Sad and frustrating news today out of Washington. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has finally released the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs). After significant sturm und drang, including allegations of incompetence among the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), an investigation by the BMJ into the DGAC’s twittishness and venality, Congressional hearings that exposed the extremely sorry state of the science, and a raging obesity and diabetes epidemic, the stupefied functionaries at the USDA decided what the hell, let’s keep going with the status quo and give the middle finger to all Americans for another 5 years.
My friend and Dietary freedom fighter, Nina Teicholz, released the following about the state of affairs: “With the exception of a cap on sugar, these DGAs are virtually identical to those of the past 35 years, during which time obesity and diabetes have skyrocketed. Given the same advice, it’s not clear why we should expect different outcomes, especially when consumption data shows that over the past decades, Americans have, in fact, followed USDA advice, cutting back on butter by 14%, whole milk by 73%, and red meat by 17%, while increasing consumption of grains by 41% and oils by more than 90%. Due to high-level concern about the failure of our nutrition policy to improve health, Congress recently mandated the first-ever peer review of the Guidelines, by the National Academy of Medicine. This is a critical first step towards ensuring that our nation’s policy is indeed based on rigorous science.”
Let’s hope the National Academy of Medicine red-pens these DGAs into obliteration. I’m crossing my fingers.
But let me also take this time to vent.
This DGA business is some bullshit.
Seriously, what is wrong with the nitwits at the USDA and HHS and other organizations that are supposed to protect our health? Why are they compelling our most vulnerable (via food programs like SNAP, which get their menu mandates from the DGAs) to get sick and fat?
It’s twisted and disgraceful.
Imagine this. A 25 year old poor, single mom with diabetes must depend on government food assistance to survive. Instead of being given the opportunity to eat, say a low carbohydrate diet — which, according to this compelling article published in last year’s Nutrition, might be her best hope to get her blood sugar under control — she will be forced to eat a high carb diet that will rocket up her a1c and accelerate her disease progression.
No one – not her doctors, not her friends, not her kids — will ever know that she had other dietary options.
Now multiply her story by tens or hundreds of thousands or more. Over the next 5 years, scenarios like that will happen, again and again and again. The slow, invisible killing and maiming of millions of innocents.
And here’s the sickest part of this whole sick joke. No one cares!
Well, a few people do. A tiny, minuscule, ragtag group of nutritional rebels, scattered across the globe in small enclaves. We will shake our fists and tsk tsk. Maybe some of us will write outraged blog posts. Maybe the more elite among us will get off an editorial or two in a major newspaper.
But we’re isolated, underfunded, dismissed as quacks or orthorexics. We’ll powerlessly watch our friends on Facebook (and in real life) rave about their juice cleanses, trim their steaks, snack on fake meats made of soy and corn, buy the blue milk instead of the red milk, watch their salt, pop their statins, and feed their kids cake and sweet treats at every possible occasion.
Here’s the thing, though. These shenanigans can’t keep going indefinitely.
I am going to fight the nonsense. You are, too. There are enough of us out there who are pissed off, smart, and focused enough to win this rebellion.
So enjoy your yucks now, defenders of the status quo, because your nightmarish reign of dietary terror is nearing its sunset.
Go ahead and bask in your twisted victory of getting to shove grains and high glycemic carbs down the throats of the poor and sick and uneducated for another five years.
Chuckle to yourselves at the tears of children riven by the news that daddy won’t be coming home from the hospital, because he died of a heart attack that might have been prevented had he stopped consuming bucketloads of grains and rancid vegetable oils nearly every goddamn meal because you told him he needed to.
Revel in the happy thoughts of yet more overweight, insulin resistant children being manufactured daily by your one-size-fits-all, low-fat-high-carb, insulin-spiking diet — children who will grow up hating themselves and incorrectly blaming themselves for a neuroendocrine shitshow that’s warped their fat cells.
Go ahead. Get your giggles out.
But just know that the world is watching, and your party’s almost over.