Newsletter Update | March 16, 2018

The Nutrition Coalition Update | March 16, 2018


  • USDA Seeks Public Comments on the 2020 Dietary Guidelines
  • How the Dietary Guidelines Impact Our Military 
  • New Research on Metabolic Diseases 


In a groundbreaking step, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it was kicking off the process for the 2020 Dietary Guidelines by soliciting public comment on “key issues” in nutrition science. This is the first time that the USDA has taken this unusual step, and it appears to reflect a commitment to increased transparency in the process (See our post on this here). What is truly stunning is that the USDA’s “key issues” list includes saturated fats and low-carbohydrate diets. The implication is that the USDA believes current recommendations on these topics are based on outdated science and need updating. We certainly agree! 

This is an unprecedented opportunity to contribute your thoughts about how the current guidelines can be brought up-to-date on the science—and therefore start helping to make America healthy again. Don’t miss your chance to participate!!

The comment period runs only another two weeks, until March 30, 2018. For our guide on how to submit a comment, click here.


Our fighting forces get their nutrition directly from the government, and increasingly, these men and women are too fat to fight. The Dallas Morning News published an op-ed by a retired U.S. Air Force Special Operations Combat Controller making that point that the armed forces get plenty of exercise. Rather, the problem isn't exercise -- the armed forces get plenty. Rather, it's the military diet, loaded up on starches and grains, while discouraging fats and proteins—a direct download from the Dietary Guidelines. The implication is that these guidelines are actually impairing our military readiness—and that is serious. A must read.
An op-ed in the Albuquerque Journal (NM) by a local MD argues that the federal guidelines are partly to blame for the state’s burgeoning type 2 diabetes problem. “Research shows that these carb-heavy diets [recommended by the government] can be suboptimal for type 2 diabetics,” writes Dr. Wood.
The New York Ttimes reports on a new comprehensive scientific review that found optimal protein levels for people over 40 trying to gain muscle mass are roughly twice our federal recommendations. And remember, many women do not even get the recommended level of 46g/day. This is another good argument for why we need guidelines based on current science, because otherwise they cause harm—the very opposite of what they intend.
A clinical trial at two federally qualified health care clinics found no difference whether the primarily Hispanic subjects (n=261) followed the government’s MyPlate approach or a standard calorie-counting diet. Subjects received coaching sessions for 1 year, but in the end, both strategies proved completely ineffective, with subjects losing no weight. Those results are really no surprise. Since the late 1980s, the National Institutes of Health have funded trials on more than 50,000 people, using the government’s food pyramid (same as “My Plate”) as the guide, and in none of these experiments did subjects meaningfully lose weight (More on this here). Conclusion: it seems time for some new graphics, and a new diet altogether—namely, one that works.


A clinical report, published in Cell Metabolism, found "rapid and dramatic reductions of liver fat and other cardiometabolic risk factors" in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) when carbohydrate restriction is employed.
Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism published a study that demonstrates how, as fasting glucose gradually creeps up over the years, this reflects growing insulin resistance. The authors argue for early detection and intervention to prevent progression. 


Some doctors believe that this non-invasive continuous blood sugar monitoring wearable will change the face of diabetes care. When people understand that pasta and bagels spike their blood sugar just as a much as a candy bar, this will be a powerful, instantaneous feedback loop to spur change.


Jane Brody, health columnist at the New York Times, wrote another piece  stating that weight loss is only about cutting calories and promoting exercise. This advice ignores all the recent science about the effects of hormones (especially insulin), the microbiome, sleep and stress on fat deposition. Even though Brody’s diet has clearly worked for her, her ideas as population-wide recommendations clearly now belong in the #altfacts department.
Jane Black wrote an article on fats for the Wall Street Journal that portrayed zero controversy on the topic of saturated fats, which is bizarre, because she wrote an entire article about that controversy in 2014. Does she think it’s gone away? In fact, we’ve seen quite the opposite, with ever-more prominent voices speaking out about how the guidelines got it wrong on saturated fats. It’s important for nutrition journalists to recognize where science is legitimately disputed and not falsely portray issues as “settled.” A lack of balanced reporting does a disservice to readers.


Over 40,000 supporters of evidence-based nutrition have signed the petition in support of Tim Noakes, a well-known professor of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine at the University of Cape Town, who over the past few years has been subjected to hearings by health authorities, for tweeting to a breastfeeding mother that she could safely wean her child onto a “LCHF” (low carb, high fat) diet. The petition has been formally sent to the South African health authorities reviewing the case, and it will stay open until the verdict is announced, which is expected any day now.



Diana Rodgers, a dietician, podcast host and farmer, argues in a blog post that fake meats are not real food, not even proven safe for humans, and not the best way to preserve the environment.

Famous fitness guru Ben Greenfield loves to sweat but reveals that exercise doesn’t make his clients thin: it’s 99% diet, he says. Only when he tells people to cut down on sugar and excess carbs do they start to slim down. That’s why the Dietary Guidelines’ advice on diet and exercise needs to change, he writes in an op-ed published in The Hill.


Sign our petition for Dietary Guidelines that are evidence based.
We need your support for our work toward evidence-based Dietary Guidelines--to make America healthy again.
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The Nutrition Coalition is a nonprofit educational organization working to strengthen national nutrition policy so that it is founded upon a comprehensive body of conclusive science, and where that science is absent, to encourage additional research.  We accept no money from any interested industry.
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