2010 Dietary Guidelines: Fat Made Us Fat

After enjoying myself while on vacation in Chicago, I decided to do penance by reading more of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines.  (Our house, meanwhile, imposed its own penance by developing a plumbing problem that caused the toilets to back up into the downstairs bathtub.  I’m not sure which was more nauseating:  scooping sewage from the tub, or reading the Dietary Guidelines.)

The 86-page section I just finished is titled “Energy Balance,” but could’ve been titled “Let’s Put Our Heads Together and Save The Reputation of The Carbohydrate” or perhaps “Nobody Who Blames Carbohydrates Gets Out of Here Alive.”

In a nutshell, this is what the committee concluded:

  • We’re fat because we consume too many calories and don’t move around enough, period, end of story, so would everyone please shut up about macronutrient balances and just go on a low-calorie diet for Pete’s sake, and then maybe go jogging.
  • We consume too many calories because we eat too much fat … uh, and sugar too.
  • We eat too much fat (uh, and sugar too) because there are too many fast-food establishments and not enough grocery stores and produce markets.

For the two or three people living in civilized society who are unfamiliar with the theory that consuming more calories than you burn will make you fat, the committee generously took the phrase “consuming more calories than you burn will make you fat” and translated it into impressive-sounding Engfish:

Energy balance refers to the balance between calories consumed through eating and drinking and those calories expended through physical activity and metabolic processes. Energy consumed must equal energy expended for a person to remain at the same body weight. Overweight and obesity will result from excess calorie intake and/or inadequate physical activity. Weight loss will occur when a calorie deficit exists, which can be achieved by eating less, being more physically active, or a combination of the two.

So there you have it:  the key to losing weight is to base your diet on a theory that has less than a 2% success rate.  But hey, if you’re one of the 98% who tried to lose weight and failed, don’t feel bad.  It’s not your fault, really.  As the committee explains:

Examining shifts in the food environment over the past 40 years is helpful in understanding why Americans have difficulty meeting the U.S. Dietary Guidelines.

As someone with working tastebuds, I always assumed most people had difficulty meeting the U.S. Dietary Guidelines because they don’t like bland, low-fat, low-salt, tasteless grain-based foods.  Turns out I just didn’t have the intellectual capacity to fully grasp the many complexities involved.  You can read about those complexities in the official report if you want to give yourself a serious headache, but just to give you an idea, I copied the helpful graphic provided in the report:

 

Wow … and to think some people still believe in the concept of free will.  Clearly, this amazingly complex set of environmental influences can only be solved by an equally complex set of government initiatives.  The committee offers just a hint of things to come.  (Those “things,” since this is a government committee, would be regulations.)

In order to reduce the obesity epidemic, actions must be taken to improve the food environment. Policy (local, state, and national) and private-sector efforts must be made to increase the availability of nutrient-dense foods for all Americans, especially for low-income Americans, through greater access to grocery stores, produce trucks, and farmers’ markets, and greater financial incentives to purchase and prepare healthy foods. The restaurant and food industries are encouraged to offer foods in appropriate portion sizes that are low in calories, added sugars, and solid fat. Local zoning policies should be considered to reduce fast food restaurant placement near schools.

Yup, we need those regulations and financial incentives because poor people don’t have enough access to grocery stores and have too much access to fast food.  Here’s how the committee figured it out:

The presence of supermarkets in local neighborhoods and other sources of vegetables and fruits are associated with lower body mass index, especially for low-income Americans, while lack of supermarkets and long distances to supermarkets are associated with higher body mass index. Finally, limited but consistent evidence suggests that increased geographic density of fast food restaurants and convenience stores is also related to increased body mass index.

An economist would say that a lack of supermarkets is associated with a lack of community support for supermarkets, while a high concentration of fast-food restaurants is associated with strong community support for fast food.  But apparently the committee has figured out that supermarkets are avoiding low-income areas because they just don’t want the extra business.  So now we need to bribe them … or the people in the community … or … well, dangit, I don’t know, but SOMEBODY needs to be bribed, or that graphic explaining all the complexities will look exactly the same when the 2015 committee meets.

My graphic of the problem would look something like this:


The committee, empanelled by a government that spends billions of dollars subsidizing grains (and millions more subsidizing research conducted by anti-fat hysterics), heartily disagrees.  Okay, it’s impossible to express anything “heartily” in Engfish, but you get the idea.  They assure us that fat is a major culprit behind the rise in obesity.

