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February 25th 08, 05:59 AM
A fascinating article in the current American Journal of Public Health
examines the value of dietary guidelines and the evidence supporting
them. In particular the critique is concerned about the potential ill
effects of dietary changes when the public may believe they are fully
informed. We should be particularly careful about emulating the public
health intervention on eliminating trans fats that has been enacted in
New York City. While data may be fair on the value of reducing fats to
prevent cardiovascular disease, there is almost no data on ill effects
from the elimination of trans fats. Many of the dietary guidelines are
based in flimsy evidence with politics playing a major role. We need
to be very careful about trying to change behavior by legislation,
without much better data than that currently available. The
accompanying article about the critique, by Woolf & Nestle should also
be read, as well as the author's response to Woolf & Marantz.

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