The traps of a recommendation

By: trademagazin Date: 2011. 09. 20. 00:09

On 1 August 2011 Dr Judit Paller, appointed surgeon general published a recommendation on nutrition for health for public catering service providers, which had been developed by the National Institute for Food and Nutrition Science (OÉTI). According to Act 154 of 1997, in public catering such meals must be provided, which satisfy people’s physiological needs in terms of both quality and nutritional value. In the light of the blunders made in connection with nutrition science guidelines in the past 50 years, we have to be careful. For instance in 1988 US secretary for health Dr Everett Koop started a crusade against food products and meals with high fat content. However, statistical data seem to contradict the arguments for low-fat, ‘light’ food. Raising awareness of a low-fat diet in the USA led to reducing fat in Americans’ calorie intake: from 45 percent in the 1960s it fell to 33 percent by now, but at the same time the proportion of overweight people and those suffering from diabetes mellitus rose from 13 to 34 percent and from 1 to 8 percent, respectively. By now it has been proven that there are bad fats and good fats – it is the composition of fats and oils that matter. Hungary’s new recommendation is contradictory and in parts obsolete. It is being criticised from all sides – still it will be highly influential in the lives of a great number of people.

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