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Study Questions Flawed Evidence Underlying Dietary Guidelines

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

(North American Meat Institute)

In an article published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings , the authors are critical of the data used to inform the Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, claiming that the studies are flawed because the underlying evidence is primarily centered on memory-based dietary assessment methods (M-BMs), such as surveys, interviews and questionnaires. The researchers provide substantial support to reveal that data from M-BMs, which are the dominant data collection protocols in national nutrition surveillance and government-funded epidemiologic nutrition, are "pseudoscientific" and constitute a major misuse of research resources. In particular, the researchers conclude that the vast majority of data from M-BMs are invalid estimates of actual food and nutrient consumption, and that human memory and recall ability are too inaccurate and imprecise to be used as tools to collect scientific data. The researchers also suggest that protocols used in this type of data collection are known to induce false memory and recall, and that memory cannot be independently observed, measured or falsified. Instead, the article posits that resources should be re-directed to study physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness, which are major determinants of health and largely ignored or improperly measured by federal nutrition researchers.

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