Originally posted February 1, 2016.
Even though observational evidence seems to indicate that obesity, leading to heart disease and diabetes, is rampant in the U.S., government dietary guidelines continue to urge Americans to avoid full fat dairy products and instead consume reduced-fat dairy products like skim milk and reduced fat yogurt. Contradicting advice, however, comes from epidemiological evidence and a randomized trial published last month in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, in which it was found found that people eating full-fat dairy, including whole milk, showed a number of better heart-disease outcomes.
Dr. Steven E. Nissen, chairman of the department of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic and co-author of “Heart 411” (Three Rivers Press, 2012), and Nina Teicholz, author of “The Big Fat Surprise” (Simon & Schuster, 2014) report that in December lawmakers appropriated $1 million for an independent review of U.S. dietary guidelines. Congress wants to ensure that the next revision, due in 2020, will “better prevent chronic disease.”
Ideally, this person would have a background in systematic methodology or evidence-based medicine, fields that focus on how to evaluate and prioritize varying results from scientific studies. This expertise would assure the public that the review is to be a serious, objective weighing of the evidence.
Diseases caused by poor eating habits destroy lives and cost the nation trillions in health care. When wrong nutritional advice is dispensed to the public, scientists lose credibility, opening the door to dietary cults. The current guidelines clearly aren’t working. This review offers a chance to steer them on a surer course.
Michael R. Edes, M.D. writes that Nina Teicholz’s The Big Fat Surprise is “perhaps the most important book on nutrition ever written” and calls it a life changer. Read more from Dr. Nissen and Ms. Teicholz here.