Dear TheySaidWhat? Nation,
Nina Teicholz, author of The Big Fat Surprise, was kicked off the Food Policy Panel. Likewise, qualified proposed replacements, such as the Harvard-affiliated leader of the Joslin Diabetes Center obesity program, were also nixed for political reasons. The back story is here — a carbohydrate defender was selected instead. The replacement person in question works for an organization called — and we still have several days left in March so you know I’m not making this up — the Alliance for Potato Research and Education.
I know what it’s like to be excluded from panels due to the threats posed by one’s ideas. (In my case, the “ideas” are mathematical proofs, of course.) It may be that Teicholz’ ideas are wrong — she doesn’t believe the science supports a diet low in saturated fats and fats generally (which necessarily means substituting more carbs) — but they deserve an airing. Remember, for years we were told that dietary cholesterol was bad for us (Cerner still puts that in their HRA)…largely because debate was stifled. If we learned anything from that debacle, it’s this: the carbs-vs.-saturated fats needs to be debated.
Just like “pry, poke and prod” programs, our country’s nutrition policy — and hence, School Lunches, WIC, and everything taught by every MD, nutritionist and dietitian in the country — survives only because dissenting views (or proofs, in the case of wellness) don’t get aired.
Here is the petition. Please sign it if you would like to see carbs-vs-fats debated. Personally, I am fairly agnostic on this carbs-vs-fats debate itself. Unlike wellness vendors, I see human physiology, genetics and psychology in shades of gray. Data influences my opinion. It’s called the “scientific method.” That’s why I switched overnight from being the biggest advocate of wellness/disease management to the biggest critic — because we had all been measuring the data wrong.
In the case of fats-vs-carbs, my view would be that the jury is still out, and/or there may be an undiscovered or unappreciated “x-factor.” Or, it’s possible that some ethnicities or individuals react differently to different nutrient groups–just like they have different susceptibilities to diabetes.
So what I’m not agnostic on is this: we need a debate!