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".
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'":
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
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