In response to the September 2017 National Academies report, Oldways announces support for a transparent, evidence-based process for writing the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
BOSTON, MA, SEPTEMBER 22, 2017
In response to two reports from National Academies, Oldways, a 501(c)3 educational nonproﬁt dedicated to improving health through traditional dietary models, voiced its support for a transparent, evidence-based process for writing the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
The statement comes in response to the National Academies’ recently released reports, Redesigning the Process for Establishing the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (September 2017) and Optimizing the Process for Establishing the Dietary Guidelines for Americans: The Selection Process (February 2017).
“We wholeheartedly support National Academies’ suggestions to enhance transparency, manage biases, and promote sound science when establishing the guidelines,” said Kelly Toups, a registered dietitian and the director of nutrition at Oldways. “We also feel it’s important to clarify that the widespread critiques of the guidelines do not translate to a critique of the Dietary Guidelines Scientiﬁc Advisory Committee.”
The Dietary Guidelines Scientiﬁc Advisory Committee’s 2015 report was met with widespread support from those immersed in nutrition research, as well as respected organizations including the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the National WIC Association, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Scientists from vegan to Paleo, and from low-fat to Mediterranean, pushed aside personal interests and lent strong, collective support to the DGSAC report at Oldways’ Finding Common Ground conference.
The National Academies reports devote numerous pages to the need for the committee to be free of bias, but Oldways emphasizes that it is the translation from science to policy that deserves the most scrutiny.
“Although the committee report is intended to serve as the scientiﬁc basis for the guidelines, the translation from the committee report to the guidelines has repeatedly watered down the integrity of the ﬁnal report,” said Sara Baer-Sinnott, president of Oldways. “The policy writers, more so than the scientists, are subject to the most bias from industry stakeholders.”
Ultimately, Oldways concurs with the National Academies that any omission or partial acceptance of the conclusions in the committee report must be accompanied by a clear explanation as to why.
“We hope that the committee continues to practice a balanced, evidence-based approach to scientiﬁc review, and that the guidelines will more closely align with the recommendations of the committee in the future,” said Toups.
The National Academies report can be found here: http://nationalacademies.org/hmd/Reports/2017/redesigning-the-process-for-establishing-the-dietary-guidelines-for-americans.aspx
Oldways is a nonproﬁt organization dedicated to improving public health through traditional dietary models. They oﬀer educational programs and recipes based on cultural heritage, the goodness of whole grains, and the practices of traditional cheese-making. Find out more at http://www.oldwayspt.org.
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