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  #1   ^
Old Sat, May-30-20, 05:41
JEY100's Avatar
JEY100 JEY100 is offline
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Default Low Carb Action Network...Time to write Congress

Also mentioned in Nina Teicholz's essay today, The DGAC has excluded all but one LC study! https://forum.lowcarber.org/showthread.php?t=484057

It is time to write your senators and representative. The Low Carb Action Network has an easy way to do this on its website, plus add your own personalization, here:

https://lowcarbaction.org/take-action

Quote:
In an astonishing development, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) was recently found to have excluded nearly every study on low-carb diets from the scientific reviews that will inform the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). The only exception was a single low-carb study, by a member of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), the expert group overseeing these reviews. It appears, in fact, that the exclusion criteria created by USDA officials together with this committee may have been designed with the specific intent of excluding these studies.

This is shocking and unacceptable.

Excluding evidence is unscientific and contrary to the Congressional mandate for the Dietary Guidelines, which states that the guidelines must use the “scientific and medical knowledge which is current at the time the report is prepared.”

For the last set of guidelines, in 2015, the expert committee conducted a formal review of low-carb diets but did not publish its findings, effectively burying the science. Is it possible the 2020 committee will also ignore and bury the science?

We cannot let this happen.

Now is the time to contact your Members of Congress to remind them that the Dietary Guidelines process is Congressionally mandated to review the ‘best and most current science.’ The current exclusion of science and lack of transparency in the 2020 process are not only unacceptable but do a disservice to sound policy and all Americans. A delay of the expert report is also warranted so that the Committee can fix these serious issues.



Their base letter reads as follows (Edited shorter with your personalization, but all the info is here to use):



Quote:
I am writing to raise concerns about the process for the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), which touch every aspect of health and nutrition in America. After the final public meeting of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee in March, I have serious concerns that this committee is excluding studies on a number of nutritional issues, most notably, numerous clinical trials on low-carbohydrate diets.

The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture was recently found to have excluded nearly every study on low-carb diets from the scientific reviews that will inform the 2020 DGA. The only exception was a single low-carb study, by a member of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), the expert group overseeing these reviews. It appears, in fact, that the exclusion criteria created by USDA officials together with this committee may have been designed with the specific intent of excluding these studies.

This is shocking and unacceptable.

The scientific reviews demonstrate extreme bias against low carbohydrate diets. The facts supporting this statement are:

1. Of the 52 low-carb studies that the Low-Carb Action Network formally submitted to the Committee via public comment, 11 could not be found on either the inclusion or exclusion lists. These studies were simply ignored.

2. The USDA's exclusion criteria appear to have be written with the specific intent of excluding the entire scientific literature on low-carb diets.

3. "Weight loss" was part of the exclusion criteria for all diets. How can this exclusion be possible when obesity is such an enormous problem in America, and one of the Guidelines' stated aims is to help people achieve a healthy weight?

4. The DGAC's Subcommittee on Dietary Patterns, which oversaw the reviews of low-carb studies, excluded any that were of less than 12 weeks duration. This 12-week standard was uniquely strict and inconsistent with the more lax standards applied by other Subcommittees.

5. The Subcommittee on Dietary Patterns used inconsistent standards even within its own reviews.

As you know, the Guidelines are highly influential, from the advice doctors and nurses share with patients, to the food served in hospitals, schools and military mess halls, to the FDA-approved Nutrition Facts Label, and even to the food purchase options allowed under subsidized nutrition programs like SNAP.

The egregious lack of rigor and apparent outright bias leave this Committee and its conclusions open to scientific ridicule.

Given Congressional oversight of the DGA process, I urge you to contact Secretary of Agriculture Perdue and ask him to review the process that the DGA Advisory Committee is following, including its exclusion of a vast quantity of scientific evidence on low-carb diets as well as the lack of any public transparency regarding these scientific recommendations. There is an obvious need for an additional meeting of the DGAC at which the public could ask questions regarding these issues. A delay of the expert report is also warranted so that the Committee can fix the serious issues cited above.

