Page images

zinc. Mothers milk contains a material, picolinic acid, which favors or assists in the absorption of zinc whereas cows milk contains little or none. Most individuals synthesize enough picolinic acid to protect themselves. The genetic defect thus appears to be in the synthesis of sufficient picolinic acid. These studies are important not only because they contribute to an understanding and control of a serious disease but because they also contribute to an understanding of the complex systems which affect the “bioavailability" of nutrients. Mr. TRAXLER. What projects are jeopardized by any modifications in your budget for fiscal 1982, or do you share in the luck of the other SEA agencies? Dr. HEGSTED. The Human Nutrition budget has a moderate increase for 1982. It does not, however, address the long range needs. Congress has authorized the development of three new Human Nutrition Research Centers during the past few years. The Human Nutrition Research Center for Aging at Tufts University will be housed in a new building which will be completed in 1982. Funds are not provided in the 1982 budget for the staffing and operation of this Center. Similarly, the budget does not allow an appreciable expansion of the Centers authorized at Baylor University College of Medicine, the Children's Nutrition Research Center nor the Western Human Nutrition Research Center at the Letterman Army Institute of Research in San Francisco. Finally, Congress has provided funds for the expansion of the Center at Grand Forks, North Dakota. The 1982 budget does not provide for the completion or utilization of the increased space we will have in 1982 or 1983. Mr. TRAxler. I understand that you have been involved in some efforts to evaluate the effectiveness of the Commodity Supplemental Feeding Program, and that at the very least, many of your findings on the Women, Infants and Children Feeding program can be fairly extended to the CSFP program. Have you any additional findings with respect to the Commodity Supplemental Feeding Program, or is that project still underway? Dr. HEGSTED. The primary responsibility for the evaluation of the various food and nutrition programs of the USDA lies with the Food and Nutrition Service rather than Human Nutrition—SEA. That office emphasizes that while findings on the nutritional and health impact of the WIC program are generally applicable to the CSFP program, differences between the programs in terms of their service elements and program operations are significant enough to require a separate investigation of the effectiveness of the CSFP program. The project to evaluate the CSFP program started in October of 1980. The first phase of the evaluation was to learn more about program characteristics and operations at the local level where considerable variation between individual projects exists. This was a necessary first step in determining the feasibility of evaluating the CSFP program using data that already exists at local sites. The second phase, in which data on health and nutrition impact will be collected and analyzed, has just recently begun. The findings of this evaluation are to be available in the fall of this year. Mr. TRAXLER. We seem to be facing year after year the problem of whether or not there is adequate scientific information to back up claims that are being made about good nutrition. Last year, for example, the Food and Nutrition Service modified the WIC food package by reducing the amounts of sugar allowed in certain foods, resulting in the selection of certain cereals as eligible for the program, but these cereals were not readily available. Can you tell me if FNS requested any assistance from you in developing nutritional standards for either the WIC or CSFP programs, and if so, i. the final food packages selected compare with your recommenations? Dr. HEGSTED. First let me address your specific statement on the sugar limitation for cereals in WIC and their availability to participants. Careful consideration was given to the appropriate levels of nutrients in cereals to be offered in WIC when the food package regulations were being developed. Whether to limit sugar in WIC cereals and what would be appropriate levels was only one of these considerations. The importance of cereals in providing an economical and adequate source of dietary iron, a nutrient known to be lacking in the diets of many participants, was another. Both the requirement that cereals provide at least 45 percent of the USRDA for iron and the limitation on sugar have reduced the total number of eligible cereals. Therefore the limited problems in the availability of acceptable cereals that have been experienced have not been due to any single nutritional consideration. The Food and Nutrition Service has worked closely with the Human Nutrition Research Center on the development of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and in assessing the implications of the Guidelines for the food packages provided in the WIC and CSFP programs. In making determinations of appropriate food packages for participants of these programs, the Food and Nutrition Service gave careful consideration to scientific data on a number of nutritional issues, including information we were able to supply them. FNS considered in addition to scientific findings, public comments and the recommendations of professional organizations. Many of the nutritional issues addressed by FNS in developing the food package regulations for WIC and CSFP do not lend themselves to simple solutions. The food package regulations FNS developed provide, in my opinion, a balanced approach to the nutritional issues that were dealt with. Mr. TRAXLER. Do you do additional research on the desirability of Some food items like salt, sugars, fats, and the like, or do you depend upon the information that may be available from prior Scientific testing? Dr. HEGSTED. As I have indicated we do have continuing work upon the effects of high fat diets upon blood pressure which indicate that this is one of the important factors affecting susceptibility. We also have continuing studies upon the effects of consuming different levels and kinds of sugars. These studies indicate that, as is true of most, if not all nutritional effects, there are rather large differences in the way individuals react. It appears that there is a fairly large group of individuals who are especially sensitive to Sugar, at least as measured by their levels of blood lipids and insulin. The significance of these kinds of responses to sugar is not entirely clear but there is no reason to believe that they would be advantageous.

