Did the US Dietary Guidelines Cause the Obesity Epidemic?
As a result of [US dietary guidelines], dietary fat decreased to near the recommended limit of 30% total energy. But contrary to prediction, total calorie intake increased substantially, the prevalence of obesity tripled, the incidence of type 2 diabetes increased many-fold, and the decades-long decrease in cardiovascular disease plateaued and may reverse, despite greater use of preventive drugs and surgical procedures. However, other changes in diet (such as meals away from home) and lifestyle (such as physical activity level) may have influenced these trends.Recent research suggests that the focus on dietary fat reduction has directly contributed to this growing burden of chronic disease.
Poor compliance with the Guidelines, rather than the guidelines themselves, is likely responsible for the weight gain observed in the American population. Adoption of an eating pattern consistent with the Dietary Guidelines should facilitate population weight control if sustained long term.