Newsweek Opinion Article by  6/11/15 AT 11:36 AM, entitled: 

Food Guidelines Are Broken. Why Aren’t They Being Fixed?

This is an opinion piece – no question.  He eviscerates the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s (DGAC) scientific report on which the guidelines are based.

Furthermore, the DGAC asserts that its recommendations are unbiased and only based on science, but consistently the guidelines have focused on the hypothesis that limiting fat intake will decrease obesity and promote health. This focus on decreasing fat consumption has continued in successive DGAC reports even though the science behind this conclusion has been proven to be based on an outdated understanding of nutrition and health.

Perhaps the most telling criticism:

So why don’t the guidelines, which are supposedly governed by a scientific, fact-based process, do this?

Because advocating for lower-carbohydrate, higher-fat diets would fly in the face of everything the DGAC has recommended over the past three decades. Such an about-face would be an acknowledgement that the process to date has been misguided. But if we’re serious about saving lives and money, rather than maintaining bureaucratic credibility, then that is exactly what must be done.

He calls for the public and political leaders to “start asking the DGAC why we’re sticking with an approach that is clearly broken.”

It does not take but a moment before his opinion is challenged – as well it should be by another Opinion piece also in Newsweek by 6/19/15 AT 10:01 AM, entitled: 

Is a Low-Carb Diet a Genuine Remedy for Obesity?

The difference between these two articles is stunning.  Campbell starts off by telling us that he is an expert that should be listened to: because he is “a longtime researcher, contributor to food and health policy, and Cornell University professor emeritus.”

He then goes on to say that yes – the Dietary Guidelines are broken – but because they don’t follow his beliefs:

The biggest issue is that low-carb diets severely limit the consumption of plant-based whole foods, which are the main foods reversing disease and creating health benefits. A diet of these foods contains about 10 percent fat, 10 percent protein and 80 percent complex carbohydrates. This diet has all the protein we need, the right amount of fat and a rich supply of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and complex carbohydrates.

Rather than supporting his own position – he takes shots at the Low Carb world including the myth that:

It should be noted that a low-carb diet often means, by definition, a diet very high in protein and fat (from meat, dairy and eggs). A low-carb, high-protein diet may cause weight reduction initially, but in the long run it is overwhelmingly dangerous and not in our society’s best interest.

Low-carb advocates are in denial that a WFPB diet could be a more viable way for Americans to lose weight and live without preventable diseases in the long and short-term. However, like the meat, poultry and dairy industries, low-carb supporters want you to ignore this possibility and just eat more meat.

How much protein we should eat has been a continuing discussion on this Blog.  Why – because we factor in Exercise.  Instead he states that “For decades, 10 percent dietary calories as protein (RDA, the recommended allowance) has been considered sufficient (if not ideal) for human health. This level of protein is easily provided by a WFPB diet.”

10% of a 2,500 calorie diet is 250 calories or 60 +/- grams of protein.  He posits that dietary fats should be limited to a similar 10% or 30 grams.  The balance – 80% should come from complex carbs.

Seriously – the RDA number is an amount below which you might not be able to survive without illness or bodily deterioration.

When a guy has to start an article by trumpeting his credentials and then have ad hominem criticism of the opposition – I get turned off.  It undermines his entire position.  How else would you interpret this statement:

But it is clear to me that when they promote a low-carb diet, they are cleverly choosing words mixed with a little truth to push yet another diet that continues to reinforce unhealthy habits.

You be the judge.

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