Dietary guidelines are promulgated periodically by the U.S. government (for example, reference 1), as well as by other authoritative bodies, with content substantially based on expert review of pertinent biological considerations and the world nutritional epidemiology literature. These sources contribute to widely held beliefs that adherence to dietary guidelines will reduce the risk for major chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes. However, systematic reviews of specific recommended dietary behaviors often conclude that evidence for chronic disease benefits is of low certainty and that any benefits are probably small. Recent examples are provided by systematic reviews of sodium (2), ...


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