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While a federal advisory panel's recommendations on eating and exercising are hardly astonishing or much of a departure from what the feds have said in the past, they are at war with some popular conceptions and special interests -- and you can figure on retaliatory nutrition arguments.

For instance, the Dietary Advisory Committee said that the way to lose weight is not to subject yourself to the low-carb diets that are all the rage, but to take in fewer calories than you expend. The healthy course is to consume smaller portions of the right foods while increasing moderate exercise from a half-hour daily to an hour.

There are those in the diet biz who aren't going to like that idea much, but it appears to be based on solid science, as are other recommendations, such as:

Consume whole grains instead of the refined variety.

Drink nonfat or low-fat milk.

Consume two servings of fish a week.

Stay away from trans fats.

It won't be until next year when the government will issue its guidelines, and in the meantime, there will likely be assaults on some of the panel's conclusions. There is this to keep in mind: Evidence about nutrition keeps accumulating, the panel seems to have taken it seriously and some of those who will be hitting back will be principally concerned with matters other than the evidence -- or your health.

(C) 2004 The Cincinnati Post. via ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved

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