COVID-19 has highlighted now more than ever the importance of diet-related diseases. We need a nutrition policy that is evidence-based in order to fight these conditions which afflict so many Americans.
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  #2   ^
Old Sat, May-30-20, 12:34
Benay's Avatar
Benay Benay is offline
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How can they get away with this blatant discrimination?
I ask in my frustration that science can be treated so cavalierly
But who am I
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  #3   ^
Old Sat, May-30-20, 13:38
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thud123 thud123 is offline
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"Science" is what was practiced, by both 'sides", during the studies. What you're seeing here so good old fashion, delicious, Politics - It's a game, and both sides want to win.
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  #4   ^
Old Sat, May-30-20, 14:27
Grav Grav is offline
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I've been independently investigating this very issue for myself lately, as the subject of a written assignment for my current studies.

What I've personally found is that there have definitely been differences between the DGAC's review processes for 2020 vs 2015. The end results for low carb in 2020 don't look to be much different than for 2015, but the reasons for their exclusion are definitely different this time around.

For example, in 2015 the review committee carried out a number of searches across various databases of literature. The dietary patterns that they searched for in their review on body weight/obesity were primarily Mediterranean, DASH, vegan and vegetarian, with additional searches for "prudent", "Western" and "plant based" diets also appearing. So, little wonder that they couldn't find anything for low carb in 2015; they never even searched for low carb in the first place. This was actually the biggest shock to me in my own research, that as bad as the 2020 review is turning out to be, their internal process for 2015 was actually even worse.

In 2020 meanwhile, the list of dietary patterns for which the committee searched for their review on body weight/obesity, got a lot longer: this time they searched for Mediterranean, DASH, "prudent", paleolithic, vegetarian, vegan, plant based, "Western", "healthy", low carbohydrate, high carbohydrate, ketogenic, low fat, high fat, high protein and low sodium. So at least this time they actually returned a bunch of low carb studies from their initial searches.

But this time, practically all of those studies were excluded on the basis of some interesting eligibility criteria. For example, for studies of diets based on macronutrient distribution (such as low carb), one criteria is that all three macronutrients be defined in the study. Some of the individual studies I looked at specified the amount of carbs and fat for example, but not protein, so the study is excluded. Even though the protein could still be calculated by the reader as being a logical subtraction of the carbs + fat.

I'm still putting the finishing touches on my own course assignment since it's not due for several more weeks, but from what I've put together to this point, LCAN is right on the button here. When it comes to low carb acceptance in the guidelines, the specific nature of the barriers this time around may have changed, but they're still there nonetheless.

Last edited by Grav : Sat, May-30-20 at 19:23.
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  #5   ^
Old Sat, May-30-20, 14:44
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JEY100 JEY100 is offline
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Default

"Weight loss" was part of the exclusion criteria for all diets. How can this exclusion be possible when obesity is such an enormous problem in America, and one of the Guidelines' stated aims is to help people achieve a healthy weight?. Seriously??


Even at my advanced age, I still think writing to my representatives means something, though the only good result was having a guided tour of Congress with my family. All my previous letters about low carb, and nominations for the DGAC committee were for naught. Understanding today is Saturday, the letters to my current three reps are unanswered, but the one to Cal Cunningham, the challenger to a current senator, was obviously read and promises consideration. So you never know!
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  #6   ^
Old Wed, Jun-03-20, 11:14
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Kristine Kristine is offline
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Member(s) of USDA Committee Blow Whistle on Serious Flaws in Dietary Guidelines Process

Quote:
One or more the member(s) from inside the DGAC has come forward with allegations reflecting a process that continues to be flawed. These concerns include.

Lack of time to finish the scientific reviews

Reviews deleted or added by DGAC without public notice

Lack of consistent standards across DGAC Subcommittees

Lack of time for USDA to adopt reforms mandated by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Inconsistent evaluation of scientific evidence

Exclusion of major bodies of evidence, including all the studies on weight loss and virtually all studies on low-carbohydrate diets

Restricted communication among members of the DGAC

Read the full list in the letter to USDA-HHS.


