Dallas Morning News Op-Ed: Government is helping to feed the diabetes crisis in Texas

By Dr. Jared A. Kushner, Dallas Morning News, 12/21/17

Type 2 diabetes is rampant in Texas. Two million residents have the condition, and that figure is expected to shoot up by another million by 2030. 

The disease generally afflicts those with unlucky genes who eat poorly. But unhealthy diets are not entirely the fault of Texans. Federal dietary guidelines are based on weak science. These recommendations, which are developed by nutritionists who champion widely accepted but increasingly questionable advice, have a huge impact on how everyone eats. Given the scale of the diabetes epidemic, it's time to reform the process that produces our nation's nutritional guidelines.


The federal dietary guidelines were first published in 1980 and are updated by government officials every five years. They were designed to help keep Americans healthy. But they may have inadvertently caused this spike in obesity. That's not because people disregarded the guidelines, but paradoxically, because they followed them.   

The guidelines have long urged people to dodge fats and consume more carbohydrates. This admonition stems from old research that was shaky at best. More rigorous studies since have shown that a high-carb, low-fat diet does nothing to combat obesity or type 2 diabetes. In fact, it worsens diabetes. 

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