Carbophobia: The Dieting Public's Obsession with Carbohydrates and the U.S. Government's Response

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Carbophobia: The Dieting Public's Obsession with Carbohydrates and the U.S. Government's Response

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dc.contributor.advisor Hutt, Peter Barton en_US
dc.contributor.author Berry, Jeremy
dc.date.accessioned 2012-08-17T14:43:17Z
dc.date.issued 2003
dc.identifier.citation Carbophobia: The Dieting Public's Obsession with Carbohydrates and the U.S. Government's Response (2003 Third Year Paper) en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:9414570
dc.description.abstract This paper examines the recent low-carbohydrate diet craze, and analyzes the reaction of the United States government to new scientific evidence potentially indicating that the government’s current food recommendations may actually be contributing to the obesity epidemic in America. After a brief introduction, the paper examines the history of food science, focusing on the government’s efforts to develop the food recommendations now in the Food Guide Pyramid, as well as recent studies indicating that other diets may be more effective for weight loss and cardiovascular health. The paper then discusses the generally-accepted science of what constitutes the various macronutrients, as well as how carbohydrates are processed by the human body. Next, four of the most popular diets in America today are analyzed, including their recommendations and the science, sometimes controversial, behind these diet recommendations. The four diets analyzed are a low-fat diet, a low-carbohydrate diet such as the Atkins Diet, a mixed diet such as the Zone Diet, and the SugarBusters Diet and other low-glycemic index diets. The science background concludes by noting where the science seems to be converging, despite vast differences of opinion amongst the various diet advocates. Next, the U.S. government’s recommendations and response to these studies are analyzed, particularly in three contexts: the recommendation that Americans consumer more “whole grains;†the problem the government has had in defining what constitutes a “complex carbohydrate;†and the choices the government faces in defining a “carbohydrate,†including why the government may have made the wrong choice. The paper concludes with several proposals the government should take to update its food recommendations and increase the health of the American public. Generally speaking, the recommendations are for the USDA to revise its Food Guide Pyramid to reflect current knowledge about carbohydrates, and for the FDA to allow food manufacturers to list the glycemic load on food labels. If the government makes these changes, the health of the American public should improve, or, at a minimum, American consumers will find it easier to improve their health. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en
dash.license LAA
dc.subject Food and Drug Law en_US
dc.subject diets en_US
dc.subject dieting en_US
dc.subject carbohydrates en_US
dc.subject food guide pyramid en_US
dc.subject obesity en_US
dc.title Carbophobia: The Dieting Public's Obsession with Carbohydrates and the U.S. Government's Response en_US
dc.type Paper (for course/seminar/workshop) en_US
dc.date.available 2012-08-17T14:43:17Z

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