For a Healthier America
We Need U.S. Dietary Guidelines Based on Sound Scientific Evidence

Everyone Is Invited to Support the Petition Below

We've Signed.
Join us to support real food that will restore good health to America.

Sarah Hallberg
Medical Director, Founder

Medically Supervised Weight Loss Clinic
Indiana University Health Arnett

Sean Bourke

Chief Medical Officer

Bay Area, CA

Charles Cavo

Medical Director

Pounds Transformation
West Hartford, CT

Mark Cucuzzella

Professor, Family Medicine

West Virginia University

How Can We Make Our Guidelines Healthier?

Here Are 11 Evidence-Based Reforms That Will Help Get Our Health Back on Track

Undertake a communications campaign to let Americans know that the low-fat diet is no longer officially recommended

Since 2015, the DGAs have quietly dropped their “low-fat diet recommendation, acknowledging that this diet is “associated with dyslipidemia” (see page 338)—meaning heart disease. Yet the government has yet to announce this important change to the public.

Ease or lift caps on saturated fats

At least 14 meta-analyses and systematic reviews of the scientific literature now conclude that saturated fats are not associated with heart disease and/or have no effect on cardiovascular mortality. Saturated fats are part of many natural, unprocessed foods, such as meat and dairy, that contain needed nutrients.

Offer low-carbohydrate diets as a viable option for fighting chronic disease

Expert committees for the guidelines have never systematically reviewed the large body of research on low-carbohydrate diets, which now amounts to more than 70 clinical trials on altogether thousands of people, including two-year trials considered long enough to reveal any harmful side effects. These trials demonstrate the safety and efficacy of this diet for combating obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

Offer a meaningful diversity of diets

Although the DGAs now feature three recommended “Dietary Patterns” – “US-style,” Mediterranean, and vegetarian — the current guidelines remain a one-size-fits-all diet, which is not appropriate for a general population in which nutritional needs vary by age, genetics, gender, race, and degree of disease state.

Make the DGA diets nutritionally sufficient, with nutrients coming from whole foods, not artificially fortified refined grains

The current recommend DGA diets that are deficient in potassium, vitamin D, vitamin E, and choline, according to the DGAs’ own expert report. Further, to the extent that the DGA diets are nutritionally sufficient, they depend heavily on the 3-5 recommended daily servings of artificially fortified refined grains, which are high in refined carbohydrates and are not a natural source for these nutrients.

Stop telling Americans to do aerobic exercise for weight loss

The most comprehensive expert review of data on exercise, published in 2008 by US Department of Health and Human Services and cited by the DGAs to inform its recommendation on exercise, concluded that aerobic exercise is ineffective for weight loss and only marginally effective for weight maintenance.

(Although exercise is an important part of overall health and well-being.)

Stop recommending “lower is better” on salt

Three peer-reviewed studies in major journals in addition to a 2013 report by the Institute of Medicine all conclude that in addition to an upper limit on sodium consumption there should also be a lower limit, below which an increased risk of cardiovascular death is seen.

Stop telling the public that reaching and maintaining a healthy weight requires little more than choosing “an appropriate calorie level”

The caloriein-calorie-out (“energy balance”) model of obesity — which asserts that people get fat because they eat too much and exercise too little — oversimplifies the issue. Insulin and other hormones are among other factors also involved in determining weight.

Stop recommending vegetable oils for health

Large, government-funded controlled clinical trials on more than 50,000 people have demonstrated that replacing saturated fats with polyunsaturated vegetable oils such as soybean and corn oil (but not olive oil), does not reduce cardiovascular mortality and in quite a few trials, caused an increase in death rates from cancer and suicides.

Recommend regular meat and milk rather than the low-fat/lean versions

There are no clinical-trial data showing that “lean meat” or “low-fat” dairy are better for health than the more natural versions of these foods. Nor are there rigorous, clinical trial data showing any ill effects of red or processed meats.

Don’t issue guidelines based on weak, observational data

Experts developing the guidelines have, in many cases, issued recommendations based on weak, observational data, while ignoring relevant clinical trial data and improperly prioritizing observational findings. The guidelines should be based on a complete, comprehensive review of the most rigorous (randomized, controlled clinical trial) data available, and on subjects for which this data is lacking, the guidelines should remain silent.

Show Your Support by Signing Our Petition

UPDATE: 5,899 have signed so far

Add your name! This petition will be sent to the secretaries of the US Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Agriculture (USDA), which are jointly responsible for the Dietary Guidelines. With 100,000 signatures, we can also send the petition to the White House–and are entitled to a response.

Don’t want to sign but would like to stay in touch? Sign up for our newsletter here.

Copyright © 2017-2021