A study has just been published that looked at the scientific evidence that was used to introduce the dietary guidelines of 30% fat and no more than 10% saturated fat. When making a big decision like this that would affect millions of people, you would hope that it had some solid, scientific basis, but apparently not.
There were 6 trials to test dietary fat before 1983 when the guidelines were introduced, none of which studied women, one studied healthy males and the remaining four contained only males who had previously had a heart attack. So straight away I fail to see how the information gathered was relevant to the majority of the population, but perhaps the findings were so conclusive it could not be ignored.
They weren't. In 5 of the trials there were no significant differences in deaths between the groups and in one trial where one group had 10% saturated fat and the other 14%, the group eating the lowest amount of saturated fat had significantly more deaths.
Here are a few quotes from the studies own conclusions:
It is concluded that under the circumstances of this trial corn oil cannot be recommended as a treatment of ischaemic heart disease. It is most unlikely to be beneficial, and it is possibly harmful.”
“A low-fat diet has no place in the treatment of myocardial infarction (heart attack)”
“It must be concluded that the lipid hypothesis* has gained little support from secondary intervention studies.”
So dietary recommendations that affect over 250 million people in the United Kingdom and United States were put in place after studies containing 2467 males found that there was no relation between saturated fat and heart disease.
How the bloody hell does that work?!!!
There has been some response to these findings, Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England said " This paper is not critical of current advice on saturated fats, but suggests that the advice was introduced prematurely in the 1980's before there was the extensive evidence base that exists today"
Well that's alright then. We lied to you, but now we know it's true.
Hang on a minute ...
Where is this "extensive evidence base"? Locked away at Gringotts, guarded by Goblins? (I'm reading Harry Potter to the girls). The link between saturated fat and heart disease has never been proved. If it had there wouldn't be any debate.
The Government need to put the people first rather than income from food and drug companies and admit they were wrong. Or at least invent a scapegoat or blame it on weapons of mass destruction.