Corporate profits tend to be more important than health of the American public. I was shocked that the U.S. delegation attempted to block a resolution of the World Health Organization to encourage breast feeding. Independent research has overwhelming demonstrated that breast feeding is much more health promoting that formula feeding (fewer infections, less diarrhea, lower asthma rates and obesity, etc) (Jacobs, 2018).. As the editorial in 2016 The Lancet reported that universal breast-feeding would prevent 800,000 child deaths a year across the globe and yield $300 billion in savings from reduced health care costs and improved economic outcomes for those reared on breast milk.
The action of the U.S. delegation is appalling and is also tends to reflect numerous government agencies such as United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which are directly or indirectly influenced by pharmaceutical industry or agricultural business (Hamblin, 2015; Ornstein, 2017).
USDA nutritional guidelines have been manipulated through corporate influence to the extend that these guidelines can no longer be trusted. The U.S. has lobbying–legally acceptable corruption– to increase corporate profits at the expense of most of its population.
The major public health issue is the obesity epidemic which started after the new USDA dietary guidelines were published in 1980. Even the current guidelines to prevent obesity, metabolic disease and diabetes are harmful for most people. The factors that contribute to illness, health and longevity are complex and affected by individual differences and environment. For example, longevity and health are linked to social support and meaningful connections and genetics (Holt-Lunstad et al, 2010; Pinker, 2017).
Watch the superb Youtube presentations by Gary Taubes and Tim Noakes that describe factors that contributed to the diabetic epidemic and how to prevent and possibly reverse type 2 diabetes; however, there are many other components that contribute to health and illness.
Dr. Tim Noakes is a South African scientist, and an emeritus professor in the Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine at the University of Cape Town. He eloquently argues how grains and carbohydrates are the major cause of diabetes.
Hamblin, J. (2015). How agriculture controls nutrition guidelines. Meat producers showed dominance over scientists this week, preventing discussion of sustainability. The Atlantic. https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/10/ag-v-nutrition/409390/
Holt-Lunstad J, Smith TB, Layton JB (2010) Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review. PLOS Medicine 7(7): e1000316. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000316 http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1000316
Jacobs, A. (July 8, 2018). Opposition to breast-feeding resolution by U.S. stuns World Health Officials. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/08/health/world-health-breastfeeding-ecuador-trump.html
Lancet editorial. (January 30, 2016). Breastfeeding: achieving the new normal. The Lancet. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(16)00210-5/fulltext
Ornstein, C. (January 17, 2017). From Twitter to treatment guidelines, industry influence permeates medicine. NPR. https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/01/17/510226214/from-twitter-to-treatment-guidelines-industry-influence-permeates-medicine