Dietary guidelines that form the basis for nutrition policy may change.

According to leading scientists who converged February 10 – 11 in Washington DC, current limits on saturated fats are not entirely justified. A letter submitted to secretaries of USDA, and DHSS, indicates that the most current science, fails to support a continuation of the government’s policy limiting consumption of saturated fats.

The workshop included former members of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, which determines dietary inclusions for schools, hospitals, military and elderly feeding programs. Workshop co-chair, Arne Astrup, MD, DMSc, indicated that looking at total saturated fat content in isolation may “lead to erroneous conclusions.” Recommendations should instead be based on fats within the context of overall diet.

The current limitations on saturated fat content have been in guidelines since 1980.

Janet King, Ph.D., chair of the 2005 DGAC said, “We agreed that there is no evidence that the current…limits on …saturated fats…will prevent cardiovascular disease or reduce mortality,”