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Primum non nocere

First, do no harm

Federal agencies and health advocacy organizations charged with promoting public health have caused enormous harm.

The Institute of Medicine failed to consider the obesity and diabetes epidemics when it “set” its Recommended Daily Allowance of carbohydrate at 130g. It based this recommendation on how much carbohydrate is needed for the brain to function, while it acknowledged that it had no basis for determining that any of this needs to come from exogenous carbohydrate and that it had no basis to establish an optimal amount of carbohydrate. This RDA is cited by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) for their recommendations that diabetics eat loads of carbs, in spite of the fact that IoM did not consider the special dietary needs of diabetics in “setting” its carbohydrate RDA.

The National Institutes of Health have repeatedly denied proposals for low carb studies, in spite of the consistently favorable results from independent low carb trials.

The USDA/HHS Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) failed to seriously consider numerous low carb comments and testimony, instead simply admonishing us to eat even less saturated fat.

Health advocacy organizations like ADA, AND and the American Heart Association (AHA) continue to castigate fat, and saturated fat in particular, while inexplicably telling us to eat more carbohydrates. The ADA now says that low carb diets are allowable for losing weight up to two years, but that it doesn’t have data to show that they can be used for long periods of time to manage blood glucose. What has the ADA has been doing for the past 72 years – isn’t carb restriction the obvious treatment for carb intolerance?

These colossal blunders have led to ever-growing epidemics of obesity and diabetes and to soaring health care costs. This has got to change.

Where to start? – The perpetrators of the low fat myth claim that there hasn’t been enough data collected for a long enough period to support low carb diets. So help us collect the data! Ask your senators and congressman to mandate a long-term low carb vs. low fat study that has the active participation of experts on both sides. The Legislative page has material to help you work with your legislators.

Also, let’s see what it will take to get IoM to change its carbohydrate RDA. At a minimum, the IoM should do no harm – it would have been far better for it to have NO RDA rather than the baseless RDA it “set”.

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