When the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) unleashed its long-awaited 2010 Dietary Guidelines on the American public on January 31, 2011, they were heralded that day as “a science-based roadmap” according to the USDA blog. This “science-based roadmap” has since morphed into the new high-grain, low-fat MyPlate introduced earlier this month that will be the new standard for nutrition over the next five years and no doubt will be trumpeted and parroted by nutritionists, physicians, and all the other so-called health “experts” purporting to care about the health of the American people. After all, the 2010 Dietary Guidelines were created by a respected and prestigious group of people who made up the 13-member Scientific Advisory Committee and influenced by testimony from Americans who have changed their lives through healthy nutrition. The credentials of the Committee members in the field of nutrition and health would insure that what would eventually become the 2010 Dietary Guidelines would be iron-clad and impeccable because they would be based on all the latest in scientific research, right? Wellllll, maybe not according to one of the prominent members of the Scientific Advisory Committee.
Joanne Slavin, PhD, RD, professor of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota, was the head of the Carbohydrate Committee and on the Protein sub-committee for the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Scientific Advisory Committee. She was invited to be one of the guest speakers at The 9th Conference on Preventative Nutrition in Tel Aviv, Israel on May 18, 2011. Perhaps Ms. Slavin felt more at liberty to express her true feelings about the final version of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines being overseas and didn’t realize that I’d have eyes and ears listening in to what she had to say. But according to my source who was in attendance to hear her speech, you could tell she had an obvious discontent with the nutritional recommendations that are now being thrust upon Americans.
There is no scientific basis for the U.S. Dietary Guidelines.
Yes, you read that right! Although Slavin was a major part of the scientific panel that went into creating the nutritional recommendations that will become the standard for what constitutes a “healthy” diet for the next five years, she feels the final version was not based on that science. My source noted that she described the review process where members of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Scientific Advisory Committee were asked to base all of their recommendations on the scientific evidence specifically related to humans, especially intervention studies. However, there was only one problem with that according to Slavin.
There are no human intervention studies.
She explained that in the end the Committee had to rely primarily on prospective cohort studies or “expert opinion” which my source said she dismissed as inferior from a scientific point of view. My source said members of the audience were “flabbergasted” to hear such a prominent member of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Scientific Advisory Committee basically dismissing the recommendations that were revealed on January 31, 2011.
Near the end of her lecture, my source said Slavin showed a revealing slide about obesity rates since the very first Dietary Guidelines were published in 1980:
Here’s the story she shared about how she came upon this information:
A friend sent me this slide. Who can tell me when obesity starts to pick up?
My source yelled out, “1980!” Slavin continued with a wink and a nod.
Yes, exactly after the publication of the Dietary Guidelines. But we all know that nobody listens to them anyway don’t we?
At the end of her lecture, Slavin complained that after all the hard work they invested in keeping the scientific integrity of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines as sound and intact as possible, they were basically written by people at the USDA whether there was any connection between the science and the published recommendations or not. When her lecture was finished, my source said they didn’t take any questions nor did they allow any remarks from the audience.
However, he noticed during her speech that she completely ignored the human intervention studies on high-fat, low-carb diets that have shown a spontaneous decrease in food intake as was shown in the Shai study published in The New England Journal Of Medicine in 2008 (ironically, conducted in Israel) as well as many others in recent years. Plus, despite her assertions that people aren’t following the Dietary Guidelines, he noted the consumption of grains, low fat milk, and vegetable oils in the United States have all been on the rise while whole milk, butter and red meat has decreased–all of which have resulted in triple healthcare costs in America since 1980 while food costs have remained constant.
Interestingly, Slavin’s lecture and attendance at this meeting in Israel was sponsored and paid for by Uniliver which has an interesting take on the role of carbohydrates in the diet as the manufacturer of high-carb breakfast cereals. Slavin herself has said “There are many healthy eating patterns, and potatoes, pasta, white bread and rice surely fit into many of these.” Leave it to my buddy Richard Nikoley from “Free The Animal” to call a spade a spade about Slavin. You gotta wonder why she would speak ill of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines when they seem to fit with her personal worldview on nutrition.
What do you think about Professor Joanne Slavin stating quite emphatically that the 2010 Dietary Guidelines are basically a scientific sham? I have been attempting to contact her via e-mail for the past month to get her to comment further on this in an interview, but I have received no response to multiple inquiries. Feel free to share your thoughts about this interesting development with her directly at email@example.com. And, of course, you can leave your feedback about this developing story in the comments section below. What’s going on here?