To make the document impressively large, they included long sections discussing food production figures, adolescent screen time, who eats breakfast and who doesn’t, maternal weight during pregnancy, calorie counts of various beverages, caloric expenditure for various forms of exercise, methodologies for gathering data on all the above, etc.  I’ll skip those because they’re more boring than C-SPAN and don’t contain anything useful. 

The real story for me was how they managed to blame fat for making us fatter while exonerating carbohydrates.  To accomplish this, all they had to do was cherry-pick, ignore, or explain away the actual evidence.  Here’s a sample from the section on childhood obesity:

The relationship of dietary fat to adiposity in children has been studied more extensively than for other macronutrients, primarily because of its high energy density and palatability, both qualities likely to promote passive overconsumption of energy if not regulated (Parsons, 1999). In addition, studies suggest that fat intake induces less potent satiety signals and less compensation with respect to subsequent energy intake, compared with dietary protein or carbohydrate (Doucet, 1997; Bray, 2004), and that fat oxidation is not as highly regulated as carbohydrate utilization.

Okay, I have to interrupt the committee at this point.  Are they actually telling us that fat doesn’t provide satiety, but carbohydrates do?!  Does anyone makes jokes about how an hour after eating at a steak house, you’re hungry again?  Sometimes when I have sausage and eggs for breakfast, I forget to eat lunch.  That never, ever happened when I ate Grape-Nuts.  Even some of the most strident anti-Atkins hysterics admit people lose weight, but then explain that it’s only because all that fat is satisfying, so people eat less.  They call it a “low-calorie diet in disguise” — usually just before warning that you’ll die of a heart attack.

But back to the committee:

In metabolic studies of children, meal induced thermogenesis increased more after a high-carbohydrate meal than after a high-fat meal; and although fat oxidation increased after the high fat meal, postprandial fat storage was greater after the high fat meal compared with the high carbohydrate meal (Maffeis, 2001).

Ah, I see.  So it’s the fat that’s making our youngsters fat, while carbohydrates keep them lean.  I guess if somebody created a list of what kids actually eat, fatty foods would be at the top. 

Oh, wait … somebody did create that list.  In fact, the committee created the list.  Here, as published in their own report, are the top 10 sources of calories for males between the ages of two and 18:

1. Pizza
2. Grain-based desserts
3. Soda/energy/sports drinks
4. Chicken and chicken mixed dishes
5. Yeast breads
6. Reduced fat milk
7. Dairy desserts
8. Pasta and pasta dishes
9. Ready-to-eat cereals
10. Burgers

Here’s the same list for females between two and 18:

1. Grain-based desserts
2. Yeast breads
3. Pasta and pasta dishes
4. Pizza
5. Chicken and chicken mixed dishes
6. Soda/energy/sports drinks
7. Reduced fat milk
8. Potato/corn/other chips
9. Dairy desserts
10. Mexican mixed dishes.

Call me crazy, but that looks like a list dominated by carbohydrate-rich foods.  I wonder why the heck all that highly regulated carbohydrate utilization isn’t producing satiety and massive thermogenesis in our kids and keeping them thin.  By the way, whole milk, beef and cheese are pretty far down on the list for both genders.  Pork products were at 17 for both genders, and eggs didn’t make the top 25 in either group.

In another major section on Fat and Cholesterol (which I’ll get to in another post), the committee lists our average fat intake over the decades.  Check out these figures:

1977:
Total fat grams per day – 84.6
Fat percent of total calories – 40

1996:
Total fat grams per day – 71.4
Fat percent of total calories – 32.8

2006:
Total fat grams per day – 81.9
Fat percent of total calories – 33.6

Anyone care to read those figures and then explain to me how it’s too much fat that sparked a rise in obesity?  Were we fatter in 1977, when we ate more of the stuff?  Amazing … these people can see the evidence right in front of their academic faces, then draw conclusions that have nothing to do with it. 

Here’s an another example of explaining away results they don’t like:

One longitudinal study found no association between dietary energy density and adiposity among children who were followed annually from age 2 to 18 years (Alexy, 2005). Participants in this cohort were classified by dietary pattern into clusters based on percent energy from fat, with dietary energy density lowest at 3.7 (0.4) in the low fat cluster; 4.0 (0.4) in the medium fat intake; and highest at 4.1 (0.4) in the high fat cluster. Mean BMI during the study period differed significantly, with the highest BMI in the low fat, low dietary energy density cluster, a result the investigators suggest may have reflected under-reporting of energy intake among overweight participants, difficulty in detecting minor over-consumption of energy, and lack of power due to small sample size.

