The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it. ... In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

Monday, May 23, 2016

New Battle of Fat in the British media

.
British National Obesity Forum and the Public Health Collaboration have just issued a damning report accusing public health bodies of colluding with the food industry, blaming them for contributing to the obesity epidemics and calling for a complete overhaul of the present low fat dietary reccomendations.

Mainstream health "authorities" have fired their salvo accusing the authors of the report of irresponsibility.


(Illustration by Cecilia Bleszynski)

The report is described here, titled "'Eating fat does not make you fat,' says UK health report".

Quotes:

Focus on low fat diets fails to address obesity, return to whole foods like meat, dairy needed.
Urging people to follow low fat diets and to lower their cholesterol is having "disastrous health consequences", a health charity has warned.
In a damning report that accuses major public health bodies of colluding with the food industry, the National Obesity Forum and the Public Health Collaboration call for a “major overhaul” of current dietary guidelines.
They say the focus on low fat diets is failing to address Britain’s obesity crisis, while snacking between meals is making people fat.
Instead, they call for a return to "whole foods" such as meat, fish and dairy, as well as high fat healthy foods including avocados, arguing that "eating fat does not make you fat".
The report — which has caused a huge backlash amongst the scientific community - also argues that saturated fat does not cause heart disease while full fat diary — including milk, yoghurt and cheese — can actually protect the heart.

Processed foods labelled "low fat", "lite", "low cholesterol" or "proven to lower cholesterol" should be avoided at all costs
and people with Type 2 diabetes should eat a fat-rich diet rather than one based on carbohydrates.
The report also said sugar should be avoided, people should stop counting calories and the idea that exercise can help you “outrun a bad diet” is a myth.

...
The authors of the report also argue that the science of food has also been “corrupted by commercial influences”.
Just as big tobacco companies bought the “loyalty of scientists” when a link was made between smoking and lung cancer, the influence of the food industry represents a “significant threat to public health”, they argued.
They said the recent Eatwell Guide from Public Health England (PHE) was produced with a large number of people from the food and drink industry.

Professor David Haslam, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, said: “As a clinician, treating patients all day every day, I quickly realised that guidelines from on high, suggesting high carbohydrate, low fat diets were the universal panacea, were deeply flawed.
“Current efforts have failed — the proof being that obesity levels are higher than they have ever been, and show no chance of reducing despite the best efforts of Government and scientists.”
Dr Aseem Malhotra, consultant cardiologist and founding member of the Public Health Collaboration, a group of medics, said dietary guidelines promoting low fat foods “is perhaps the biggest mistake in modern medical history resulting in devastating consequences for public health.
“Sadly this unhelpful advice continues to be perpetuated. The current Eatwell guide from Public Health England is in my view more like a metabolic timebomb than a dietary pattern conducive for good health.

Professor Iain Broom, from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, said: “The continuation of a food policy recommending high carbohydrate, low fat, low calorie intakes as ‘healthy eating’ is fatally flawed.
“Our populations for almost 40 years, have been subjected to an uncontrolled global experiment that has gone drastically wrong.”



A counterattack has been launched through the BBC by Public Health England "Advice to eat more fat 'irresponsible'":


Quotes:

Advice to eat more fat is irresponsible and potentially deadly, Public Health England's chief nutritionist has said.
Dr Alison Tedstone was responding to a report by the National Obesity Forum, which suggests eating fat could help cut obesity and type 2 diabetes.
The charity said promoting low-fat food had had "disastrous health consequences" and should be reversed.
Other experts have also criticised the report saying it cherry-picked and misquoted evidence.

But the report has been criticised for not going though scientific peer review.
Dr Tedstone responded to the publication by saying: "In the face of all the evidence, calling for people to eat more fat, cut out carbs and ignore calories is irresponsible."
She said thousands of scientific studies were considered as part of the official guidance adopted throughout the UK, whereas the National Obesity Forum quoted just 43 studies, some of which were comment pieces.

She praised the call to lower refined carbohydrates, but said the overall message to cut carbs ignored the issue of quality as "we do need wholegrain carbs and fibre in out diet".

Prof Tom Sanders from King's College London said: "It is not helpful to slag off the sensible dietary advice.
"The harsh criticism of current dietary guidelines meted out in this report is not justified as few people adhere to these guidelines anyway.