Nina's letter to the secretaries appears in the link at the end. They've put a lot of work into this, and I'm afraid it'll end up being for naught.
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  #7   ^
Old Thu, Jun-04-20, 08:46
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GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
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I agree with Thud. It's politics, and political efforts try to hide behind science when it's convenient and supports the political agenda. Using some "science" and excluding some inconvenient science is the game being played with many of today's issues, and the "anointed," who believe they know better than most, justify these actions because only they know the many will benefit. The most devious actions in the DGA issue are based on inaccurate labels and definitions such as how low carb is defined. Many studies show how ineffective a low carb WOE is while using many more carbs in studies than anyone following a low carb approach would ever consume. No wonder we have many inconclusive results that can't separate a low carb WOE from the rest. Where would we be without these "experts?"
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  #8   ^
Old Thu, Jun-04-20, 10:10
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JEY100 JEY100 is offline
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Default

Much to my cynical surprise, the senator in a close race in our "battleground" state answered me today (well his staff did) They seemed to understand the issue and referred me to the government site that takes comments, the deadline on the Dietary Guidelines now extended to June 10th.
https://beta.regulations.gov/docume...-2019-0001-6698

Skimming a few of the 235 comments received in the past 3 days, there are multiple requests for a completely plant based diet and removing all dairy from the guidelines with an avalanche from the Lactose malabsorption group.

Last edited by JEY100 : Thu, Jun-04-20 at 10:36.
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  #9   ^
Old Wed, Jun-17-20, 14:59
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Kristine Kristine is offline
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Reading Nina Teicholz's twitter feed today is just depressing. The draft of the guidelines sounds like an absolute (shoot)show.
Quote:
Conclusions on children: "strong" evidence that children should reduce sat fat AND cholesterol (even tho no finding on cholesterol for adults), based on 2 trials--one on infants in Finland and another on children with abnormally high cholesterol, so not generalizable populations

The saturated fat group probably needs a label: sponsored by Unilever, Bunge, ADM Monsanto and other vegetable-oil ingredient manufacturers... How else could you suggest highly industrialized seed oils over natural fats?

Oh, hey folks. We're back to cholesterol caps! "Because humans have no need for dietary cholesterol," even though cholesterol is essential for every single cell in the body and esp. important for hormones.

Going backwards... Who is responsible here? The dark ages.

Recommend continuing 10% cap on sat fats for adults and children. No consideration of other members of the committee saying how it is impossible to meet nutrient targets without more animal foods--but these foods are limited by sat fats. Is no one talking to each other?

Now they are contradicting themselves and using 7-8% of calories as sat fat. So they've snuck it down lower. And this will be what's used for children in schools, the elderly and other disadvantaged, captive populations--who will be further disadvantaged.
As Dr Eades said many times, "Jesus wept."

(ETA: )


Last edited by Kristine : Wed, Jun-17-20 at 17:42.
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  #10   ^
Old Wed, Jun-17-20, 15:44
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JEY100 JEY100 is offline
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This makes me sick. New article from NYT. EDIT: below...

Scientific Panel on New Dietary Guidelines Draws Criticism from Health Advocates

More than half the members of a panel considering changes to the nation’s blueprint for healthy eating have ties to the food industry.

Quote:
Are children who consume prodigious amounts of sugary drinks at higher risk for cardiovascular disease? Can a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and legumes reduce the risk of hip fractures in older adults? Should sweetened yogurts be a part of a healthy diet for toddlers making their first foray into solid food?

These and other nutrition-related questions will be addressed on Wednesday when a panel of 20 nutrition scientists, meeting publicly by videoconference, discusses suggested changes to the federal government's Dietary Guidelines for Americans, recommendations that directly impact the eating habits of millions of people through food stamp policies, school lunch menus and the product formulations embraced by food manufacturers. The guidelines, updated every five years by the Department of Agriculture and Department of Health and Human Services, have long prompted jousting among nutrition advocates and food industry interests, like pork producers and soda companies, seeking to influence the final document. But the process this year is especially fraught, given the Trump administration’s skepticism of science and its well-established deference to corporate interests.

