December 24, 2016

Canadians Physicians for Better Dietary Guidelines

Doctor Malcolm Kendrick blogged about this on the December 16 and thus alerted many people about what is happening in Canada. A petition signed by over two hundred Canadian doctors is asking the Health Minister to change the dietary guidelines for Canada. You can read more about it here

For the past 35 plus years, Canadians have been urged to follow the Canadian Dietary Guidelines. During this time, there has been a sharp increase in nutrition-related diseases, particularly obesity and diabetes.

I can only hope that the American doctors would do something like this, as there has been sharp increases in obesity and diabetes in the United States since 1980 as well. Every five years when the dietary guidelines are issued, people have complained about the lack of scientific evidence for many of the guidelines.

For more information on obesity in the United States, click on this link and then on Home and then go down the page about two thirds for the graph.

We are especially concerned with the dramatic increase in the rates of childhood obesity and diabetes. In 1980, 15% of Canadian school-aged children were overweight or obese. Remarkably, this number more than doubled to 31% in 2011; 12% of children met the criteria for obesity in the same reporting period. This has resulted in a population with a high burden of disease, causing both individual suffering, and resulting in health care systems, which are approaching their financial breaking points. The guidelines have not been based on the best and most current science, and significant change is needed.

We are a group of Canadian Physicians and Allied Health Care professionals who wish to see significant change to the dietary guidelines, and insist they be based on the best and current evidence.

They have put together a list of things that they believe should happen

Points for Change

The Canadian Dietary Guidelines should:
  1. Clearly communicate to the public and health-care professionals that the low-fat diet is no longer supported, and can worsen heart-disease risk factors
  2. Be created without influence from the food industry
  3. Eliminate caps on saturated fats
  4. Be nutritionally sufficient, and those nutrients should come from real foods, not from artificially fortified refined grains
  5. Promote low-carb diets as at least one safe and effective intervention for people struggling with obesity, diabetes, and heart disease
  6. Offer a true range of diets that respond to the diverse nutritional needs of our population
  7. De-emphasize the role of aerobic exercise in controlling weight
  8. Recognize the controversy on salt and cease the blanket “lower is better” recommendation
  9. Stop using any language suggesting that sustainable weight control can simply be managed by creating a caloric deficit
  10. Cease its advice to replace saturated fats with polyunsaturated vegetable oils to prevent cardiovascular disease
  11. Stop steering people away from nutritious whole foods, such as whole-fat dairy and regular red meat
  12. Include a cap on added sugar, in accordance with the updated WHO guidelines, ideally no greater than 5% of total calories
  13. Be based on a complete, comprehensive review of the most rigorous (randomized, controlled clinical trial) data available; on subjects for which this more rigorous data is not available, the Guidelines should remain silent.

Quoting Dr. Kendrick - My sense of what is now happening is that the momentum against the very stupid and damaging nutritional guidelines that have dominated the Western World for the last forty years is reaching breaking point. This group even managed to throw ‘restricting salt intake’ into the dustbin.

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