Get that?  In this study, kids who ate the diet lowest in fat had the highest BMI … but by gosh, we can dismiss this one because the investigators suggested the fat kids (and only the fat kids) didn’t report their intake accurately.  How convenient.  I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that if the low-fat group had the lowest BMI, the investigators wouldn’t have felt any need to pooh-pooh their own results.

The examples of explaining away or completely ignoring the evidence get even worse.  If you can stay awake long enough, read this paragraph carefully:

Three of the four RCTs found no association between percent energy from dietary fat and adiposity. The STRIP clinical trial, which tested the effects of a fat-modified diet from 7 months of age (Hakanen, 2006), reported less obesity among intervention girls compared with control girls at age 10 years, but no differences for boys; while at age 14 years, Niinikoski et al. (2007) found no difference in obesity between treatment groups, for either males or females. Caballero et al. (2003) reported no change in percent body fat in a 3-year school-based nutrition and physical activity intervention among 1,704 Native American children, who were age 7 years at baseline. Results showed that percent body fat and BMI did not differ by treatment group at study end. However, children in the intervention group reported lower total energy intake (1,892 vs. 2,157 kcal/d) and percent energy from total fat (31.1% vs. 33.6%) compared with the control group, and percent energy from fat was lower in the intervention school lunches compared to the control schools (28.2% vs. 32.0%).

So in several trials, kids who were put on a low-fat diet didn’t end up any leaner than the kids in the control groups.  And in the last study cited, the kids on a low-fat diet consumed less fat and fewer calories but STILL didn’t end up any leaner.  Now, if you have a functioning brain, you’d probably look at that as evidence that low-fat diets aren’t the key to making kids leaner.  But unfortunately, having a functioning brain would also disqualify you from serving on a government nutrition committee — as evidenced by their conclusion:

In summary, the combination of evidence from methodologically strong studies in the NEL and ADA reviews supports a conclusion that dietary fat and adiposity in children are positively associated.

Yes, you read that correctly.  No, it doesn’t make any sense.  I’m starting to wonder if they made the document long and boring in hopes that no one would bother to analyze it.

Since this committee was no doubt given the task of justifying the Food Pyramid, they did their best to dissuade people from attempting to lose weight by giving up grains and other subsidized carbohydrates:

There is strong and consistent evidence that when calorie intake is controlled, macronutrient proportion of the diet is not related to losing weight. A moderate body of evidence provides no data to suggest that any one macronutrient is more effective than any other for avoiding weight regain in weight reduced persons. A moderate body of evidence demonstrates that diets with less than 45 percent of calories as carbohydrates are not more successful for long-term weight loss (12 months). There is also some evidence that they may be less safe.

Hmmm, I wonder which evidence convinced them low-carbohydrate diets may be less safe?  It certainly wasn’t the study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that concluded women who ate a high-fat diet showed less progression of heart disease than women who ate a high-carb diet.  Or the study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that concluded that women who followed the Atkins diet lost the most weight and had the best metabolic markers.  Or the study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that found zero association between saturated fat and heart disease or stroke.  Or about a dozen more I could name.

Well, let’s just set aside the safety issue and look at their evidence on weight loss:

Twenty studies found no difference in weight loss between diets differing in macronutrient proportion. (Arvidsson, 2004; Avenell, 2004; Benassi-Evans, 2009; Capel, 2008; de Luis, 2009; Frisch, 2009; Gordon, 2008; Jenkins, 2009; Johnston, 2006; Leidy, 2007; Lim, 2009; Lopez-Fontana, 2009; McLaughlin, 2006; Miller, 2009; Noakes, 2006; Sacks, 2009; Tay, 2008; Viguerie, 2005; Wal, 2007; White, 2007).

Thirteen studies found that lower carbohydrate diets reduced weight significantly more than low-fat or higher-carbohydrate diets (Buscemi, 2009; Halyburton, 2007; Hession, 2009; Johnstone, 2008; Keogh, 2008; Krieger, 2006; Mahon, 2007; McAuley, 2005; Nickols-Richardson, 2005; Nordmann, 2006; Rankin, 2007; Shai, 2008; Volek, 2009).

