US Pushes Cheese While Warning About Fat

NYT: USDA sends decidedly mixed messages
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 6, 2010 5:54 PM CDT
A cheesy Domino's pizza.   (AP Photo/Domino's Pizza Inc.)

(Newser) – The New York Times cries foul on the Department of Agriculture for being two-faced on cheese. On the one hand, the department warns people to cut down on saturated fats, like those found in dairy products. On the other, one of the department's very own marketing arms, called Dairy Management, works with fast-food chains and others to cram as much cheese as possible onto American plates. Case in point: It helped Domino's create a new line of cheese-heavy pizzas—each slice has two-thirds the daily maximum of saturated fats—and paid for the $12 million marketing blitz.

“The USDA should not be involved in these programs that are promoting foods that we are consuming too much of already," says the head of Harvard's nutrition department. "A small amount of good-flavored cheese can be compatible with a healthy diet, but consumption in the US is enormous and way beyond what is optimally healthy.” The article also questions some of the research Dairy Management has used in campaigns, including one that claimed eating dairy helps people lose weight.

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