August 20, 2010 – Washington – The National Fisheries Institute (NFI) is warning reporters and editors to disregard the health claims of NBC television personality Jillian Michaels after she told Facebook followers that she would cut back on eating seafood because a routine physical showed elevated blood mercury levels. “Jillian should have had her omega-3 levels tested instead,” said Jennifer McGuire, a registered dietitian with the National Fisheries Institute. “According to a study from Harvard researchers, 84,000 Americans die each year because they don’t get enough of the omega-3s found in fish. That’s the real danger to public health, not mercury,” said McGuire.
No peer-reviewed medical journal has ever published a case of methylmercury poisoning caused by the normal consumption of commercial seafood in the U.S.
This is not the first time that Michaels, who is not credentialed as a registered dietitian, has come under fire for her health claims. In four separate instances in this year alone, the personal trainer from NBC Television’s The Biggest Loser has been sued in connection with her endorsements of nutritional supplements.
“The best way to get the nutrients you need and maintain a healthy weight is eating whole foods, not supplements, and there isn’t any dietitian who would disagree,” said NFI’s McGuire. “If you want the best information on nutrition, turn off your television and talk to your personal physician or a registered dietitian instead.”
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: www.AboutSeafood.com.