“Dr. Hyman, I grew up following the guidelines of the Food Pyramid,” writes this week’s house call. “Now the guidelines keep changing. What about these newMyPlate guidelines? And what about the new 2015 Dietary Guidelines? I am confused. What should I eat?”
Here’s the truth: The government recommendations released in 1980, promoted low-fat dietsthat have catapulted us into the worst epidemic of obesity and diabetes in history. To understand why the government told us to do something that actually turns out to be making us fat and sick, let’s first take a look at the back story.
During the 1970s, when it became evident obesity and heart disease were on the rise in the U.S., some well-meaning concerned politicians held hearings about how to best advise Americans about their diet, health and preventing heart disease.
In 1977, Mark Hegsted, a nutrition professor at Harvard, led a group of scientists in the study of the connections between food consumption and heart disease. The group issued the very first set of U.S. Dietary Guidelines, which the federal government updates roughly every five years.