Seventeen nutrition and toxicology experts met at FAO Headquarters in January to create a report designed to help governments give scientifically-
To “more effectively communicate with their citizens,” governments should “emphasize CHD [coronary heart disease] mortality rates of not eating fish” and “neurodevelopmental risks to offspring of such women [women of childbearing age, particularly pregnant women and nursing mothers] not consuming fish,” according to the Executive Summary of the report that was released by the FAO/WHO this week.
Fish provide only about seven percent of animal protein found in an average American diet, while in Asian countries that portion is more than 25 percent. An April 2009 study published in the Public Library of Science ranked low seafood intake as the second largest cause of diet-related deaths in America, just behind high salt consumption. The study estimated 84,000 deaths in the U.S. are linked to omega-3 deficiency caused by Americans not eating enough fish.
“The report spotlights an incredibly healthy food that Americans seem to underestimate,”
The report comes at a time when federal nutrition experts are preparing to update the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Largely overlooked in the past, the importance of eating seafood is expected to be addressed. In addition, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is under pressure to update its six-year-old seafood consumption advice.
“Any questions about the safety and healthfulness of seafood are silenced by a report of this caliber,” said McGuire. “We’re at the point where people can replace emotion-based misinformation with science-based advice that will help reverse the health problems associated with a typical low-seafood American diet.”
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For more than 60 years, the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) and its members have provided American families with the variety of sustainable seafood essential to a healthy diet. For more information visit: http://www.AboutSeafood.com.