On October 31, 2008, during that first meeting of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), Dr. Eric B. Rimm, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, questioned what he called the “artificial limit” on dietary fat in the U.S. Dietary Guidelines.
From the transcripts: www.cnpp.usda.gov/DGAs2010-Meeting1.htm
Dr. Rimm: “I wanted to make a radical point, one for which I’ll probably get kicked off the stage, but the whole issue of total fat and the 20 to 35 percent of calories from fat is one that has troubled me…”
Dr. Rimm: “… But the high end, 35 percent of calories from fat, actually was not really based on much science; it’s based on the fact that we don’t have a lot of science beyond 35 percent, and there was a concern that higher fat diets would lead to obesity.”
Dr. Rimm: I think if you look at the science, there is actually no good human data to suggest that higher fat diets lead to obesity. If anything, higher fat diets, at 35 to 40 percent, lead to lower triglycerides because it’s a lower carbohydrate intake.
Dr. Rimm: “… I think there is the dogma that low-fat diets are beneficial, and you can go in the grocery store and see a lot of low-fat foods that are essentially just high in carbohydrate, highly processed sugars.”
Dr. Rimm did not get “kicked off the stage,” but the issue never came up again. He was simply ignored. The final report of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines ultimately contained even more stringent reductions in saturated fats – recommending that most Americans reduce saturated fat intake to just 7 percent of calories.
In an interview with Melissa Healy in the Los Angeles Times, June 28, 2010, Dr. Walter C. Willett, Chairman, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, agreed with his Harvard associate:
“The best available evidence demonstrates that percent of calories from fat in a diet has no bearing on weight loss – a point the dietary guidelines committee acknowledges.”
“It makes no sense to base the dietary guidelines on an outdated recommendation.”
the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee continued to ignore Dr. Rimm’s legitimate concerns!
Category: Dietary Guidelines
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