retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Los Angeles Times reports that when the federal government issues its 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the premise will be that "when it comes to a healthful diet, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts."

According to the story, "The actual nutrition recommendations are the same as those in the 2010 guidelines, but the approach is different ... First, it's much easier for people to think of what they consume over time — and modify their overall eating pattern accordingly. Second, nutrients in foods may have synergistic effects when eaten in combination, interacting to create different health effects than when eaten alone."

Another change in approach reflects a recognition that not all nutrients are created equal - mega-3 fatty acids in the fish, for example, are better than omega-3 fatty acid supplements.

"I think it's a really important paradigm shift," Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health and member of the advisory committee, tells the Times. "In real life, we don't eat isolated nutrients or foods. We eat complex meals, so it makes sense to look at the totality of diet: foods and nutrients in the combination, frequency and quantity that they are habitually consumed."
KC's View:
Anything they can do to make these recommendations accessible and understandable is a good thing .... though I guess it remains to be seen whether Americans will pay any attention. I proof, I guess, will be in the pudding ... you'll excuse the food reference.