It must be appreciated that studies of dietary fat and cholesterol in relation to atherosclerosis and heart disease, in particular, have been actively pursued by many groups and by studies in experimental animals, clinical studies, and epidemiologic studies, etc., for over 30 years. It is unlikely that any one study will suddenly and conclusively resolve the issues under discussion but research appears to be the only way to resolve these problems. We rely upon all of the evidence available from whatever source as well as the recommendations of other expert groups in developing dietary recommendations. I would like to provide additional information for the record.

[The information follows:]

The following is a list of 19 expert groups who have considered the meaning of the research for the public. It is important to note that most of these groups have considered the issue only in terms of heart disease. While there are differences in the recommendations and the emphasis, it is quite clear that the consensus is that levels of dietary fat, especially saturated fat, and cholesterol should be reduced. To this list could now be added others. For example, the Expert Group on Dietary Fats and Oils in Human Nutrition of the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization of the United Nations concludes that:

"For populations with a high incidence of atherosclerosis, obesity and maturityonset diabetes, the recommended composition of a diet adequate to maintain ideal weight is 10-15 energy% protein and 30-35 energy% fat. The latter should have a reduced saturated fatty acid content and a linoleic acid (18:2, n-6) content amounting to one third of the total fatty acids. The diet should have a low sugar and alcohol content and contain less than 300 mg cholesterol per day."

These recommendations are similar to those made in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans published jointly by the USDA and HHS. The burden of proof clearly lies with those who assert that the average American does not need to pay attention to his intake of fat, cholesterol, sugar and salt.

Table 1

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

1 Polyunsaturated fatty acids.
2 Saturated fatty acid.
From: Turner, R. W. D. Perspectives in coronary prevention. Postgraduate Medical Journal, 54,
141-148 (1978)

VALIDITY OF HUMAN NUTRITION RESEARCH Mr. TRAXLER. There has been some criticism of nutrition experiments of some years ago as not necessarily being based upon scientific criteria. Can you give me any assessment as to the validity of much of the completed research in this area? Are we finding that conclusions reached in earlier years were correct or incorrect?

Dr. HEGSTED. Mr. Traxler, it is not possible to review the total evidence relating diet to the diseases which affect most Americans. There have obviously been both good and bad experiments and there are thousands of papers to be considered. There will probably never be a unanimous opinion-I doubt if any decisions are based upon unanimous opinion-and some of the kinds of data that we would all like to have can simply not be obtained. It is generally agreed, for example, that atheroscherosis is the underlying disease which makes us susceptible to heart attacks. This disease is generally silent but develops over a lifetime. Other chronic diseases may also represent a lifetime of unfavorable lifestyle including nutrition. We simply do not have the capacity to conduct an experiment over a 20-40 year period. Thus it will always be possible to claim that the experimental evidence is insufficient. But the data accumulated over a 30-year period cannot be ignored. We must rely upon the best judgment of experts as to the meaning of this evidence. As indicated in the response to the previous question we have no doubt that our recommendations are consistent with the best evidence and the best judgment in this field.

Mr. TRAXLER. Mr. Natcher?


Dr. Bertrand, I want to talk with you and Dr. Kinney for just a few minutes about research generally.

How much do you have in this bill for agricultural research? What is the total amount?

Dr. KINNEY. For agricultural research it is $458,469,000. That is the fiscal year 1982 budget request.

TOBACCO RESEARCH Mr. NATCHER. Now, as you gentlemen know, on page 9 of Dr. Kinney's statement, you mentioned the fact that certain reductions are being made.

These include tobacco production-related research-and I quote from your statement, “... in keeping with the Department's policy to concentrate its efforts in health and safety aspects of tobacco research. ...".

You point out several other matters.

Dr. Kinney, as you and Dr. Bertrand know, in this bill you have a little over $5 million for research pertaining to tobacco. Tobacco pays into the Treasury of the Federal Government and to state and local treasuries about $7 billion a year.

It is produced in 16 states on 265,000 or 270,000 farms. In Kentucky, my home state, tobacco is produced in 118 of the 120 coun


« PreviousContinue »