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Welcome to the United States of Diabetes - here's your ticket to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines

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On Thursday, January 27, 2011, the federal government will release the long-awaited revised low fat 2010 Dietary Guidelines, 70-plus pages of bizarre nutritional advice that, in the midst of a diabetes epidemic, do not include the words, “elevated blood sugar.”

Elevated blood sugar is a marker for diabetes. Only carbs elevate blood sugar, particularly sugary, floury products and processed grains – whole and refined. How, can federal guidelines that do not mention “blood-sugar-raising foods” solve diabetes?

During the 2010 deliberations, carbohydrate chair Professor Slavin from the University of Minnesota testified that even though sugar has no nutritional value, it is perfectly okay to consume up to 25 percent of our calories as sugar! Don’t expect any new warnings about sugar.

Nor will the 2010 Dietary Guidelines warn Americans away from consuming high fructose corn syrup – now 10 to 20 percent of American calories. Why? Because Joanne Slavin testified that high fructose corn syrup (and white sugar) are “no different than any other type of calorie – a calorie is calorie is a calorie!”

I wonder if Mike Huckabee would testify that “all calories are the same?” A recent Washington Post article noted:  “The Republican Party’s resident obesity authority Mike Huckabee famously shed more than 100 pounds in part by cutting out processed sugar and white flour.”

Like all guidelines since 1980, however, the 2010 Dietary Guidelines will emphasize carbohydrate consumption – without “grading” those carbohydrates as “good” or “bad.” During DGAC meeting one, October 2008, Professor Slavin testified that grading would be “too controversial” and “served no purpose.”

Controversial to the millions of people dealing with diabetes – or controversial to Minnesota-based Cargill and General Mills, big food companies who have donated millions of dollars to Joanne Slavin’s employer – the Nutrition Department at the University of Minnesota?

In October 2008, during the opening session of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, meetings, USDA Secretary Ed Schafer said, “The guidelines advise Americans from ages two to 102 about how to make food choices that will promote their health and help reduce their risk of chronic disease.” [italics mine]

Given the magnitude of the carbohydrate-related diabetes epidemic, can we afford to wait five more years to warn Americans about blood-sugar-raising foods?  Is Professor Slavin’s reluctance to grade sugar and HFCS in conflict with the very purpose of the guidelines themselves – to reduce chronic disease? Is this a case of follow-the-money, where the interests of big food companies override the health and welfare of ordinary people?   

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    • Anonymous

      Diabetes is related to excess sugar and grain consumption. We have a diabetes epidemic. Why would new revised dietary guidelines continue to recommend levels of carbohydrates that promote chronic disease?

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