Walter Willett Bashes USDA’s Latest Milk & Meat Advice

Two weeks ago, I jeered at the USDA for releasing new nutrition guidelines that called for increased milk consumption.

Now other experts are weighing in. In today’s Los Angeles Times, Walter Willet, the Chair of Harvard’s nutrition department, writes:

… the recommendation for three servings of milk per day is not justified and is likely to cause harm to some people. The primary justification is bone health and reduction of fractures. However, prospective studies and randomized trials have consistently shown no relation between milk intake and risk of fractures. On the other hand, many studies have shown a relation between high milk intake and risk of fatal or metastatic prostate cancer, and this can be explained by the fact that milk intake increases blood levels of IGF-1, a growth-promoting hormone.

He further eviscerates the milk recommendations over the next several sentences, and then gives the same treatment to the committee’s lean meat guidance. Go and read the whole thing; it’s important stuff to know and it’s entertaining to see one of the world’s top nutrition experts take a four beer piss over the USDA’s advice.

My friend Virginia Messina also has a nice write-up that links to the LA Times piece.