The PJ Tatler

Now They Tell Us -- Fat's Not Bad for You

Any caveman could have told them this:

Guidelines warning people to avoid eating fatty foods such as butter and cheese should not have been introduced, new research has found. Dietary advice issued to tens of millions warned that fat consumption should be strictly limited to cut the risk of heart disease and death.

But experts say the recommendations, which have been followed for the past 30 years, were not backed up by scientific evidence and should never have been issued. The guidelines, introduced in the UK in 1983 and in the US six years earlier, recommended reducing overall dietary fat consumption to 30% of total energy intake and saturated fat to 10%.

But researchers say the guidelines “lacked any solid trial evidence”.

If you want to know where “global warming” came from, look no further than the Great Fat Scare of the late seventies and early eighties, which occurred when people still (relatively) trusted government and didn’t suspect they were being manipulated for political, ideological or simply crackpot reasons.

The research paper, which reviewed data available at the time the guidelines were issued, sates: “It seems incomprehensible that dietary advice was introduced for 220 million Americans and 56 million UK citizens, given the contrary results from a small number of unhealthy men.

“The results of the present meta-analysis support the hypothesis that the available (randomised controlled trials) did not support the introduction of dietary fat recommendations in order to reduce (coronary heart disease) risk or related mortality.” The paper, published in the online journal Open Heart, added: “Dietary advice not merely needs review; it should not have been introduced.”

“Incomprehensible”? Not at all. Skepticism of authority used to be a hallmark of journalism. Today, not so much.