A member of the Biden administration’s panel tasked with developing new dietary guidelines for Americans has faced backlash for his comments on obesity.
Dr. Fatima Cody Stanford, an obesity medicine physician at Mass General Health in Boston, has been named to the 2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, which will develop new recommended eating habits for Americans in the coming years.
The appointment was met with backlash just weeks after she downplayed the value of diet and exercise. lose weight In an interview with 60 Minutes at the beginning of the year.
The U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) develop these guidelines every five years. Previous versions have been blamed for sparking America’s obesity crisis.
Her appointment comes while the United States still exists One of the most obese countries in the worldaccording to a new report.
Obesity is more of a genetic disease than lifestyle factors, Dr. Fatima Cody Stanford (pictured), an obesity medicine physician at Mass General Health, told 60 Minutes
The USDA published the Food Pyramid in 1991 and has since been blamed in part for skyrocketing rates of obesity in the United States. Critics say it makes poor advice with no scientific basis and that its high levels of grains and starches encourage many people to become overweight.
“The number one cause of obesity is genetics,” says Dr. Fatima Cody.
“That means that if your parents had obesity, there’s a 50 to 85 percent chance you’ll have it yourself. Even with optimal diet, exercise, sleep management, stress management.
Dr. Shauna Levy, a bariatric surgery specialist at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, told DailyMail.com: “I think Dr. Cody’s comments oversimplify the etiology.
“However, I also think that as a society we may be underestimating the role of genetics in causing obesity and overestimating the role of diet/exercise in treating this disease.”
Dr. Coady Stanford will join a panel of 20 nutrition, obesity and weight loss experts from around the country, including HHS and USDA groups.
The group will work to develop new dietary guidelines in the United States starting in 2025. Every five years, the government sets new nutrition guidelines.
“The 2025 Commission will examine the relationship between diet and health across all life stages and will use a health equity lens in its evidence review to ensure that factors such as socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity and culture are best described and considered Possibly,” a USDA news release read.
It went on to say that the panel had “substantial” expertise in health equity and that this was factored into their selection.
The committee will use guidelines from schools, hospitals and other facilities to develop meal plans.
Nutritionists and nutritionists across the United States may also make recommendations to parents based on the decisions made by the panel.
Those guidelines have come under fire in the past, though. In 1992, the USDA introduced the Food Pyramid.
It recommends eating 6 to 11 servings of starchy foods such as rice and bread, 3 to 5 servings of vegetables, 2 to 4 servings of fruit, 2 to 3 servings of meat and dairy products, and eating less fat, oil and sweets per day.
Some have pointed to the pyramid as the trigger for a crisis in the United States, where more than 70 percent are now overweight and nearly half are obese.
The pyramid has been widely criticized for its focus on portion sizes rather than helping a person manage their calorie levels, and for its advice against eating foods that contain fat — which can be part of a healthy diet.
“Well, this pyramid does not match good scientific evidence and is out of date from the day it was printed in 1991,” said Dr. Walter Willett, former chair of the Harvard School of Public Health tell pbs.
Dr. Mark Hyman, an American health expert, Written in 2016: “The facts are this: Government advice issued in 1980 promoting low-fat diets has led us to the worst obesity and diabetes epidemic in history.”
He points to the high number of carbohydrates recommended by the pyramid and says the body converts these carbohydrates into sugar and fat in the body.
Dr. Hyman also warns that highly processed refined carbohydrates can cause inflammation in the body.
MyPlate has replaced Pyramid, which faced similar criticism.
Obesity was classified as a body mass index score of 40 or higher. It is calculated by comparing a person’s height and weight.
Scientists have long known that a person’s weight is determined by the ratio of calories a person eats to calories burned.
How many calories a person consumes each day depends largely on their metabolism, which is the process by which the body converts food into energy. A person with a high metabolism burns more calories throughout the rest of the day.
Low-calorie diets, increasing the number of calories burned each day through exercise can help a person lose weight,
When a person consumes too many calories, it is stored in the body as fat or muscle, leading to weight gain.
A person’s metabolic rate depends on their genetic profile, age, amount of physical activity they do each day, and their muscle-to-fat ratio.
Obesity is “rarely” caused by genetic patterns, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The most common gene associated with obesity, MC4R, is present in less than 5 percent of obese people, according to the CDC.
“In most obese populations, no single genetic cause can be identified,” the agency wrote.
But genetic factors may make it harder for overweight people to lose weight, Dr. Christopher McGowan, an obesity medicine specialist in North Carolina, told DailyMail.com.
“In today’s increasingly obese environment, those with a genetic predisposition to gain weight are more likely to do so,” he said.
“Due to the innate weight-promoting systems in the body, it becomes increasingly difficult to lose the weight that has been gained. Ultimately, obesity represents a disorder of energy regulation due to these underlying genetic factors.
He does say that these genetic factors can be overcome by adopting a person’s diet and exercise lifestyle.
Obesity is linked to several deadly health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, liver disease, and more.