It took them 35 years for the dietary advisory committee to finally admit dietary cholesterol is irrelevant. So because they finally got it right on this one point, does that mean we should accept at face value all their other conclusions? Of course not! We should be very skeptical.
The truth is the report is a mess. It is self-contradictory with lots of sweeping generalizations unsupported by evidence. The methodology is obscure and they seem to switch the report or meta-analysis they are looking at depending on what sorts of conclusions they hope to end up with. It is worse than the 2010 report and that one was pretty bad.
In general, these reports all suffer from the following problems:
- Research questions are formulated in a way that precludes a thorough investigation of the scientific and medical literature.
- Answers to research questions are based on an incomplete body of relevant science; relevant science is frequently excluded due to the nature of the question.
- Science is inaccurately represented, interpreted, and/or summarized.
- Conclusions do not reflect the quantity and/or quality of relevant science.
5. Recommendations do not reflect the limitations, controversies, and uncertainties existing in the science
Here are two articles about it from the NY Times:
- Why isn’t a low-carb diet one of the recommended dietary patterns? There are over 20 RCT studies showing low-carb beats low-fat on every metric on every study. There is only one study comparing low-carb to Mediterranean diet (Shai et al) and the conclusion was both diets had equal merit. So why is it completely excluded as a healthy diet?
- We were a lot healthier before the DGA first came out when we ate a balanced diet of 40% carbs, 40% fat, and 20% protein. This is the same macronutrient composition as the Mediterranean diet. How can you be certain it is the Mediterranean diet itself that is the benefit and not the macronutrient mix?
- Veggie consumption is up by 23% since 1970 and fruits are up by 13%. Red meat consumption is down. But we are getting less healthy. So what evidence do you have that if we keep doing this we will magically get better?
- Why did the committee never hear from people who are qualified yet disagree with the the status quo? And when people on the Committee itself raised these objections (people asked “isn’t butter healthy”), why weren’t any scientific studies cited to justify the Committee’s positions?