, 19 tweets, 9 min read Read on Twitter
1/19 What everyone needs to know about the red meat consumption guidelines published this week. usatoday.com/story/news/hea…
2/19 For nearly five years, there has been a growing chorus of scientists, doctors, patients, policy makers, journalists & public health experts questioning the quality of official (and unofficial) diet/nutrition advice against the backdrop of an escalating public health crisis.
3/19 73% of Americans are overweight/obese costing $1.7 trillion annually. 52% of Americans have pre-diabetes/diabetes costing $400 billion annually. 60% of Americans have one or more chronic diseases. Diet-driven disease costs $3 trillion annually or 16% of GDP.
4/19 In 2015, a bipartisan Congressional committee asked The National Academies of Science, Engineering & Medicine @theNASEM to conduct the first ever independent review of the US Dietary Guidelines, with a particular focus on their scientific rigor.
5/19 @theNASEM’s 2017 Reports called for a “comprehensive redesign of the Guidelines process.” “Methodological approaches & scientific rigor for evaluating the evidence should be strengthened. Systematic reviews need to follow state-of-the-art methods, such as GRADE or AHRQ.”
6/19 In making this recommendation, @theNASEM asked @USDA & @HHSGov to ensure that US nutrition policy is informed by the highest quality scientific evidence. A good idea, right? Here is a primer on how GRADE grades: bestpractice.bmj.com/info/us/toolki…
7/19 The red meat consumption guideline & studies published in Annals of Internal Medicine @AnnalsofIM this week were developed precisely according to GRADE; in fact, they were overseen by the founder of the GRADE methodology, Gordon Guyatt, bio here: cdnmedhall.org/inductees/gord…
8/19 However, red meat guidelines are not being reviewed by @USDANutrition & @HHSGov this time around (2020). But USDA, HHS & Congress are taking public comments seriously. If you feel strongly these should be reconsidered, go here: regulations.gov/comment?D=FNS-…
9/19 90% of the media reporting on the red meat studies published this week unknowingly promulgated the views of individuals & organizations with deep financial & reputational vested interests, most notably those from @HarvardChanSPH. Harvard response: hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsourc…
10/19 The move to more scientifically rigorous US nutrition Guidelines will create winners & losers, not just among food & beverage companies, but among the academic institutions & individual scientists that receive billions every year in research funding.
11/19 @HarvardChanSPh’s Nutrition Dept budget has been built on the types of studies (epidemiological) that rigorous standards like GRADE downgrade. The ability to influence nutrition policy (& media) are major drivers of funding for academic institutions reliant on EPI studies.
12/19 Nutrition science & policy is undergoing a major paradigm shift. Journalists publishing comments from @HarvardChanSPH faculty describing the GRADE standard meat study as “controversial” or worse, should consider Harvard’s vested interests -- financial & reputational.
13/19 Harvard's Nutrition Dept's conflicts of interests are no different (but less visible) than those of The National Cattlemen’s Association @BeefUSA or Impossible Burgers @ImpossibleFoods on this topic.
14/19 The GRADE standard red meat guidelines call into question decades of Harvard research and the long-standing dietary recommendations of several disease specific non-profits which built their advice primarily on Harvard EPI studies.
15/19 @juliaoftoronto went deeper in her story in @voxdotcom explaining the scientific debate in nutrition science: a shining example of good journalism advancing public understanding. vox.com/science-and-he…
16/19 The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board @WSJ @WSJopinion didn't mince (sorry, bad pun) their words either. wsj.com/articles/the-r…
17/19 If ever a market needed disruption, it is nutrition science & policy. Thankfully, dozens of reputable scientists are calling BS on traditional EPI nutrition science. If journalists get educated & do their jobs properly, public health trends should start to improve quickly.
18/19 Finally, the environmental implications of red meat consumption are significant. However, the trade-offs are not as clear as many believe. Consider the possibility/probability that 40+ years of nutrition policy has been incorrect & generated unintended health consequences.
19/19 Diet driven healthcare costs are bankrupting many national economies. We MUST improve nutrition science & policy if we are going to have the financial scope required for climate mitigation and adaptation.
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