Isn’t that interesting?  First they tell us it’s fat making us fat.  Then they tell us 20 studies showed the macronutrient content makes no difference in weight loss.  And finally they tell us 13 studies showed people lost more weight on low-carbohydrate diets. Notice they didn’t cite any studies showing that low-fat diets — the type they recommend — produce more weight loss.

Interestingly, in a document full of research citations, I didn’t find a single reference to the Stanford study conducted by Dr. Chris Gardner — a vegetarian who admitted he was a bit dismayed when his own results showed that people on the Atkins diet lost the most weight and had the biggest improvements in health markers.  Somehow, a committee that brags about its efforts to review all the relevant evidence managed to skip that one.

If 20 studies showed no difference, while 13 other studies showed greater weight loss for people restricting carbohydrates, then the obvious conclusion is that low-carb diets are more effective for quite a few people.  (Heck, let’s make it 14.  I’ll throw in the Stanford study, even if they didn’t.)  But you can read the report forwards, backwards, and sideways, and you’ll never find that possibility even mentioned.

And if you were to dig into the 20 studies that showed no difference, I promise you’d find many of them used a loosey-goosey definition of “low carbohydrate.”  The committee, for example, defines it as less than 45% of calories.  That’s a common trick employed by researchers who set out to prove low-carb diets don’t work. (See this post for an example.) 

Anyone who reads the Atkins books, the Protein Power books, or any other book on low-carb diets knows you’re supposed to kick-start the fat-burning process by reducing your carbohydrate intake to 20-40 grams per day for a couple of weeks, then gradually raise it to perhaps 60-100 grams per day, depending on your reaction to carbohydrates.  At 1800 calories per day, a diet that’s 40% carbohydrates would work out to 180 grams.  Even 30% percent carbohydrates would work out to 135 grams. 

Most of the people I know who lost weight by restricting carbohydrates limited their carb intake to somewhere between 5% and 20% of total calories.  So the “low carb” diet in many of these studies wasn’t even close to what Dr. Atkins or Drs. Eades and Eades advised … it’s just lower in carbs than what the federal government recommends.

Just to make sure we didn’t miss the point, the committee tossed in this paragraph near the end:

The macronutrient distribution of a person’s diet is not the driving force behind the obesity, rather it is the overly large amount of total calories eaten coupled with very low physical activity. There is no optimal proportion of dietary fat, carbohydrate, and protein to maintain a healthy body weight, to lose weight, or to avoid weight regain after weight loss. It is the total amount of calories eaten that is essential. While weight can be reduced with diets where the macronutrient proportions vary widely, the crucial issue is not the macronutrient proportion but rather the compliance with a reduced-calorie intake.

We’re just plain eating too much, you see.  As Gary Taubes noted in Good Calories, Bad Calories, saying fat people are fat because they eat too much is about as illuminating as saying alcoholics are alcoholics because they drink too much.  It doesn’t begin to explain why.  It doesn’t even ask the question.

We eat too much because we’re too hungry.  And we’re too hungry because the federal government decided to tell us how to eat and helped turn us into a nation of carbohydrate addicts.  Isn’t it comforting to know they’re coming to save the day?

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94 thoughts on “2010 Dietary Guidelines: Fat Made Us Fat

  1. Lori

    Tom, you are really doing a public service reading, interpreting and distilling these government publications. I proofread financial statements and business valuations, so I have an idea.

    Nevertheless, I think the demise of big, feathered hats is regrettable.

    I could go for big, feathered hats. As a balding man, I’d be happy just to return the styles of the 1940s, when nearly all men wore hats.

    Reply
  2. Kate

    Thanks for taking the time to read that snorefest and post. Here’s a diet that would fit in great with their recommendation, since macronutrient content doesn’t matter. The Romy and Michelle High School Reunion diet. One of them says, “Did I tell you about this fat free diet I’ve been on? For the past two days I’ve had nothing to eat except candy corn and gummy bears.” The other one replies, “Oh, I wish I had your will power!”

    Their version of the Snackwell’s diet, apparently.

    Reply
  3. Sandy

    Hear Hear, why can’t they admit the obvious!!! Thank you for your voice!!

    They’d have to admit the government has been pushing the wrong diet for 40 years and is still subsidizing the wrong foods.

    Reply
  4. Kate

    Thanks for taking the time to read that snorefest and post. Here’s a diet that would fit in great with their recommendation, since macronutrient content doesn’t matter. The Romy and Michelle High School Reunion diet. One of them says, “Did I tell you about this fat free diet I’ve been on? For the past two days I’ve had nothing to eat except candy corn and gummy bears.” The other one replies, “Oh, I wish I had your will power!”