More than half of this year’s panel has ties to the food industry, and the scientists leading newly created subcommittees on pregnant women, lactating mothers and toddlers have ties to the baby food industry.

Some groups have criticized federal officials for omitting questions about red meat and salt consumption from the 80 diet-related questions that panel members were charged with answering. And government watchdog groups have questioned the panel’s objectivity.


“Amid a pandemic made worse by diet-related disease that’s hitting black and Indigenous communities hardest, junk food corporations should be paying for their abuses, not stacking scientific panels and official drafting committees,” said Ashka Naik, the research director at the advocacy group Corporate Accountability.

In a statement, the Department of Agriculture said panel members were nominated by the public and that those chosen were required to submit financial disclosure forms that were reviewed by agency staff members for possible conflicts of interest. The entire process, it noted, has garnered 62,000 public comments.

“Throughout the entire 2020-2025 dietary guidelines process, we have relied on the nation’s leading scientists and dietary experts to inform our development of science-based guidelines and have taken numerous steps to promote transparency, integrity, and public involvement,” Pam Miller, the agency’s Food and Nutrition Service Administrator, said in the statement.

The final guidelines, scheduled for release later this year, shape federal food programs in schools, prisons and military bases that sustain one in four Americans.

The coronavirus pandemic has fueled a greater sense of urgency over the guidelines, given emerging research suggesting that people with diet-related illnesses like Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease have a significantly higher risk of developing serious complications from Covid-19.

Such diseases, like Covid-19 itself, have struck African-American and Hispanic communities particularly hard. The members of the nutrition panel, however, are almost all white.

“People of color are already disproportionately impacted by chronic diseases but Covid-19 has really placed a magnifying glass on the health disparities that make us more vulnerable to the pandemic,” said Dr. Yolandra Hancock, a pediatrician and obesity expert at George Washington University’s Milken Institute of Public Health. “My concern is that these guidelines, heavily influenced by the food and beverage industry, will dictate what kinds of food are offered at schools and set the eating habits of children, particularly black and brown children, for the rest of their lives.”

Although the federal government has expanded the size of the scientific advisory panel, increased opportunities for public input and sought to introduce greater transparency into the workings of the panel by livestreaming its meetings, a wide array of critics has been attacking this year’s process as deeply flawed.

One reason is the panel’s recommendations are ultimately suggestions that can be discarded by agency staff who draw up the guidelines. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, who spent much of his career in the agribusiness sector, has the ultimate say over the final content.

Once the advisory panel makes their recommendation, it goes into a black box, where there is the potential for undue political influence,” said Sarah Reinhardt, a health analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

The fears that politics could overshadow science are not entirely unfounded. In 2018, Secretary Perdue sought to ease Obama-era nutrition standards for sodium and whole grains in school lunch programs, a move that infuriated nutritionist experts. In April, a federal judge struck down those roll backs, saying they violated Congressional procedures for creating new regulations. In 2017, Mr. Perdue, citing the need for improved customer service, merged two federal nutrition programs, a move health advocates said would compromise the agency’s scientific integrity and harm efforts to address the nation’s crisis of diet-related illnesses.

President Trump, who regularly broadcasts his fondness for fast food, has shown little interest in the nation’s nutritional well being.

Complaints about industry influence did not begin with the Trump administration. Many nutrition experts were disappointed with the 2015 guidelines issued during the Obama administration, which did not explicitly urge Americans to eat less meat and eliminated longstanding limits on dietary cholesterol, changes that pleased the nation’s egg and beef producers.

Then there was the issue of sustainability. The panel that year had for the first time addressed the impact of American eating habits on climate change and the environment, but the section was omitted from the final report following an outcry from the livestock industry unhappy over the panel’s suggestion that a plant-based diet was both healthier and more sustainable.

This year, federal officials excised any discussion of sustainability.

“This year’s committee has really been hamstrung from the beginning,” said Stephanie Feldstein, the population and sustainability director at the Center for Biological Diversity.

