Wild Diet Headlines? Leading Experts of the True Health Initiative Don’t Swallow Them

The tried and true of healthful eating does not change with each sensational diet headline or over-reaction to the results of a new study. According to a recent survey, leading experts of the True Health Initiative do not change their diets with each news cycle.

The recent spate of wildly gyrating nutrition headlines and articles has not caused leading experts in nutrition and health to change what they eat. The public, and the experts, have ridden the same roller-coaster of headlines in the last few weeks suggesting that vegetarian diets are now bad; vegetable oil is not as healthy as once thought; and, there are advantages to eating full-fat dairy rather than low-fat. The diet studies fostering these headlines examined the frequency of genetic adaptations to vegetarian diets; data from a half century ago regarding high-dose intake of corn oil; and, the association between fatty acids in blood and diabetes. In each case, media headlines exaggerated the findings routinely and, at times, distorted them entirely.

Reacting to this, the Council of Directors of the True Health Initiative(THI), a global coalition of leading experts and influencers in nutrition and health from some 30 countries, have not changed their own dietary patterns, based on an internal poll.

The group conducted an online survey of the members of its Council of Directors asking about each of the recent studies, and the associated headlines. With over 100 responses to date, the verdict is clear: experts just do not swallow the hype that comes with each news cycle.

Overall, roughly 95% of respondents indicated they had not made any change to their personal diet based on any one of the recent studies, and many noted they found the media headlines misleading.

“The roller coaster ride of diet headlines can be dangerous to your health,” says Cynthia Geyer, MD, Medical Director, Canyon Ranch, Lenox, Massachusetts. “Sensational soundbites about diet sow confusion and sell books, but the constantly changing focus from one nutrient or food to another misses the forest for the trees. Not only do 95% of the members of the Council of Directors not change their diets with each new headline, most of their diets have a similar foundation: minimally processed whole foods with an emphasis on fiber and phytonutrient rich plant foods.”

The True Health Initiative was created because there is a growing consensus that certain ways of eating and living promote longevity, vitality, and overall health around the globe, but these fundamentals are often obscured by fads and the distortions of marketing and media hyperbole. In an effort to dispel the too-good-to-be-true messages, the leaders of the True Health Initiative encourage learning and understanding based on the overall weight of scientific evidence not necessarily the latest study or sensational headline.

For media inquiries, or to speak with one of the members of the True Health Initiative Media Response Team, contact media(at)truehealthinitiative(dot)org. The Media Response Team is available to media outlets seeking responses, quotes, and input from the True Health Initiative.

About the True Health Initiative:
The True Health Initiative (THI) is a coalition of world-renowned health experts committed to cutting through the noise and educating on only the evidence-based, time-honored, proven principles about lifestyle as medicine. The ultimate mission of the THI is to eliminate as much as 80% of all lifestyle-related chronic disease through lifestyle as medicine. The THI Media Response Team (MRT), a group of over 30 national and international experts from the coalition, is a resource for all media inquiries and provides timely information about published research regarding the core principles of healthy living that most effectively add years to lives, and life to years. Visit http://truehealthinitiative.org to learn more and to discover how individuals and organizations may join the effort.

The True Health Initiative is produced in association with the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, the medical professional association for physicians, clinicians, and healthcare executives dedicated to a lifestyle medicine-first approach to healthcare. For more information, visit http://lifestylemedicine.org.