#1 Your Government-Approved Diet May Kill You by algernonpj 22.05.2015 18:55


Unfortunately government nutritional studies are usually done on small groups of people and often set up to produce outcomes beneficial to governments corporate agra sponors.

Your Government-Approved Diet May Kill You
Congress became directly involved during the 1970s in the question of what the American people ought to eat
by Aaron Tao | Mises.org | May 22, 2015

Is there a greater tragedy imaginable than that, in our endeavour consciously to shape our future in accordance with high ideals, we should in fact unwittingly produce the very opposite of what we have been striving for? — F. A. Hayek

Most of us “know” that eating too much saturated fat (which includes red meat, dairy products, and eggs) raises our cholesterol levels and puts us at risk for heart disease.

While we’re at it, we should greatly cut down on the salt too. These lessons are reinforced in our health classes and what the media has been telling us for decades. After all, this is the consensus reflected in the “Dietary Guidelines for Americans” issued by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and backed up by allegedly solid, objective science from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). As extra reassurance, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will use its regulatory authority to crack down on trans fats, the worst villain of them all.

Despite the appearance of a seemingly united front in the war on obesity, sharp dissent over sound nutrition policy is silently bubbling beneath the surface. It may be a sign of the times that fundamental challenges have come to the forefront and are becoming increasingly accepted. Growing numbers of scientists are expressing public skepticism toward the federal government’s official low-salt guidelines. Back in February of this year, the government’s top nutrition panel withdrew its nearly forty-year-old warning on restricting cholesterol intake and grudgingly concluded that “available evidence shows no appreciable relationship between consumption of dietary cholesterol and [blood] cholesterol.”

The Health Consensus Unravels

In one of the Wall Street Journal’s top-shared op-eds of 2014, investigative journalist Nina Teicholz threw down the gauntlet on the mainstream diet guidelines on fat:

“Saturated fat does not cause heart disease” — or so concluded a big study published in March in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine. How could this be? The very cornerstone of dietary advice for generations has been that the saturated fats in butter, cheese and red meat should be avoided because they clog our arteries. For many diet-conscious Americans, it is simply second nature to opt for chicken over sirloin, canola oil over butter.

The new study’s conclusion shouldn’t surprise anyone familiar with modern nutritional science, however. The fact is, there has never been solid evidence for the idea that these fats cause disease. We only believe this to be the case because nutrition policy has been derailed over the past half-century by a mixture of personal ambition, bad science, politics and bias.

Teicholz elaborates upon her thesis in her eye-opening, best-selling book The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet. With over 100 pages of footnotes and an extensive bibliography, it is clear that Teicholz has done her homework. In her nine-year investigation, she extensively reviewed the scientific literature and interviewed many of the key personalities in government, private industry, and advocacy groups who played influential roles in crafting official nutrition policy. While many people might be tempted to blame “the nefarious interests of Big Food,” Teicholz came to discover that the “source of the our misguided diet advice … seems to have been driven by experts at some of our most trusted institutions working towards what they believed to be the public good.”

The Rise of the Government Expert


Dogma is a term that is usually associated with fundamentalist religions. But unfortunately, even scientists who are supposedly trained to think critically and independently are not immune to groupthink, the temptations offered by political prestige, and the limits of what’s “acceptable” as dictated by funding.


To make matters worse, Congress became directly involved during the 1970s in the question of what the American people ought to eat. Teicholz explained how the Beltway culture allowed for bad ideas to take hold and stay entrenched (as anyone who has worked there can attest to):

With its massive bureaucracies and obedient chains of command, Washington is the very opposite of the kind of place where skepticism — so essential to good science — can survive.


The Data Doesn’t Say What Congress Thinks it Says

Having studied anthropology, I was delighted that Teicholz highlighted glaring “paradoxes” by digging out several examples of indigenous populations that ate almost all meat and animal fat such as the Inuit and theMasai yet had virtually no recorded cases of heart disease, obesity, or any of the chronic diseases of Western civilization (that is until they added sugar and refined carbs to their diet).

[A]fter a decade of eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while cutting back on meat and fat, these women not only failed to lose weight, but they also did not see any significant reduction in their risk for either heart disease or cancer of any major kind. WHI was the largest and longest trial ever of the low-fat diet, and the results indicated that the diet had quite simply failed.

As Teicholz moved toward the present day state of affairs, she cites the work of award-winning science journalist Gary Taubes and a few brave, unorthodox researchers including Stephen D. Finney and Jeff S. Volek, who challenged the taboo against red meat and fat. Thanks to high-profile pieces in Science and the New York Times as well as a comprehensive book, Good Calories, Bad Calories, Taubes was more responsible than anyone in reopening the debate that carbohydrates, not fat, are the drivers of obesity and other chronic diseases. Even as more people today become aware of the deleterious effects from consuming high amounts of refined carbs and sugars, the permanent damage has been done thanks to the long-standing bias toward the saturated fat–heart disease hypothesis. Official policymakers embraced this view, advocacy groups added fuel to the fire, and restaurants and cafeterias altered their menus. Millions of Americans changed their eating patterns and avoided meat, cheese, milk, cream, and butter. In the end, the results are not pretty:

Measured just by death and disease, and not including the millions of lives derailed by excess weight and obesity, it’s very possible that the course of nutrition advice over the past sixty years has taken an unparalleled toll on human history. It now appears that since 1961, the entire American population has, indeed, been subjected to a mass experiment, and the results have clearly been a failure. Every reliable indicator of good health is worsened by a low-fat diet. … Despite more than two billion dollars in public money spent trying to prove that lowering saturated fat will prevent heart attacks, the diet-heart hypothesis has not held up.

By the end of the book, it seemed very clear that almost everything Uncle Sam told us about the “dangers” of saturated fat is completely wrong. That being said, it is past time to demolish the USDA food guide pyramid. Let Teicholz’s exposé serve as a warning when political crusaders and their bureaucratic allies are allowed to force top-down solutions on everyone without ever having to face accountability for their mistakes no matter how egregious.

More and lots of links:

#2 RE: Your Government-Approved Diet May Kill You by Sanguine 23.05.2015 10:47

Good article, but I can't stand Alex Jones, so here's another link to mises.org.


Xobor Create your own Forum with Xobor