A few days ago the online Washington Post here had an excellent feature story by Peter Whorisky on the long-held belief that food products rich in saturated fats, like whole milk, were a risk to human health. It turns out that this decades-long belief, once backed by a “overwhelming consensus” among scientists, is now appearing to have been mortally wrong.
Science lied, people died
Unfortunately it took the science decades to realize it and government agencies responsible for issuing dietary guidelines still aren’t yet prepared to move to revamp the dietary guidelines as necessary. Meanwhile tens of millions worldwide have died prematurely of protracted, horrible deaths stemming from them following the faulty nutritional guidelines.
Five decades long nutritional scientists, every medical institution, among them the American Heart Association and the Academy of Sciences, all touted the high carb, low-fat diet. And five decades long they were wrong. It took a global epidemic of diabetes and heart disease to get the message across. And finally the media are catching up – though grudgingly: Whorisky pretty much keeps the focus on whole milk only, and away from meat, eggs and other healthy foods we have been told not to eat.
The WaPo writes:
Scientists who tallied diet and health records for several thousand patients over ten years found, for example, that contrary to the government advice, people who consumed more milk fat had lower incidence of heart disease.”
Why the focus only on milk? Why not on meat, eggs, bacon and other sources rich in animal fat? If your are going to admit you were wrong, then do it slowly and hope it doesn’t blow up.
The new medical and nutritional findings are not only a huge embarrassment for the government and medical institutions, but may also be a huge dilemma for the media’s much beloved environmental movement, which long has been touting granola-munching diets as a sustainable way to nourish humans. A renewed shift to animal products is not exactly the direction the planet-saving vegans and environmentalists want us to be on.
According to Marcia Otto, assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Texas:
What we have learned over the last decade is that certain foods that are high in fat seem to be beneficial.”
Whorisky writes that government bureaucrats are now unsure about how to proceed with revising its dietary recommendations. Suddenly and profoundly changing the long-held guidelines likely is not going to go over well with a public that already distrusts government and could even possibly open the government to lawsuits. At any rate it would be a major blow to credibility.
An interesting aspect of Whorisky’s piece is that the media and governments make it sound like all of this is new stuff. It is not. Decades-long a poorly funded minority of experts insisted that the nutritional science behind the lipid hypothesis had been weak and even faulty, and should never be made into dietary guidelines. But these skeptics were defunded, ridiculed and silenced; their science never saw the light of day. It turns out these skeptics had been right all along.
“Fragile hypothesis” becomes “treatment dogma”
Whorisky brings up the 7-country chart by Ancel Keys, regarded as the scientific foundation of the high-carb/low-fat theory, and makes it sound as if the chart originally was valid and that data from other countries came later on. That was not the case. The truth is that Keys had all the data from the other countries from the get-go but chose not to plot them because doing so would have shown that his beloved fat-theory was rubbish – there was in fact no trend showing that heart disease was related to fat intake. Keyes intentionally cherry-picked, cheated and deceived the public by using only the data points that produced a hockey stick.
From then on his theory morphed into a dogma that would go on to survive almost 6 decades. Unfortunately millions of people would die prematurely because of the guidelines later adopted as a result.
‘The vibrant certainty of scientists claiming to be authorities on these matters is disturbing,’ George V. Mann, a biochemist at Vanderbilt’s medical school wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine. Ambitious scientists and food companies, he said, had “transformed [a] fragile hypothesis into treatment dogma.”
Indeed, the subsequent 40 years of science have proven that, if nothing else, the warning against saturated fats was simplistic.
Although Whorisky tunneled his focus on milk and did not accurately present the work of Ancel Keys and the dissidents who opposed him, his piece is one that was overdue and it represents a major step in getting the government and medical associations to admit that they screwed up massively. In hindsight the affair is turning out to be nutritional malpractice of the most egregious sort.
Incredibly, perhaps with the aim of protecting the interests of its many member cardiologists and other physicians, the American Heart Association still stands behind the junk-science based lipid hypothesis and continues to deny the fact that fat is vital for human health and that refined carbohydrates have been the true American dietary disaster.
Climate science is even worse than “fat” science
The same type of junk science is now occurring with a carbon of another form: atmospheric CO2. Here a new breed of junk scientists are hysterically maintaining that CO2 will cause the earth’s climate system to have a heart attack. Here the science backing up that theory is even worse than that of Ancel Keys.