Did George McGovern make us fat?

Mark Tapscott of the The Examiner shared some interesting comparisons this week between the current anti-obesity campaign led by First Lady Michelle Obama and the 1970s Senate Select Committee on Nutrition chaired by Mitchell’s own George McGovern.

Here are some excerpts:

… We’ve been here before. In fact, a big reason why we’re here today is because government went on an anti-fat campaign back in the 1970s. Remember the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s "diet pyramid"?

I was reminded of this fact recently while reading "The South Beach Diet." … I was reading along and chanced upon this passage about how the federal government arrived at the low-fat dietary guidelines issued by federal officials back in the day. Those federal guidelines assumed all dietary fats were evil:

"The McGovern committee was originally chartered to fight malnutrition, but in the 1970s it switched to a new goal – the prevention of over-nutrition. The campaign started with a preconceived notion: Fat was inherently bad, and our over-indulgence in it was the major cause of obesity and heart disease in the United States.

"How has America done since the low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet recommendations? We’ve gotten fatter and fatter. In addition, adult-onset diabetes, a sure sign of unhealthy blood chemistry, has become widespread."

Click here to read the entire piece.

13 thoughts on “Did George McGovern make us fat?

  1. look what good the nutrition programs have done for the low-income. This is not to fault anyone other than food processors. I don’t recall all thsese conveniient foods in stores when I was a kid 50 years ago. People did more home cooking and baking- not everyone was in such a rush. The fact is the rpoducers of the products bought with food stamps get their product sold- so food stamps are good for the economy from the not just consumers side that need it but especially from the food processors side.

  2. My opinion, for what it’s worth, is all the soda/pop the public consumes…..diet or otherwise. Years ago soda was only on special occasions. Today it is a staple. Go figure. Today we eat out, another factor.

  3. I agree the soda pop industry is not looking too good in this deal- most high schools are now banning pops- sugary ones in favor of waters and nutritrion ones- heck I never had enough soare change in my day to by pops all the time like these kids do- where do they get their money? do they work for it?

  4. No. Look at Sen. McGovern – thin, healthy, active and mentally sharp at 87+!

    (Yes I read the article.) It’s much more complicated than high-fat/low-fat; pop vs. fruit juice etc. Our knowledge base re: the role of dietary fat, dyslipidemia (not just “high cholesterol) diabetes prevention and other cardiac risk reduction has advanced considerably since this viewpoint was published. Do we know everything, even now? Of course not.

    But, do you really think there is a down side to promoting physical activity? Because, despite differences of expert opinion on dietary components and their effect on morbidity and mortality, I don’t think I’ve ever seen an adverse effect resulting from the exercise that is being recommended by the First Lady’s initiative.

  5. pasque you seem to have a good open minded grasp of this issue and it will not go away either. I have had three heart attacks- yes I come from a family of heart problems but add to that a pack a day smoker- I no longer use and can say cigs are very addictive but I got thru it “one day at a time”. I am noow 40 pounds overweight- I work and my work means I walk at least fives miles a day- it is good for leg muscles and heart too. But one bweff I have as a low-income person is the total unavailability of facilities to the poor for physical wellnes. With all the facilities we have in Mitchell they all require fees which us low-income folks do not have.

  6. thank you – I hear you. But it sounds like you are really trying to take care of yourself. I wish we could cover exercise “prescriptions” for you since this really does make a difference in people’s health. All the best to you.

  7. We need the government to mandate exercise and provide exercise gyms for those that can’t afford them!

  8. Listen to yourselves. Blame everyone else. Get a clue and take responsibility for yourselves. Throw the tv out the window and go for a free walk. Go to the free library and read a free book on nutrition with the free education you received to learn how to read. Laziness is not a socioeconomic issue, it crosses all races, religions and income levels. Use some common sense and get off your but and shovel your own sidewalk. Can’t afford it, help your neighbor out, I am sure they would let you use their shovel for free. The mall opens early and stays open late, it is dry and it is free. Go to the park and pick up dead tree limbs. Here is a secret, work is the same as exercise. If you get a job, you can even get paid to exercise, then you can buy your own food, pay your own rent (morgtage), buy your own health insurance, car payment and even taxes. Another hint is smoking is bad. Don’t do it, throw them away. Please take responsibility for your own life. You can do it. Believe in yourself. You are the answer, not the government. You do not need them. Use some common sense.

  9. what kind of lousy remark is that? Low income folks can not afford what many take for granted including non-precritpion vitamins, prescription drugs, nutritrious foods like whole veggies and fruits not canned, and most of all health care and access. Try not to judge another person by your standards- we have people in need in this community too- you may have them as neighbors, maybe they sit next to you in your church of choice, maybe they shop the same grocery store you do !!!!

  10. Sure, fill the swimming pool with concrete and do away with gymnastics. What do you get? Shuffle board and lawn bowling. Sioux Falls cannot afford to include soccer.

  11. Listen to soldier boy. He is the only one making any sense! Assuming responsibility for ourselves and our own actions. That is key.

  12. soldier boy – While a lot of what you say about personal responsibility is correct and makes great sense, your post seems to turn into an anti-government rant. Where do you think the roads come from where you take your “free” walk? Who runs the library where you get your “free” books on nutrition? Answer: THE GOVERNMENT!!!

  13. George McGovern also said to not eat refined sugar. Refined sugars and refined foods in general are killing us. And he didn’t say eliminate fat entirely. He lived to be 90 so maybe we should look at those recommendations again. Good eating to you. 🙂

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