Friday, October 29, 2010

ABC's Good Morning America Suggests Supplements No Substitute for Healthy Diet?

Given that Healthy People 2010 data suggests that fewer than 11% of the U.S. population consumes even five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, the October 29 ABC news special suggesting that supplements are not necessary seems beyond irresponsible (the new fruit and vegetable serving intake recommendation is now 9-13 servings a day to reach RDAs of most nutrients.  Nutrient-emply high-calorie junk food has become the norm for a large percentage of the population and nutritional deficiencies that lead to degenerative disease have become common. 

October 29, 2010 Response From the Council for Responsible Nutrition:
Consumers should strive to get their nutrients from eating a healthy diet; however, realistically a large percentage of the population is not getting what they need from food alone. While dietary supplements should not replace a healthy diet, consumers need practical options for getting nutrients, and dietary supplements are a convenient, affordable choice for those consumers who want to ensure their nutritional bases are covered. We need to stop thinking of food and supplements as an either/or situation—they work hand in hand. We encourage consumers to take supplements in combination with other healthy habits, including a well-balanced diet, regular exercise and routine visits with a healthcare professional. More than 150 million Americans take dietary supplements each year—including multivitamins, fish oil, vitamin D, and others—as an insurance policy for good health.

Ellen Troyer, MT MA
Biosyntrx CEO / Chief Research Officer
Voting Member, Council for Responsible Nutrition


Jeffrey Anshel, OD said...

I lecture all over the country on nutrition topics (mostly eyecare-related). When I get to the "diet" section of my talk, I ask the audience: "Who feels that they eat the perfect diet?" I've yet to see a hand go up!
We all know that our diets are severely lacking in the "good" stuff and overloaded with the "bad"- even if we don't fully understand the difference between "good" and "bad".
I agree that no one gets the adequate levels of fruits and vegetables and our government Food Bill doesn't help- they are supporting the overly high-glycemic foods (corn) and sugars (natural and artificial), while giving less that .5% of the budget toward fruits and vegetables.
Sure, ABC wants to make headlines with a statement like that, but the reality in the "trenches" is that supplements should be just that- nutrients to SUPPLEMENT our diets.

Ellen Troyer said...

Thanks Jeff,

Dr. Bruce Ames, one of the most published nutrition science researchers in the world, said this in a recent lecture to The National Institute of Health, "The consequence of moderate shortages of even a single micronutrient, though insufficient to cause overt clinical symptoms, will impair functions essential for long-term health. As people with modest deficiencies have no overt clinical symptoms, there has been little incentive to correct these deficiencies, though this could change if it can be shown the they are resulting in biochemical changes, e.g. chromosome breaks, that are markers of increased risk of age-related diseases, e.g. cancer."

Anonymous said...

OMG!! Why would ABC run this segment? Do the producers not see that over 35% of our population is obese, 65% are overweight and type 2 diabetes is now an epidemic? There seems to be a direct link between micronutrient deficiency and excessive consumption of empty calorie foods. Who do we think put up the monies for that segment? A good guess would be an industry that benefits from run-away chronic disease.

Anonymous said...

I would be one of those people that would be able to raise their hand if asked if I had the perfect diet. So I know how important it is to take a daily supplement, shame on Good Morning America for not expressing the importance of taking a multivitamin.

Jenny said...

I find this piece to be ridiculous and a waste of time! $25 billion IS a lot of money, and a great shock factor for the listeners. But how do you think they would react to the $292 billion spent on FDA approved prescription drugs in 2008? The same prescription drugs that treat symptoms and disease. NOT prevent them in the first place!

The reporter in this case happens to be a healthy 50 something year old who, eats well, is a healthy weight, exercises & takes no prescription medication. He sounds like a needle in the haystack of overweight, over medicated, poor diet eating Americans! When he decided to be the guinea pig for this piece and take online nutrition tests, talk about his personal health and even interview his personal physician; I think he should have dug deeper with a little more science to back up his theory. Maybe having his triglyceride and vitamin D levels tested would give his story a little more backbone.

I love how it’s pointed out (at the end) how vitamins are good for: women who want to conceive, pregnant women, nursing mothers, young children (only if they’re picky eaters) and elderly people (if they have restricted diets). How about those with family history of disease? Should we just wait until there’s a problem? In my opinion, half-truths in a piece like this is irresponsible journalism.

Ellen Troyer said...

Very well said Jenny. I also find it sad when journalists are irresponsible about health care and disease prevention issues.