Response to Dr. Hefland

[Added note, Dec 14, 2016]  For reporters or anyone else focusing on Dr. Mark Hefland’s comments. It’s important to put his comments in the larger context, which is that overall, The BMJ came out strongly in favor of the article, as reflected not only in the journal’s press release but also, quite powerfully, in comments by Editor-in-Chief Fiona Godlee. Moreover, the one other reviewer, …

Overview of BMJ Retraction Request

In late September, The BMJ published a critical feature article I wrote on the 2015 expert report for the Dietary Guidelines. This article was not an opinion piece but a critical examination of the science that underpins the Dietary Guidelines for America. Its main findings were:
That the 2015 DGA expert committee (“DGAC”) did not follow the standard systematic review process at the USDA (which involves referring systematic reviews to the “Nutrition Evidence Library”) on key topics, including saturated fats and low-carbohydrate diets,
That, as a result, the DGAC did not comprehensively review the best and most current science on these topics, and
That the DGAC makes a number of recommendations, including those on the vegetarian diet, based on evidence that it judges to be “inconclusive.”
The article also explains that these lapses may be due to different kinds of bias: financial conflicts of interest, outside agendas, and a desire to confirm existing advice. None of these facts are contested.

For reporters

Hello reporters, Because there’s so much misinformation out there about me/my book, I thought I’d just put together a quick fact sheet: The Big Fat Surprise is not a diet book. It contains no recipes and does not recommend any particular diet. It is a serious,  book of non-fiction, on the science, politics, and history of nutrition policy. (It was also …

Is my BMJ article “full of errors?”

For an overview of the BMJ retraction request, see this blog post. Update (Dec 14, 2015): On November 5, CSPI published a letter, signed by 180+ scientists, asking the BMJ to retract the feature article on the Dietary Guidelines. On November 19, the BMJ announced that it would refer this request to an outside review panel, per its standard policy (see the comment by BMJ …

On “lean meat”

On “lean meat” in the DGAC report, which is such a source of controversy: The DGAC report is contradictory on this topic, so I attempted in my BMJ piece to distinguish between its primary message and subsidiary, contradictory ones: The 2015 top recommendation, bolded in the text of the report, as its primary, overarching theme, is this: The overall body of …