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2010 Dietary Guidelines: Dr. Eric B. Rimm, "Dietary fats do not lead to obesity..."

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On Tuesday, June 15, 2010, the proposed 2010 Dietary Guidelines were released by USDA and HHS recommending even more stringent reductions in animal fats and cholesterol than all previous guidelines (1980-2005). The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report, 2010,  recommended that Americans reduce saturated fat intake from 10  to 7 percent of calories and continued to demonize dietary fats and animal foods rich in saturated fat such as egg yolks, butter, whole milk, cheese, and red meat.

Yet, a careful reading of the transcripts for the first meeting of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (second day), which took place on October 31, 2008, reveals a completely different scientific assessment about dietary fats than was published in the DGAC report issued on June 16.

On October 31, 2008, during that first meeting, DGAC member Dr. Eric B. Rimm, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, questioned what he called the “artificial limit” on dietary fat in the U.S. Dietary Guidelines.    

From the transcripts located

Dr. Rimm:  “I wanted to make a radical point, one for which I’ll probably get kicked off the stage, but the whole issue of total fat and the 20 to 35 percent of calories from fat is one that has troubled me…”

Dr. Rimm:  “… There is not one point which is the healthiest point of fat intake which is why we came up with the range. But the high end, 35 percent of calories from fat, actually was not really based on much science; it’s based on the fact that we don’t have a lot of science beyond 35 percent, and there was a concern that higher fat diets would lead to obesity.”

Dr. Rimm:  I think if you look at the science, there is actually no good human data to suggest that higher fat diets lead to obesity. If anything, higher fat diets, at 35 to 40 percent, lead to lower triglycerides because it’s a lower carbohydrate intake.

Dr. Rimm:  “I am not saying that at this point we should just say everybody eat as much fat as we want, but I think there is the dogma that low-fat diets are beneficial, and you can go in the grocery store and see a lot of low-fat foods that are essentially just high in carbohydrate, highly processed sugars.”

Dr. Rimm:  “So my concern is that we, over the last 30 years, have created the dogma that all fat is bad, and I think that the high end of 35 percent of calories from fat is artificial. And, if you look at some new data that has come out from dietary patterns among people in Greece or European countries, in fact they don’t have higher rates of heart disease, yet they have healthy fats …”

In an interview with Melissa Healy in the Los Angeles Times on June 28, 2010, Dr. Walter C. Willett, Chairman, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, agreed with Dr. Eric Rimm, his Harvard associate.

Referring to the proposed 2010 Dietary Guidelines, Dr. Willette said:

“Shortcomings of the report include the percentage of total fat is still recommended to be less than 35% of calories…”

“The best available evidence demonstrates that percent of calories from fat in a diet has no bearing on weight loss — a point the dietary guidelines committee acknowledges. It makes no sense to base the dietary guidelines on an outdated recommendation.”

For a comprehensive and critical analysis of the proposed 2010 Dietary Guidelines, please go to

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    • Anonymous

      Very true .. WHO’S own stats show that meat eaters have less cancer etc…

      Look up Dr. Price and other doctors who have studied primitive people who happened to be pretty much disease free and ate basically meat and it’s fat.

      The Eskimo’s ”were” also an example.

      They are trying to kill us off or what?

      people in Haiti fry their foods in pig fat for crying out loud ! Yet have less cancer and are mostly slim.

      it never makes sense to go against mother nature.

    • Anonymous

      Dr. Rimm said he might get “thrown off the stage” for questioning the anti-fat guidelines going back 30 years – recommednation, he said, that resulted in excess carbohydrate consumption. But the proposed guidelines released on June 15th are even more anti-fat and continue to emphasize carbs! Dr. Rimm didn’t get thrown off the stage but someone obviously shut him up!

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