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New Coalition Calls Dietary Guidelines Too Restrictive on Fat

Apr 06, 2016
Nina Teicholz, journalist and author of “The Big Fat Surprise,” spoke during the briefing.

A coalition of nutrition and chronic-disease professionals came together late last year out of concern that the Dietary Guidelines for Americans have not been able to stem the growing tide of obesity and diabetes in America. The members wanted to generate more discussion and debate around nutrition policy. The group, now called The Nutrition Coalition, launched its advocacy program yesterday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., with a briefing on “Why the Dietary Guidelines Are Not improving American Health.” 

The speakers included Nina Teicholz, a journalist and author of “The Big Fat Surprise,” a book that touts the benefits of fat in the diet and challenges current nutrition policy. Teicholz and others presented information on the current state of diet and disease trends, as well as research areas that are inconsistent with the limits placed on saturated fat and the level of carbohydrates promoted in the Guidelines. The coalition clearly stated that it is not funded by any industry and not promoting any particular diet, but the members believe that the process used to develop the Dietary Guidelines is flawed. 

The speakers mentioned declines in whole-fat milk consumption as an example of how U.S. dietary patterns have changed in response to the Dietary Guidelines’ recommendation to drink low-fat or nonfat milk. They added that this is just one example of how the Guidelines are changing U.S. consumption patterns but failing to stem rising obesity rates. 

Members of the Nutrition Coalition’s Scientific Advisory Council include Cheryl Achterberg, dean of The Ohio State University College of Education and Human Ecology and member of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, and Sarah Hallberg, DO, medical director of the Indiana University-Arnett Health Medical Weight Loss Program. A list of all council members is available here.

Ruth Saunders, IDFA vice president of policy and legislative affairs, and Audra Kruse, IDFA communications specialist, attended the briefing. IDFA is also involved in legislative efforts to reform the process used for updating the Dietary Guidelines.

For more information, contact Saunders at

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