Letter to the Editor: Jonny Bowden’s Response to Dr. Fuhrman

Letters to the Editor

To the Editor:

In the immortal words of Ronald Reagan, “there you go again.” Once again, Joel Fuhrman has cherry-picked his facts to make his case.

Dr. Fuhrman is dialing back his extremely strong position on animal foods — I’ve heard him speak, I’ve heard him on panels, and no one in the audience of any of those seminars, workshops or conferences is left with even the slightest doubt about where he stands on animal foods, saturated fat, and cholesterol.

His statement about the ANDI system being based on “34 nutritional parameters measured and recorded by the US government” is exactly right and precisely the problem. The dietary guidelines of the US government have consistently demonized saturated fat, consistently recommended “vegetable oils” and— until just VERY recently— consistently damned cholesterol in the diet. So trying to shift responsibility for this biased system to the government while claiming to be “objective” is patent nonsense. That would be like someone saying that it’s wrong for women to drive cars and then innocently claiming “I”m only using standards set up by the Saudi government!” Fuhrman should have the courage of his convictions and take responsibility for the nonsense he’s been spewing for the past however many years, instead of saying he’s “just” applying the (stunningly out-of-touch) standards of the government.

He’s also totally misinformed about the The American College of Nutrition and board-certification. The ACN— of which i have been a proud member in good standing for over 16 years— has a rigorous full-day exam that is technically administered by the CBNS (Certifying Board of Nutrition Specialists). Once that exam is passed, you earn the designation of CNS, which is accepted by the American College of Nutrition, and you are considered, by that esteemed body, to be board-certified. So though the exam itself is technically “outsourced” to a board, the board-certification is accepted by and used by the ACN.

And since the writing of my original article, the founder of Whole Foods— John Mackey— gave an interview in which he claimed that “oil” was worse than sugar, demonstrating breathtaking ignorance of both nutrition and science. I stand by my position— the philosophy of Whole Foods (the store) is highly biased against fat— particularly saturated fat— and that is a position wholly consistent with everything Joel Furhman has stood for over the past decade.


Jonny Bowden