2015 Dietary Guidelines. Good News and Bad.

With Confusion over Clarity still Reigning Supreme

The good news: illustration-scientific-report-of-the-2015-dietary-guidelines-advisory-committee-550

  1. We are finally hearing from a few mainstream experts that we should be eating less meat and more plants.
  2. They are saying that we should eat a more plant-based diet because  it is healthier AND it has a lower environmental impact.
  3. They specifically say that we should eat less fatty meats like bacon.

The bad news still abounds:              (See links to source articles below)

  1. It took the committee 571 pages to make their case.
  2. They are still advising that we eat MORE low fat dairy.
  3. They’re also saying that eggs are OK.
  4. The “good news” cited above will no doubt be reduced in the official 2015 Dietary Guidelines to be released later this year.
  5. Even in the best-case scenario, these recommendations are a clear example of too little, too late—when it comes to saving our ecosystem AND our civilization.

Dietary Guidelines

Why do I say too little, too late? Because, even if ALL of the committee’s recommendations were included in the official guidelines, it would take decades to make much of a difference in what most Americans are actually eating. And what about the rest of the world?

Fast Food in China still on a meteoric rise

Fast Food in China still on a meteoric rise

In the greater scheme of things, our share of the total global meat consumption has been dropping for some time now. China now consumes twice as much meat as we do.

In my 9-25-14 blog (below), I pointed out that our modest meat reductions in the USA are being wiped out by massive increases in the developing world. For example:

  • From 2009 to 2010, meat consumption in the USA went down by 36,000 metric tons.
  • During that same time period, meat consumption went UP in China by two million metric tons—prompting me to draw this conclusion:

For every American or European who is beginning to eat less meat, there are about 100 people in the developing world headed in the other direction. 

Mark Bittman, New York Times

Mark Bittman, New York Times

Meanwhile, people like Mark Bittman have to dig through 571 pages in order to summarize it such that the average reader of the New York Times can understand it. I had to chuckle at the first line of this summary paragraph:

Industry representatives hate the report — a good indicator of its value — and will fight to keep its recommendations from becoming policy. (Saying “eat less meat” is way different from saying “eat more lean meat.”) We should carefully monitor the current public comment period, which will be followed by a review by the Health and Agriculture Departments later this year, before the official Dietary Guidelines for Americans will be published. The smart environmental qualifications, and much else, will be fought furiously. But whatever is adopted will become official policy and will strongly affect school lunches and other federally funded meal-serving programs. Overall, these recommendations deserve our support (you can register your comments here) and our awareness that they need to go further.

While the recommendations noted that the plant-based foods have less environmental impact than animal-based foods, they came up way short in explaining exactly what that means—to the health of our ecosystem and its impact on the future of our civilization and the survival of the human species.

Finally, the pork producers weigh in with their take on the new recommended guidelines.

“It appears the advisory committee was more interested in addressing what’s trendy among foodies than providing science-based advice for the average American’s diet,” Hill said. “Have we really come to the point where alcohol is okay and meat isn’t”?

The most important three ingredients for program success: Leadership, Leadership & Leadership

The most important three ingredients for success: Leadership, Leadership & Leadership

The Bottom Line. While it’s great to see a little good news on the official dietary guideline front, it’s distressing to consider just how far away we are from actually beginning to REDUCE our global consumption of meat. We’ve already passed a number of environmental tipping points as explained in the last blog referenced below.

If we’re to have a chance of saving our civilization, we’ll need powerful global leadership to develop and execute an international campaign urging people to start making radical changes in their diets immediately.

The following five books and one DVD can be purchased on Amazon for a grand total of less than $60—and will enable you to understand the overwhelming challenges we face—along with the single most-powerful solution of all.

Six-Pack from Hicks—for health, hope & harmony on planet Earth

  1. Healthy Eating, Healthy WorldThe “big picture” about food (our book)
  2. A life changer for millions, including James Cameron. Forks Over Knives DVD 
  3. An essential scientific resource: The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell; the primary book that influenced Bill Clinton to adopt a whole food, plant-based diet.
  4. What have we done to our planet? Full Planet, Empty Plates by Lester Brown
  5. A horrifying wake-up call for leaders. TEN BILLION by Dr. Stephen Emmott
  6. Food choices are the primary cause of our environmental problems, yet our world leaders, scientists & experts are Comfortably Unawareby Richard Oppenlander.

Why should we be eating mostly plants? The “big picture” in 4 minutes.

Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Survey. It takes 2 or 3 minutes. eCornell is now using our survey in their plant-based nutrition course. Check it out on your smartphone at eCornell.com/4Leaf-Survey.

International. We’re now reaching people in over 100 countries. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter or get daily blog notices by “following” us in the top of the right-hand column. For occasional updates, join our periodic mailing list.

J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

To order more of my favorite books—visit our online BookStore now For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, visit our 4Leaf Program and also enjoy some great recipes from Lisa’s 4Leaf Kitchen.

Got a question? Let me hear from you at jmorrishicks@me.com. Or give me a call on my cell at 917-399-9700.

—J. Morris Hicks, board member since 2012; click banner for more info:

Nutrition Certificate

About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
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2 Responses to 2015 Dietary Guidelines. Good News and Bad.

  1. Susan says:

    Not surprised…the egg and dairy peeps are very powerful. As you probably know, Dr Campbell has a great story about when he was on the US nutrition advisory committee and the dairy council pulled a fast one to change the recommendations for heart patients from 20% of calories to 30% of calories…. and it still stands like that today!
    As a cardiology nurse I can tell you the doctors just follow what everyone else is doing and would never go against the AHA…even if there were piles of evidence showing that plant-based diets reverse heart disease…oh wait…there ARE piles of evidence.

  2. nigelrichardson says:

    We shall see what comes of the half-truths told by the animal products industry; perhaps they should first examine their own flawed research.

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