Sunday, December 4, 2016

FDA To Redefine ‘Healthy’--Using Outdated Models

FDA To Redefine ‘Healthy’--Using Outdated Models
By Kurtis Bright

Agency Set To Make Controversial Move Using Outdated Data That Still Mistakenly Vilifies Fat and Cholesterol

Words have power, even in this idiot age of lies, half-truths, and obfuscations.

It could even be said that words are more important in such an age, as we are forced to sift the statements coming out of government and companies’ PR shops like shamen examining the entrails of chickens searching for hidden nuggets of truth encased within the mounds of BS.

Which makes it such a disappointment to hear about the Food and Drug Administration’s new effort at redefining the federal guidelines for the term “healthy.”

The agency is no stranger to controversy; the FDA’s often mysteriously arrived-at definitions came up last May when they updated the Nutrition Facts label. Again prior to that when the agency approved the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

FDA officials claim that they are working on a new definition of “healthy” because they are seeking to make the term compatible with “...the latest nutrition science.”

One assumes they mean their own nutrition science, which, for many dieticians and other health-oriented people is not a good start. For instance, the guidelines published in May were called hopelessly retrograde by many, in that they continued to criticize the intake of cholesterol despite the fact that numerous studies have debunked hoary fears linking cholesterol intake with heart disease.

The 2015 update suggested that, although the 300 mg per day suggested limit of cholesterol was lifted--the equivalent of about two eggs--people should still be careful with cholesterol.

Many observers see this as a rather chickenshit move, simply a continuation of a long-debunked and outdated belief that cholesterol causes heart disease. Mountains of research shows that LDL cholesterol is in fact vital to a healthy, functioning body, and we have known for some time that the 1950s-era link between cholesterol and heart disease was spurious.

And while there is no smoking gun, many observers think that the billion dollar a year statin drug industry’s influence may have had some sway in the decision--after all if Americans stop believing that cholesterol causes heart disease, why would keep taking expensive--and dangerous--statins?

Another area of controversy was that of fat, which has also been linked--again, many think erroneously--to heart disease. Last May’s updated recommendations famously claimed that something with reduced fat yet which still contained tons of added sugar was more healthy than its opposite number: the ludicrous extension of the FDA’s logic was that Pop-Tarts would be considered more healthy than an avocado.

So a grain of salt is recommended when trying to digest any new FDA recommendations, as they are likely tainted with corporate and lobbyist money and influence. At best they are behind the times, at worst they are inept and corrupt and should not be trusted without outside verification.

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