Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Why Were 1977 and 1983 So Damaging to Our Health?

According to a review in this month's issue of Open Heart, national dietary guidelines were introduced in 1977 and 1983, by the US and UK governments, respectively, with the ambition of reducing coronary heart disease (CHD) by reducing fat intake. To date, no analysis of the evidence base for these recommendations has been undertaken.

In evaluating all evidence since, there were no differences in all-cause mortality and non-significant differences in CHD mortality, resulting from the dietary interventions. The reductions in mean serum cholesterol levels were significantly higher in the intervention groups; this did not result in significant differences in CHD or all-cause mortality.

What's worse: government dietary fat recommendations were untested in any trial prior to being introduced. The authors conclude that dietary recommendations were introduced for 220 million US and 56 million UK citizens by 1983, in the absence of supporting evidence from randomly controlled trials.

Bonnie: You can thank a good portion of our obesity epidemic for these decisions. When everyone went fat-free, we had to replace those calories with something right? Of course, we replaced fat with carbohydrates, mostly in grain form.

While the thinking on fat is changing rapidly, the damage has been done. It will take a few more generations to right the ship.

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