The Hill Op-Ed: Congress, stop government from dishing out bad dietary advice

By Ben Greenfield, The Hill, 2/23/18

Americans’ lack of physical fitness is affecting everything from our military, who are struggling to find enough recruits who are fit to serve, to rising costs in treating diabetes. As a personal trainer and wellness consultant, I believe exercise is critical for a healthy lifestyle. Yet, despite how much time and effort people invest trying to get in shape, they rarely meet their goals.

The astonishing reason for this is that following conventional wisdom about nutrition — generally considered 45 to 60 min of aerobic exercise every day combined with a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet — is guaranteed to fail because this approach is not based on good science. Aerobic exercise and low-fats diets have been tested in multiple clinical trials on tens of thousands of Americans, but neither method has ever successfully been shown to be effective for helping people meaningfully lose weight.


One 2009 study, for instance, showed that exercise aloneproduces “only about half of the predicted weight loss.” But if the latest evidence shows that the conventional wisdom fails to prevent or reverse obesity, why does this approach remain dominant in medical and nutrition circles? Further, what can be done to correct it?   

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans(DGA), issued jointly every five years by the Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, serve as the prevailing source of information for doctors, institutions and individuals looking for expert advice on eating and exercise. But since the introduction of the DGA some 35 years ago, Americans have seen sharp increases in rates of nutrition-related diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes, and it appears things are only getting worse.   

Read the full article at The Hill.