five years ago. The bigger issue, she said, is that most Americans will find the guidelines hard to decipher and unsure how to apply them to their own eating habits.

“Every five years, the guidelines get longer and more complicated,” she said. “In my view, the advice is the same: Eat your vegetables don’t gain too much weight and avoid junk foods with a lot of salt, sugar and saturated fat.”

My take: Most well-informed individuals lack confidence that this the administration is working to improve dietary guidelines, regardless of who is selected to be on their committees.

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