The USDA: In Bed with Breakfast Cereal

Good article by Jessie Inchauspe… Up to a year ago when I was a couple of waist sizes larger, I often enjoyed tasty “heart healthy” breakfast cereals. The post does not mention that the USDA has a “strategic alliance” with a group called the Grain Chain. The Grain Chain includes American Bakers Association, Wheat Food Council, Grains Food Foundation, National Pasta Association, USA Rice Federation, General Mills, and Kellogg’s. Considering this, I think grains will continue to make up at least a quarter of the USDA’s MyPlate icon for a few more years. Before then, there will probably be other countries that get the root cause of the metabolic syndrome epidemic figured out and take the lead on nutrition recommendations.

By the way, the period for submitting comments to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee has been extended to May 8, 2015. I am getting some comments ready for them.

HEALTH HACKING

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is responsible for publishing Dietary Guidelines for Americans every 5 years. These serve as the basis for school lunch programs, nutritional recommendations in hospitals, and are held as the social norm for what is considered healthy eating. You can find the previous USDA reports (1995 to 2005) here, and the current 2010 one here.

If the guidelines had our best interest at heart, they would reflect the latest nutritional research and objectively inform us of the best possible diet to fend off chronic disease and reverse the rise of metabolic syndrome.
Unfortunately, that’s not entirely the case. The guidelines are more a reflection of political forces and a tool to market US-made food products rather than a guide to better the health of Americans. Following on last week’s article, I’d like to look at the long-standing relationship between the USDA and…

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