Harvard’s New Healthy Plate

This is really short notice, but we are invited to submit questions to Dr. Eric Rimm of the Harvard School of Public Health in response to the release of their “Healthy Eating Plate,” the version of the nutritional recommendations that they propose as an alternative to the USDA’s “My Plate.” There will be a live, one hour, online question and answer period tomorrow, October 4, from 2:30 to 3:30 PM, EST. This is a chance to get your voice heard.

The press release from Harvard showing the new plate is here: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/2011-releases/healthy-eating-plate.html. You can get all the details about how to sign up with links on Jimmy Moore’s blog at livinlowcarbman@charter.net.

They are accepting questions before the session at communications@hsph.harvard.edu or you may submit them on Twitter with the hashtag #platetalk.

After you have registered and submitted your question or questions, send a copy to Jimmy. He has agreed to collect and document all our messages.

Just to get you started, below is the question I submitted, one from Fred Hahn’s list, and one from Dr. Feinman’s list:

Since our government and health agencies advised Americans to eat less fat and more carbohydrates in the early ’80s, obesity and diabetes have reached epidemic levels and cancer rates have tripled. The following quote is from Dr. Craig B. Thompson, President and CEO of Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

“It matters where your calories come from….If you overfeed somebody with fat you don’t increase their cancer risk at all…. Overfeed with carbohydrates and you drastically increase their cancer risk. Protein is halfway between. That’s why we are going to have a huge debate about these carbohydrate-based diets.”

Carbohydrates appear to occupy about 75% of Harvard’s New Healthy Eating Plate. How can you justify this?–Judy Barnes Baker

Since there is ample scientific research to support a low carbohydrate/sugar diet for improvements in diabetes and other maladies associated with metabolic syndrome, why is your food plate three quarters carbohydrate? Has your group evaluated what the typical person’s blood sugar levels are after eating a meal that consists of three quarters carbohydrate in the proportions you suggest?
–Fred Hahn

Dr. Rimm, The Healthy Plate still limits saturated fat even though a study from your department showed that there was, in fact, no effect of dietary saturated fat on cardiovascular disease. The study was, in fact, an analysis of numerous individuals, the majority of which individually showed no risk from saturated fat. What was wrong with that study that allows you to ignore it?
–Dr. Richard Feinman

(c) 2011, Judy Barnes Baker, Carb Wars; Sugar is the New Fat

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Judy Barnes Baker

The working title for my first book was, “You’ll Never Know What You Are Missing.” It summed up my goal: to make eating for health synonymous with eating for pleasure. Once you discover the secret, you will find that the very best food for weight management, longevity, the treatment and prevention of disease, and over-all health and happiness is also the most sumptuous, satisfying, and indulgent way of eating the world has to offer. You are invited to the feast. Enjoy!
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Judy Barnes Baker
12 years ago

Thanks for the comment, Jennifer! Hope your friend likes the post.

12 years ago

I'm sharing this with a good friend. Thank you, Judy.

Judy Barnes Baker
12 years ago

Hi Cathie and welcome to my blog.

You are right; Dr. Rimm didn't really address our questions. They had technical problems and were delayed for 1/2 of the hour. Then the moderator lumped all of the questions about carbs together into one and just asked why the plate was so carb-heavy. He didn't give a satisfactory response.

I thought it was worth our efforts though because it was clear that there were more questions about this issue than anything else. They said they would post responses to some of the questions that they didn't get to on their website, but if they did, I never found them.

I hope Dr. Rimm did at least read some of our input.

Cathie in UT
12 years ago

HI New to your blog and glad to see it!
The questions are great but I have a feeling that they won't get much if any response. I would love to see them address these issues!