I need to help the readers who may have difficulty uderstanding or comprehending Prof Sanders statement. Let me translate it to a language that the working class people may understand.

According to Prof Sanders its OK to tell the public questionable theories bullshit because people don't listen anyway so there is no harm done.

On the side note, for people who did happen to listen, perhaps accidentally, who may have by a chance taken his dietary theories seriously, and got fat - please contact King's College London.

--------------
Update 1/07/2016 - a follow-up study published:

US and UK dietary advice on fats “should not have been introduced” Part 2

Evidence from prospective cohort studies did not support the introduction of dietary fat guidelines in 1977 and 1983: a systematic review Zoë Harcombe1, Julien S Baker1, Bruce Davies2





6 comments :

Morris said...

Hello Stan
Being overweight implies a metabolic dysfunction and eating more calories via fat will not help. So for the vast majority of people (who are overweight) advice to eat less fat is good (but not sufficient) practical advice. My experience suggests that the weight margin for good metabolic regulation is very thin. In my case fat comprises >50% of calories but the caloric intake is very low and appetite adjusts itself without willpower.Your post re your personal experience re calories/kg body weight and time required to heal mirrors my own. I have been experimenting for 6+ years now with gradual but very slow improvements.Your personal experience has been helpful to me. BTW I find most of the "paleo" advice not plausible, beside the point.
Morris

George Henderson said...

This is great stuff.
The revolution in action.
Did dietary advice cause an epidemic of diabesity if no-one followed it?
That's the wrong question.
When people started to get diabesity, was the advice they got the best they could have been given? Or was it inferior advice and captive to a failed lipid hypothesis that was irrelevant to diabesity, indeed counter-factual?
That is the proper question, because people did try to follow their doctors' advice, even if they ignored the Government's overall.

Stan Bleszynski said...

Hi George,

It was not only the inferior advice, not even a possible malicious intent by the medical authorities that I find the most mind boggling, but the attitude of the scientists involved such as Prof Tom Sanders. By suggesting that the publicly pronounced nonsense theories don't matter because nobody is probably listening anyway are in my opinion the worst form of intellectual dishonesty. The society has been always supporting the academics to live in security not having to worry about working for food so that they can do research and search for truth. That one statement basically undermined the whole justification behind supporting the science. Professor whoever is perfectly entitled to spew out any garbage - as long as he spends his own money, not mine. I will not give a dime for any public medical research funding. Future medical research will probably be done privately by self-financed volunteers, hobbyist and small businesses without the existing medical institutions. That's fine for me. Capitalism does work. People will find that out.
Best regards,
Heretic



Stan Bleszynski said...

Hi Morris,
Welcome to my blog. I thought I was the only one who could not consume everyday the full recommended ~200g of fat as recommended by Dr. Kwasniewski's (of Optimal Diet) At least not initially. even now my caloric needs are less than 1500kcal/d, often 1200 is enough. This is interesting question - is our metabolism damaged or just different? Are more people with metabolism like ours? After 17 years on the high animal fat low carb diet, my body has changed in terms of much wider tolerance. For example I can tolerate much more carbohydrates (occcasionally) without getting adverse reaction, but my total daily caloric requirements did not change and are still substantially lower than most people!
Best regards,
Stan

Morris said...

Hi Stan
It is a reasonable question how much of the nutrients we actually absorb and what is the fate if nutrients which are not absorbed? What possible reasons are there for non-absorption,normal and pathological? Answers may be found by doing experiments based on knowledge from microbiology and evolution texts. Not easy and very slow, comparable to rate of aging.Why should it be fast when there is likely very long term effects/damage? To think that our bodies are incapable of automatically regulating our food intake (wild animals can) requires extraordinary evidence or motivated reasoning.Like you I eat very little compared to my previous norm (~50-60%) and I was never much overweight (maybe 15# at most).

Stan Bleszynski said...

Hi Morris,
I suspect that our bodies are not damaged but may be just using food more efficiently; the downside is that our bodies might not tolerate as much processed commercial "food" as other peoples' bodies. If most people are capable of processing 3000 or 4000 kcal a day, twice what we eat, then perhaps their digestive systems can afford to be more selective and filter out the garbage, while ours cannot. If our mitochondrial apparatus were defective then we would experience other problems, for example lack of energy or worse. It has never been my problem, I have lots of energy since 1999 when I switched to fat.
Regards,
Stan