The fat revolution

America has been on a low fat diet for decades now and the results are in. We are fat, sick and cranky. Plenty of studies have shown the pointlessness and even danger of lowfat diets. Why haven’t we heard about them? In 1972, a cholesterol-lowering diet was proved to increase mortality. The study and its results were never published. When Gary Taubes asked the leader of the survey why not, he got a revealing answer: “We didn’t like the results.” At least we find an element of honesty there. When results from science disagree with what the scientific priesthood has been preaching, you don’t need to know. To be fair, in some cases the contradictory evidence is made public, as in the Women’s Health Intervention study in 2006. Yet in almost the same breath the experts brush it aside saying it doesn’t change their recommendations.

The Fat Revolution is packed with information about what studies have been done and what they really say. Some might think this could get a little boring but Christine Cronau spices it up with things like quips from funny-man Tom Naughton. Tom points out that no matter what T. Colin Campbell says, feeding rats isolated dairy proteins proves nothing “because most rats don’t milk cows. The ones who do don’t have the technology to separate the proteins.” Cronau goes on to look at why the real science is suppressed or twisted and comes face to face with the same answer as everyone else who does this exercise. Some call it the universal motivating force. The symbol for that force looks a little like this: $$.

The soy industry at some point must have realized that soy-based food won’t have much fat in it, so they worked hard to convince everyone that fat is dangerous. The rest of the processed food industry has its financial motives for withholding fat from their customers. This works out well for the pharmaceuticals because the result of a lowfat paradigm is a lot of sick people with suboptimal brain function who can easily be convinced that there is a drug for every ailment.

Don’t the doctors know better? The one or two nutrition classes they take in medical school should make them experts, right? Well, they’re on the same lowfat diet as everyone else. One researcher has estimated that 90 percent of the published medical information is false. These data points should give you a hint (if you’re not on a lowfat diet) at what your doctor knows.

The real effects of saturated animal fat in the diet for adults and children are covered in detail. Cronau makes some controversial observations about exercise. The bottom line is that exercise has little effect on weight. She doesn’t say exercise isn’t good for you. Moderate exercise is healthy but isn’t the key to losing weight. In 2006, data collected on thirteen thousand runners indicated that while long-distance runners are leaner, they still got fatter every year. Experts concluded that they needed to get more exercise. I didn’t carefully do the math on this but my impression is that by the time you are fifty years old you would need to run half-way around the planet to stay thin. Some people might have a problem with that. I have no problem giving this book a thumbs UP.

This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation

Christine Cronau and Tim Boyd

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