Science, Not Politics, Should Guide Dietary Guidelines

Statement of CSPI President Michael F. Jacobson


There’s a good reason why Americans concerned with their diet and health typically turn to a physician or a nutritionist, and not a politician or a lobbyist for Big Food.

The members of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee were among the most prominent and respected physicians, epidemiologists, and nutritionists in the country. Using the best and most current methods to review and evaluate the science, and after 24 months of open and public hearings and comment periods, the committee made sound and sensible recommendations to improve public health. Its advice for Americans to eat more fruit and vegetables, and to drink less soda and eat less salt and processed red meat, is broadly supported by the public health and medical community.

It’s unsurprising that some sectors of the food industry would oppose these science-based recommendations. But it’s beyond unseemly for so many in Congress to thoughtlessly follow the lead of the junk food industry while their constituents suffer and die from preventable, diet-related conditions like diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and cancer.