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[VIDEO] How Big Government Backed Bad Science Made Americans Fat 

Q&A with journalist Nina Teicholz

Consumption of meat, butter, eggs, and cheese were once encouraged as part of a healthy diet. Then in the 1950s, a Minnesota doctor named Ancel Keys put forth his diet-heart hypothesis, claiming that saturated fats raise cholesterol levels and cause heart attacks.

Keys produced landmark studies of the relationship between diet and heart disease that transformed nutrition science. He became a powerful figure in the science community. Contemporaries who publicly questioned the validity of his findings risked losing their research funding or becoming pariahs. When the U.S. adopted dietary guidelines in 1980, Keys’ recommendations became enshrined in national food policy.

“We have made our policy based upon this weak kind of science called epidemiology which shows association, but not causation,” Teicholz explains. “We have the situation where we just cannot reverse out of these policies that were originally based on really weak science.” Read the rest of this entry »

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‘I’m From The Federal Government And I’m Here To Help’: U.S. Dietary Guidelines Released in 1977 Had No Supporting Evidence

FOOD-PYRAMID

The researchers say they carried out a systematic review and analysis of the trial data that would have been available to the regulatory committees at the time, and found that the dietary advice “lacked any solid trial evidence to back it up.”

LANHAM, Md. (WNEW) — U.S. dietary guidelines released in 1977 encouraged Americans to decrease their fat intake to 30 percent or less of their daily calories and increase carbohydrate intake to 55 to 60 percent of their daily calories, but those guidelines were not supported by evidence gathered from research trials, a new study published in the Open Heart medical journal says.

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According to the U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, this may not come as a surprise to some.

Even at the time, the goals were considered controversial, and were “met with a great deal of debate and controversy from both industry groups and the scientific community,” who “believed the science might not have supported the specificity of the numbers.”

Healthy-Eating-bogus

“It seems incomprehensible that dietary advice was introduced for 220 million Americans and 56 million UK citizens, given the contrary results from a small number of unhealthy men.”

The researchers say they carried out a systematic review and analysis of the trial data that would have been available to the regulatory committees at the time, and found that the dietary advice “lacked any solid trial evidence to back it up.”

They found six relevant trials covering seven different dietary interventions. Read the rest of this entry »


ENDING THE GLOBAL PANIC ABOUT BUTTER: Cease Fire Called in War on Fat

"Are you serious? Butter?"

“Are you serious? Butter?”

Time Cover:  FAT is GOOD

For TIMEBryan Walsh writes:

 In 1977, the year before I was born, a Senate committee led by George McGovern published its landmark “Dietary Goals for the United States,” urging Americans to eat less high-fat red meat, eggs and dairy and replace them with more calories from fruits, vegetables and especially carbohydrates.

By 1980 that wisdom was codified. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued its first dietary guidelines, and one of the primary directives was to avoid cholesterol and fat…(read more)

[Also see Butter: One of the Great Comeback Stories in U.S. Food History]

[Read more Yes, Saturated Fat is Good: Undoing Decades of Government Misinformation About Health]

Read the rest of this entry »


Yes, Saturated Fats Are Good: Undoing Decades of Government Misinformation About Health

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 Think a low fat diet is the key to health? Think again.

For The Daily Beast, Daniela Drake writes:

You can’t blame patients for being skeptical. After years of advocating low-fat diets, Dr. Oz recently declared that eating saturated fat might not actually be all that bad. And the month before that, the press hyped a new study that indicated there’s no good evidence that saturated fats cause heart disease. The American Heart Association41UYArSMSPL._SL110_, on the other hand, continues to promote low-fat diets. So what should physicians tell patients now?

Check out the book: The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet at Amazon.com

Most practicing doctors are poorly equipped to make sense of it all. (Even the doctors on the 2013 cholesterol guideline committee hired other people to read the literature for them.) What should doctors advise—stick with low fat or start cooking with lard?

In the new book, The Big Fat Surprisescience writer Nina Teicholz implies that we should do the latter. Like many people, Teicholz herself was once a disciple of low-fat diets—but after she took an assignment writing restaurant reviews, she found herself losing weight on a diet of heavy creams and fatty meats. Her curiosity was piqued, and she began a nearly decade-long critical review of the research on dietary fat. Her conclusion? Eating saturated fat can be the key to developing a healthy and lean body.

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Settled Science on Saturated Fats Revised

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Mike Flynn writes: For decades, Americans have organized their diet in a way to minimize their intake of saturated fats like butter and red meat. Vegetable oils and carbohydrates became a bigger part of our diet, because, we were repeatedly told, animal fats led to heart disease. Today, however, we are learning that this advice was bogus. A recent landmark health study has concluded that there has never been a link between saturated fats and heart disease. The “settled science” on nutrition wasn’t quite so settled.

Writing in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal, nutrition researcher Nina Teicholz unpacks a new comprehensive study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine which found that “saturated fat does not cause heart disease.” This theory, and decades of government-sponsored nutritional advice can be traced back to one scientist at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Ancel Keyes. His crusade against animal fats began in the 1950s and has misled the public about a proper diet ever since. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] How the Government Makes You Fat: Gary Taubes on Obesity, Carbs, and Bad Science

This is an item I saved from last July, that’s relevant again, in light of the British study that’s been in the news lately (including here) this video is worth revisiting, if you’ve not seen it. It’s the best myth-busting interview about public health I’ve seen all year.

 writes:  “The government can come along and, with all the best intentions, cause enormous problems” says Gary Taubes, a science writer and author most recently of Why We Get Fat And What To Do About It .

Reason.tv‘s Zach Weissmueller talked with Taubes about his controversial work in the world of nutrition and epidemiology, including Taubes’ hypothesis that carbohydrates, not dietary fat, overeating, or lack of physcial activity, are the primary factor causing obesity. Other topics include the inability of governments and large informational institutions such as the American Heart Association to adapt to new information, the mess of bad legislation and bad science that Taubes believes led to America‘s obesity problem, and why many libertarians seem to love the Paleo Diet.

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