Another consensus bites the dust

Fatty foods are causing obesity. We all 'know' that, don't we. Except maybe we don't. The New York Times published a lengthy article, wondering What if It's All Been a Big Fat Lie?

The article reports on recent nutritional research which shows that maybe the low-fat, high carbo-hydrate diet recommended by nutritionists and health ministries for decades now may in fact be totally counter-productive.
These researchers point out that there are plenty of reasons to suggest that the low-fat-is-good-health hypothesis has now effectively failed the test of time. In particular, that we are in the midst of an obesity epidemic that started around the early 1980's, and that this was coincident with the rise of the low-fat dogma. (Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease, also rose significantly through this period.) They say that low-fat weight-loss diets have proved in clinical trials and real life to be dismal failures, and that on top of it all, the percentage of fat in the American diet has been decreasing for two decades. Our cholesterol levels have been declining, and we have been smoking less, and yet the incidence of heart disease has not declined as would be expected. "That is very disconcerting," Willett says. "It suggests that something else bad is happening."
Which only goes to show that more often then not the 'scientific consensus' is wrong. Dead wrong.

Towards the end of the article we have John Farquhar, who is a professor of health research and policy at Stanford University, asking "Can we get the low-fat proponents to apologize?" If climate-gate is anything to go by, I'd say the chances are slim. But we should...


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