Is it any wonder that America's obesity
epidemic continues to expand?
Is it any wonder that heart disease, diabetes,
asthma, diabetes, cancer and osteoporosis rates
continue to soar?
It's been ten years since I testified before the
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Dietary Guidelines Committee. This is the U.S
government group which constructs America's
famed "Food Pyramid."
On that day, twenty-seven persons testified.
Representatives from a cross-section of America
symbolized the types of pressure and influence
which ultimately guide government decisions.
Note that 11 of the 27 comments (40%) endorse
the consumption of sugar for good health and
oppose limiting sugar intake.
Here are the best comments from each of the
1) SALT INSTITUTE - Dick Hanneman "We're very
disappointed to have to oppose the dietary
2) SUGAR ASSOCIATION - Richard Keelor "All recent
reviews of the scientific literature...have once
again exonerated sugars from having any direct
link to chronic disease including obesity."
3) DAIRY EDUCATION BOARD - Robert Cohen
(My transcript in tomorrow's Notmilk Letter.
4) PHYSICIANS COMMITTEE FOR RESPONSIBLE MEDICINE -
Neal Barnard "There is no scientific reason to
insist on the inclusion of cow's milk in
5) NATIONAL FOOD PROCESSORS - Regina Hildwine "The
modification of the main message recommending a diet
low in saturated fat and cholesterol and moderate
in total fat is well supported by recent scientific
6) NATIONAL CONFECTIONERS ASSOCIATION - Larry Graham
"There is little evidence that diets high in total
sugars are associated with obesity...Candy adds to
the pleasure of life. Candy consumed in moderation
can be a part of an active and healthy lifestyle."
7) PRODUCE FOUNDATION - Elizabeth Pivonka "Fruits
and vegetables are the rare exception to the less
is more rule. In the case of fruits and vegetables,
the more is better."
8) HUMAN NUTRITION INSTITUTE - Suzie Harris "Given
that dental caries in the United States is declining,
one cannot conclude a more restrictive sugar message
is warranted... Children like to drink flavored milks
and eat flavored yogurts..."
9) PRODUCE MARKETING ASSOCIATION - Kathy Means "Your
advice to make fruits, vegetables and greens the
foundation for healthy living bears repetition,
because Americans are not eating enough fresh fruits
10) NATIONAL SOFT DRINK FOUNDATION - Richard Adamson
"At four calories per gram, the same caloric density
as protein and other carbohydrates, why would sugars
be lampooned for their contribution to obesity as if
there were some unique property to sugars not shared
by other macronutrients?"
11) CENTER FOR SCIENCE IN PUBLIC INTEREST - Michael
Jacobson "Drink your soda pop, eat your candy as your
previous speakers have emphasized, but limit yourself."
12) NATIONAL DAIRY COUNCIL - Suzanne Craig "Calcium-
fortified foods from other food groups should not be
included in the milk, yogurt and cheese group."
13) UNITED FRESH FRUIT AND VEGETABLE ASSN. - Donna
Dennis "Fruits and vegetables are naturally low in
fat and calories and provide essential vitamins
and minerals, fiber and other substances important
for good health."
14) SLOAN KETTERING CANCER CENTER - Barbara Levine
"Americans are not drinking enough water. Water,
just simple water, is the best choice for proper
15) INTERNATIONAL FOOD INFORMATION COUNCIL - Dave
Schmidt "Is there adequate science to justify a
shift from moderate sugars to limit sugars with
respect to nutrient adequacy or chronic disease?"
16) NATIONAL FLUID MILK PROCESSORS - Natalie Webb
"One group in particular has been attacking dairy
products as inappropriate for minorities. We urge
USDA and HHS not to be swayed by this unscientific,
sensational, and very harmful information."
17) NORTH AMERICAN MILLERS ASSOC. - Betsy Faga
"There is no data available to show that moderate
consumption of sugars has any deleterious effects
to consumers, and such a recommendation would impact
foods such as fortified fruit juices and cereals... "
18) NATIONAL CATTLEMAN'S BEEF ASSN. - Mary Young
"Advice to use plant foods as the foundation of
meals or to build your eating pattern on a variety
of plant foods... is dietary advice that can be
potentially misinterpreted by consumers."
19) GEORGETOWN UNIV. CTR. FOR FOOD & NUTRITION -
Maureen Storey "There is no scientific evidence
that consumption of sugar per se has a negative
effect on health..."
20) NATIONAL COUNCIL ON ALCOHOLISM "We urge you
to strengthen the wording relating to the
potential health risks for alcoholics."
21) AMERICAN SUGAR CANE LEAGUE - Dean Grovois
"About 420,000 people in this country work in
sugar production... American agriculture is in
a state of crisis... The price of raw sugar has
fallen...We are teetering on the edge of a
terrible disaster... . Your decision will have
an affect on us."
22) AMERICAN SUGAR BEET GROWERS - Ray Van
Driessche "Suggesting a direct relationship
between sugar and obesity is not sound science...
it is hypocrisy."
23) PEOPLE FOR ETHICAL TREATMENT OF ANIMALS -
Miyun Park "The guidelines should explicitly
endorse vegetarianism as a healthy lifestyle."
24) APPEARING FOR HERSELF - Fran Hissler "A milk-
free diet is recommended. Allergies to food
proteins, most commonly cow milk proteins, has
been identified... "
25) GROCERY MANUFACTURERS OF AMERICA - Lisa Katic
"GMA strongly opposes the new recommendation on
limiting the intake of sugar... "
26) AMERICAN DIETETIC ASSOCIATION - Elizabeth
Johnson "The American Dietetic Association feels
strongly that variety should remain the
cornerstone of the guidelines."
27) CONNECTICUT ELDERLY FOOD PROGRAM - Douglas
Buck "I'm not in favor of being a vegetarian,
however, heavy meat eaters would benefit from
eating less. And those who eat less meat have
less ischemic heart disease than regular meat
eaters. Perhaps more could be said in the
dietary guidelines about the benefits of
limiting red meat and poultry consumption."
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