The Dietary Guidelines 2010- Thoughts from ASN Spokesperson Shelley McGuire
Just when nutritional scientists thought they “had it right” – they “got it better.” Kudos to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee for their hard work over the past 2 years as they toiled to make the 2010 Guidelines even better than previous versions! (Executive Summary here.) Many of the members of this Committee, including the chair (Dr. Linda Van Horn) and vice chair (Dr. Naomi Fukagawa) are longstanding members of the American Society for Nutrition, known for its excellence in scientific rigor and commitment to translating what we learn at the benchtop to public policy. If it weren't for the willingness of hard-working nutrition researchers like these, our federal guidelines would not be truly rooted in science. In many ways, the 2010 Guidelines are similar to those put forth in 2005 (eat less, eat more vegetables…). But- dig a little deeper and you'll find many important changes. For instance, there are lower salt recommendations for people with elevated risk for cardiovascular disease. There are also detailed recommendations (and appropriate cautions) concerning alcohol and fish consumption during pregnancy and lactation. Perhaps most important, this variation on the theme has a solid foundation in evidence-based, systematic reviews of the literature; and the transparency by which the report was fashioned is extraordinary. Brilliant! Clearly, as science evolves so should our policy statements. With continued commitment from ASN members to serve on these policy-making committees, we should expect no less than excellence in this regard.
What do you think?