Jessi Silverman, a policy associate at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, said she was especially concerned with draft comments from the panel suggesting there was limited evidence about the role of sugary beverages in weight gain. “We think that the evidence is strong,” she said. “We don’t want to see any weakening of the advice around added sugars and sugary beverages.”

Nina Teicholz, executive director of The Nutrition Coalition, who has championed the health benefits of diets low in carbohydrates and high in fat, said the panel had largely overlooked recent studies, some of them controversial, that question longstanding admonitions against consuming excess saturated fats.

She said she feared the agency would continue to promote patterns of eating that are overly reliant on grains and other carbohydrates.

“It’s pretty self evident that the guidelines have done nothing to prevent our country’s epidemics of obesity and diabetes,” she said.

Then there is the matter of conflicts of interest. More than half the advisory panel members this year have ties to the International Life Sciences Institute, an industry group largely supported by agribusiness, food and pharmaceutical companies. The group, created by a Coca-Cola executive four decades ago, has long been accused by the World Health Organization and others of trying to undermine public health recommendations to advance the interests of its corporate members.

In a report issued in April, Corporate Accountability noted that the two newly created subcommittees considering dietary issues for pregnant and lactating women and children under 24 months were led by scientists who have worked for Danone, Gerber and other makers of toddler food products.

Marion Nestle, a nutrition expert at New York University who served on the advisory panel in 1995, said the large number of experts with industry ties reflected the dearth of public funding for nutrition science, which forces many researchers to accept funding from food companies and industry associations. “Anyone who thinks it’s not OK to accept corporate money would never get appointed to that committee,” she said. “That’s considered so biased that you’re too biased to function.”

Despite concerns about this year’s process, Ms. Nestle said she believed the new guidelines would likely resemble the recommendations that were issued five years ago. The bigger issue, she said, is that most Americans will find the guidelines hard to decipher and unsure how to apply them to their own eating habits.

“Every five years, the guidelines get longer and more complicated,” she said. “In my view, the advice is the same: Eat your vegetables don’t gain too much weight and avoid junk foods with a lot of salt, sugar and saturated fat.”


https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/17/...guidelines.html

Last edited by JEY100 : Thu, Jun-18-20 at 09:42.
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  #11   ^
Old Thu, Jun-18-20, 09:37
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JEY100 JEY100 is offline
To Good Health!
Posts: 11,479
 
Plan: Keto/DrWestman/IF/DrFung
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Added the NYT article above.


Nearly 240 doctors urge delay of Dietary Guidelines.

https://www.nutritioncoalition.us/n...idelines-report


Three posts on this topic, June 15, 16, 17 at Nutrition Coalition:
https://www.nutritioncoalition.us/
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  #12   ^
Old Thu, Jun-18-20, 12:35
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Merpig Merpig is offline
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Well one good thing for our family with the Covid lockdown - since my son's death two years ago (and he was the family breadwinner) life has changed for my daughter-in-law and grandkids. She has not gone back to work as the kids are all young - but they get by on Social Security Survivor's Benefits, as well as a small monthly payout from my son's life insurance policy. But of course they all lost their health insurance with his death. Their income is low enough now that all the kids qualify for Medicaid and my DiL for something called Medicaid Share.

And anyway, because they are on Medicaid the kids all qualified for the free lunch program at school. Since it was a freebie she had all the kids doing it, but the food was not what she would have chosen - very carby as you would expect, fat-free milk, etc (she only gives them organic whole milk at home), but she just tried to make up for it at the other meals.

But with the Covid lockdown the kids were not in school to get their free lunches, so just recently families were sent a debit card pre-loaded with money to buy food to make up for the lost lunches! My DiL got a card loaded with $940 and that should buy a lot of far healthier groceries. Better than what they would get in school! She invited me over for dinner last night and this is what we ate. Definitely better than the current guidelines. My son was a fanatic about good nutrition and while my DiL is a bit more lax than he was she generally has quite healthy choices.

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  #13   ^
Old Fri, Jun-19-20, 07:50
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WereBear WereBear is offline
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Signed up and ready for action.
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