Americans counted on the USDA to monitor Americas food supply, and we have relied on the US. Dietary Guidelines (USDG) as a go to guide for portion control, healthy weight loss, and weight gain. Yet, they have failed to reflect any completely correct information, that now contradicts the last 35 years of nutritional advice.
The guidelines were issued in the early eighties and spread globally, is it any wonder why the obesity epidemic has spread beyond America. Today the guidelines are under review by the government’s health and agricultural agencies, after they received 29,000 public complaints. This is a significant jump compared to 2000 public complaints in 2010. In a recent press release The BMJ found that the USDA and USDG’s guidelines were not based on solid science claiming that the lack of science has made the guidelines vulnerable to internal bias and outside agenda’s leading to misinformation to the public.
In 2015 the USDA set up The Nutrition Evidence Library (NEL) to conduct systematic reviews using standard processes for evaluating studies. However, according to The British Medical Journal the two departments did not use NEL in 70-percent of the cases. Instead external reviews were done without well defined methods as to how the studies or papers were evaluated. This poses conflict of interest in the industry since most of the industry receives 38-percent of its revenue from food and drug companies. This clearly undermines the credibility of any government report on food nutrition.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) there are approximately two billion adults overweight, 670 million who are obese, and 98 million severely obese. Over 200 million school-age children are overweight causing Generation X and The Millennial Generation to worry about their children’s shorter lifespan. Parents are pushing kids out the door to go play, however a 12-year study measured children’s physical activity and found that it is the same as it was 50-years ago. What has changed? WHO states that there are a multitude of ‘obesogenic’ factors in and out of our food supply that are responsible for obesity.
People who are obese are often stigmatized; the world wide growing awareness of the epidemic has reinforced prejudice against obese people. With the health issues weighing in on them physically, they are more prone to depression and low self esteem which affects their quality of life and life achievements. The Millennial Generation is the most anxiety and stress driven generation , however the medication for anxiety and stress according to Dr. George Blackburn M.D, an associate professor of surgery and nutrition at Harvard Medical School, also can make you fat. Benadryl, Prozac, Insulin, Prednisone, Depakot , Elavil, Luvox, Eskalith, Zyprexa and dozens of other widely used prescription and over-the-counter medications are just some of the few taken each day that contributes to an ‘obesogenic factor’.
Low Carbohydrate Diets, Saturated Fats, recommended diets are all up for scientific questioning. As well as the antibiotics and hormones that are currently being used on cows, as a result making the human population, who consumes an abundance of red meat, resistant to antibiotics when they really need them.
For instance, in the 1970’s food companies added “additives” to food to make it more delicious. Changing our taste pallets and genetic makeup as a result people started to get fat. By the early 1990’s the issues (as well as cost) related to obesity was escalating. The USDA and USDG laid fault with the consumer and pushed diet and exercise which obviously did not work, it compounded the problem. Today, people are getting fatter than ever, meanwhile they are dieting and exercising and seeing no results. Many then turn to surgery and other diet products, there is a 20 billion dollar diet industry in the U.S. For the U.S to lose 20 billion dollars due to people losing weight would be a catastrophe, thus the mind quackery is on the public. Consider for a moment , Millennium Prevention, a company that develops apps for your phone to manage diseases such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Great! now we have an app for that! Surely we want to manage our disease rather than cure it. Right?
With the never ending obesity epidemic, rise in diabetes, and heart disease it is clear the failure of existing methods must be examined and changed. The public states we need substantial evidence that Americans can rely on. However; consider this… didn’t we have all that pre-1970? Pre-1950? What did we eat before the epidemic started? BMJ states that it is time to ask for an unbiased and balanced panel of scientists to undertake an expansive review with the most comprehensive scientific evidence used to produce a better nutrition policy, yet, one can doubt that will truly happen without bias. We are relying on our government too much and need to counter act the matter at home and in our own communities. Perhaps it would be prudent to do your grocery shopping at a reputable local farm where food is not mass produced and filled with garbage that makes the world population sick and fat. In America there is a price on convenience….it’s called obesity.
This article was written by Laurell Morse, a writer for dusk magazine.