Marion Nestle is an NYU Professor of nutrition, the author of Food Politics and a great commentator on the state of nutrition policy in this country.
So naturally I wanted to read her views on the new US Dietary Guidelines. I knew she would be the one to find any faults, as well giving any kudos where kudos are due.
True to form, Marion had not one, but two good posts on the topic (and I'm sure more are to follow).
Essentially, she finds it great that the US is now instructing people to "eat less" through reduced portion sizes, and great that the government recommending less sugar and fats in our diets.
What's not so good, she says, is that there is still evidence that politics had a hand in drafting the guidelines.
For example, she points out, there is no directive to just "eat less meat." Why? Well the meat industry is still a powerful lobby. As it is, they're not happy about the guidelines, and fear they will lead to people eating more seafood.
Here's what she had to say:
They still talk about foods (fruits, vegetables, seafood, beans, nuts) when they say “eat more.” But they switch to nutrient euphemisms (sodium, solid fats and added sugars) when they mean “eat less.”
They say, for example: “limit the consumption of foods that contain refined grains, especially refined grain foods that contain solid fats, added sugars, and sodium.”
This requires translation: eat less meat, cake, cookies, sodas, juice drinks, and salty snacks.
Nestle also finds it problematic that the guidelines place all responsibility on the consumers, and take no steps to address the "toxic" food environment.
You can read both of Marion Nestle's excellent summations here: http://www.foodpolitics.com/2011/02/2010-dietary-guidelines-deconstructed/ and here: http://www.foodpolitics.com/2011/01/the-2010-dietary-guidelines-enjoy-your-food-but-eat-less/