Is Congress to blame for our health problems? For most Americans, the likely answer is yes, but not for the reasons you may think. In the late ‘70s, Congress began exploring the links between diet and health, due to significant issues with heart health. It culminated in the publication of the first US Dietary Guidelines in 1980 and every 5 years since. They concluded fat was bad and carbohydrates were good. As a result, they traded heart disease for obesity and diabetes. We now know too much refined carbs and sugar can make us fat, but it also leads to inflammation which has been linked to numerous chronic diseases that cost us billions to treat. What is less obvious is the impact on the microbiome. A diet too high in sugar can cause the composition of the microbiome to change, overpopulating certain microbes that feed on the sugars. These microbes then signal to the brain that they need more sugar, causing us to consume even more. And these bad bugs play a role in conditions as diverse as depression and diabetes. The foods being sold in the mass market today are not consistent with the new science. There is a massive infrastructure built around selling cheap calories. How can we go about changing that system?
Mani Gopalakrishnan, VP Digital Innovation, Kraft Heinz Evolv Group
Dr. Bruce German, Professor, University of California Davis
Dr. Lee Chae, CTO, Brightseed
Lucy Stitzer, Founder, Dirt-to-Dinner
Carter Williams, CEO, iSelect Fund