Government Gives Bad Diet Advice

The latest nutritional thinking has zeroed in on carbohydrates as a likely cause of heart disease, the biggest killer of Americans, yet government nutrition policy recommends 6-11 servings.

What's the Latest Development?


Steven Malanga traces the history of government nutrition guidelines from 1977—the first iteration of such government standards—to the present day, where First Lade Michele Obama has taken on childhood obesity as her primary cause. The first guidelines, which were pioneered by then-Senator George McGovern and which have set the tone ever since, were published before the first government studies on the role of fat and cholesterol in heart disease were even conducted, says Malanga. He argues that the government's advice to eat carbohydrates has been a public health disaster. 

What's the Big Idea?

Challenging conventional wisdom when it comes to eating healthily has proven extremely difficult. Despite clear advances in scientific knowledge concerning what constitutes a healthy diet, government policy remains largely unchanged. Still, its efforts to encourage the population to eat well are justified, just as it has successfully campaigned to stop millions of Americans from smoking. As for its latest efforts at shaping up ailing public health: "The U.S.D.A., again with uncertain scientific warrant, is now targeting sodium as a public-health menace. ... For the general population of healthy Americans, however, that advice may be pointless or, again, even harmful."

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Wealth inequality is literally killing us. The economy should work for everyone.

This economy has us in survival mode, stressing out our bodies and minds.

Videos
  • Economic hardship is linked to physical and psychological illness, resulting in added healthcare expenses people can't afford.
  • The gig economy – think Uber, Lyft, TaskRabbit, Handy – is marketed as a 'be your own boss' revolution, but it can be dehumanizing and dangerous; every worker is disposable.
  • The cooperative business model can help reverse wealth inequality.
Keep reading Show less

The most culturally chauvinist people in Europe? Greeks, new research suggests

Meanwhile, Spaniards are the least likely to say their culture is superior to others.

Image: Pew Research Center
Strange Maps
  • Survey by Pew Research Center shows great variation in chauvinism across Europe.
  • Eight most chauvinist countries are in the east, and include Russia.
  • British much more likely than French (and slightly more likely than Germans) to say their culture is "superior" to others.
Keep reading Show less

People who engage in fat-shaming tend to score high in this personality trait

A new study explores how certain personality traits affect individuals' attitudes on obesity in others.

Pixabay
Mind & Brain
  • The study compared personality traits and obesity views among more than 3,000 mothers.
  • The results showed that the personality traits neuroticism and extraversion are linked to more negative views and behaviors related to obesity.
  • People who scored high in conscientiousness are more likely to experience "fat phobia.
Keep reading Show less