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2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report Disputed in Peer-Reviewed Article

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

(American Meat Institute)The conclusions and recommendations of the Report of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) fail to both recognize recent scientific findings and to conform to the standards of evidence-based medicine, and the report’s conclusions only further confuse the American public, according to a new paper “In the Face of Contradictory Evidence: Report on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans Committee,” published in the journal Nutrition.
 
Adele Hite, M.A.T., of the University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of Global Public Health, and co-authors argue that the DGAC Report concludes that animal sources provide the highest-quality protein, yet Americans are advised in the report to shift to a more “plant-based” diet and “consume only moderate amounts of lean meats, poultry and eggs.”
 
According to the authors, “Despite concluding that the evidence is ‘moderate, limited, insufficient and inconsistent’ on any relation between animal protein consumption and negative health outcomes and at the same time asserting that animal sources provide the highest quality proteins, the DGAC Report cautions Americans about the increased animal protein content of their diet.  In direct studies where protein intake is increased, particularly if accompanied by a decrease in total carbohydrate, markers for cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease are improved, hemoglobin A1c is decreased and blood glucose and insulin levels are normalized.”
 
In addition, the paper notes, “The DGAC Report acknowledges that plant protein confers no specific health benefits and may in fact present nutritional inadequacies. The argument for the importance of protein in the diet is convincing but insufficient evidence to support the substitution of plant sources of protein is presented.”
 
Richard David Feinman, professor of cell biology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, and one of the article’s authors, suggests the need for an entirely new process.  “The previous Guidelines have not worked well.  It is simply unreasonable to ask the DGAC to audit its own work.  An external panel of scientists with no direct ties to nutritional policy would be able to do a more impartial evaluation of the data. This would be far better for everyone,” he said in a press release.
 
The article appears in Nutrition, Volume 26, Issue 10 (October 2010) published by Elsevier. DOI: 10.1016/j.nut.2010.08.012. It can be read in its entirety by clicking here:  http://bit.ly/9o7P1d.

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