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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Norwegian Government's Dietary Advice has No Scientific Basis
Commentary by Dag Viljen Poleszynski, PhD
(OMNS Mar 1 2018) The Norwegian government has given more or less the same dietary advice to the population since WW2 and has never based their advice on science, nor stimulated a free, open debate on the premises for such advice. One reason for this monolithic stance is as follows: The government has established "expert groups" based on the advice of The Nutrition Department at The University of Oslo (UiO), where the directors and key staff have had the same view of nutrition since before WW2. The Ministry of health and The Directorate of health employ certified nutritionists and medical doctors to fill key positions. The University of Oslo has dominated expert groups established by the government, including providing directors and members to the State Nutrition Board. The people who formulate and oversee nutrition and health guidelines for the government have been recruited from the same academic circles for decades.
Directors of Health and State Nutrition Board
The government's health and nutrition policy was first formulated under the leadership of Karl Evang, who became Norway's first director of health in 1945, was chairman of The State Nutrition Board 1946-1962, and shunned everything that had to do with "alternative" medicine.  The director was a staunch believer in "established science" and never made concessions on any objections to his anti-alternative policy. Evang's successor was another "hardliner," Ragnar Nicholaysen, who served as its director until 1972. Nicholaysen was succeeded by vice chairman Kåre Ragnar Norum, who held the position until 1989. Norum served as a member of the Nutrition Board from 1971 until 1998. Norum directly helped formulate the Norwegian government's nutritional policy for a period of more than 27 years and indirectly for at least 40 years. During the period of Norum's reign the succeeding collaborators had little background in nutrition and shared similar outdated views on nutrition and health. [3,4]
The State Nutrition Board has remained a staunch critic of "dangerous milk fat," still warns against "high cholesterol" and remains active in the public nutrition debate. [5,6,7] It has contributed actively to the "party line" in public debates on nutrition and health, including contributing to key textbooks used by all schools educating health professionals in Norway. Needless to say, these persons have recruited or recommended a number of like-minded persons to official and academic positions all over Norway, and their "disciples" still hold influential positions in government agencies and expert groups formulating Norwegian health and nutrition policies. [3,4] People from the same group direct and evaluate studies in health and nutrition, write textbooks used to educate all health occupations in nutrition all over the country, and feature prominently in public debates, in Nordic expert groups and in international groups, such as the Nordic Council, WHO and other UN bodies. With recent progress in nutrition science, I believe the time has come for a change in the Nutrition Board and the advice it gives to the public.
Alternative views of excellent nutrition
Government agencies should recruit a variety of knowledgeable individuals with experience in nutrition, not just those who have followed the "party line." Persons with new or alternative ideas should be given a chance to discuss their ideas with the Nutrition Board.
Health and nutrition guidelines should not be "one-sided" and should be based on the extensive world-wide nutrition literature. This should not be related to whether the government in power has been more or less conservative (right wing) or adhering to social democratic ideology (left wing). Politicians without a science education need to rely on the Nutrition Board, but they also need to promote open discussion among the Nutrition Board members. That means including experts who have experience with the latest research on fat, carbohydrates, and essential vitamins and minerals. Several important issues need to be addressed:
"While the grass grows, the cow dies"
This old saying captures the current sad state of affairs in official health and nutrition policies. Recent progress in the science of nutrition has changed the rationale for an excellent diet, so that we now understand why more and more people are afflicted by cancer, autoimmune disease, allergies, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, high blood pressure, liver disease, morbid obesity, etc. Too many console themselves with the possibility that the pharmaceutical industry will come up with new drugs that may help us out of this predicament - instead of looking carefully into what we eat to understand why we get sick, and how we can improve health with a diet that includes adequate amounts of essential nutrients.
(Dag Viljen Poleszynski, PhD, is the editor of Helsemagasinet [Health Magazine https://vof.no/arkiv/ ] and has translated and published a number of OMNS releases in Norwegian.)
The views expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of all members of the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service Editorial Board. OMNS allows equal time for dissenting viewpoints. Manuscripts may be submitted to the Editor at the email address further below.
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