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Statement to the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Domestic Marketing, Consumer Relations, and Nutrition

, : Statement to the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Domestic Marketing, Consumer Relations, and Nutrition. Nutrition today 15(3): 12-19

The background of Robert E. Olson, as a physician, doctor of philosophy, endocrinologist, teacher, researcher, and chairman of the Task Force of the Food and Nutrition Board lends itself to a critical evaluation of the controversies raised by the Dietary Guidelines and the Board's report, "Toward Healthful Diets". The relationship of epidemiological data to speculations of causality is examined, with illustrations drawn from studies in several countries. Divergent scientific opinions are presented from such sources as Lancet, the Framingham study, a British cardiologist and the American Medical Association, as well as dietary guidelines from Canada, Britain, Australia and Norway. The possible reasons for spontaneous changes in mortality rates from coronary disease are discussed, including improved medical care, fewer childhood diseases, and reduced blood pressure and smoking; evidence does not suggest that dietary changes have had much impact. The lack of agreement on diet-disease relationships indicates a need for further research and a conservative approach to dietary changes.


DOI: 10.1097/00017285-198005000-00004

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