    Their version of the Snackwell’s diet, apparently.

    Reply
  5. Sandy

    Hear Hear, why can’t they admit the obvious!!! Thank you for your voice!!

    They’d have to admit the government has been pushing the wrong diet for 40 years and is still subsidizing the wrong foods.

    Reply
  6. TonyNZ

    “with the highest BMI in the low fat, low dietary energy density cluster, a result the investigators suggest may have reflected under-reporting of energy intake among overweight participants”

    I wept.

    “methodologically strong studies”

    Was this translated into long-form engfish in the study?

    @ Carol Bardelli – “I’m lovin’ it!”

    I see those McDonalds marketing folk got to you!

    Everything was Engfish in the report.

    Reply
  7. TonyNZ

    “with the highest BMI in the low fat, low dietary energy density cluster, a result the investigators suggest may have reflected under-reporting of energy intake among overweight participants”

    I wept.

    “methodologically strong studies”

    Was this translated into long-form engfish in the study?

    @ Carol Bardelli – “I’m lovin’ it!”

    I see those McDonalds marketing folk got to you!

    Everything was Engfish in the report.

    Reply
  8. TonyNZ

    “Everything was Engfish in the report.”

    I was meaning did they define the exclusion criteria for methodologically weak studies.

    All Blacks = our national rugby team, currently world #1. Rugby is our nations most popular sport.

    Therefore people who captain the All Blacks are pretty much lifetime celebrities.

    There’s a 15 page document on methodology. In nutshell, they claim to have conducted searches far and wide for the literature and then selected the methodologically strong studies. A sample:

    National Service Volunteers, a cadre of highly qualified nutrition and health professionals, were trained and served as evidence abstractors to support the systematic review process. They: 1) classified the study by design type, 2) extracted key evidence from each individual study into a comprehensive, templated evidence worksheet (made available to committee members and posted on the NEL), and 3) applied predefined criteria from a Research Design and Implementation Checklists for each primary research study and review study to critically appraise the methodological quality of the study. Evidence abstractors received training on how to apply the criteria to studies differing in design.

    Each study received a quality rating of positive, neutral, or negative, based upon a predefined scoring system (these quality grades are available for each article in the NEL). In the chapter text, for clarity these ratings are described as studies which are methodologically strong (positive), methodologically neutral (neutral), and methodologically weak (negative). The appraisal of study quality is a critical component of the systematic review methodology because in a highly transparent manner, it indicates the Committee’s judgment regarding the relevance (external validity/generalizability) and validity of each study’s results. This rating, referred to as the “quality rating” indicates the extent to which the design and conduct of a study is shown to be protected from systematic bias, nonsystematic bias, and inferential error (Lohr, 2004). Studies were not excluded on the basis of quality rating. However, the quality rating was taken into consideration by the DGAC as they reviewed the literature and formed conclusions.

    Reply
  9. Bushrat

    This bit makes me think they are living in fantasy land:

    “The relationship of dietary fat to adiposity in children has been studied more extensively than for other macronutrients, primarily because of its high energy density and palatability, both qualities likely to promote passive overconsumption of energy if not regulated (Parsons, 1999). In addition, studies suggest that fat intake induces less potent satiety signals and less compensation with respect to subsequent energy intake, compared with dietary protein or carbohydrate (Doucet, 1997; Bray, 2004), and that fat oxidation is not as highly regulated as carbohydrate utilization.”

    If I read it right (my Engfish comprehension is out of practice) they say that you can eat all the fat you want but you won’t feel full and its easy to gorge yourself on fat. I wonder if they really think Mr and Mrs Fatty sit in front of the television spooning lard into their mouths.

    Apparently, they somehow looked at the figures showing we consume less fat than 30-40 years ago and came to exactly that conclusion.

    Reply
  10. Bushrat

    Also, you refer to a lot of studies. You should have a page (continually updated) where you provide the references for the papers you refer to. It would be a great resource for anyone interested in reading them.

    It’s a bit involved, but a good idea. I’ll think on that one.

    Reply
  11. TonyNZ

    “Everything was Engfish in the report.”

    I was meaning did they define the exclusion criteria for methodologically weak studies.

    All Blacks = our national rugby team, currently world #1. Rugby is our nations most popular sport.

    Therefore people who captain the All Blacks are pretty much lifetime celebrities.

    There’s a 15 page document on methodology. In nutshell, they claim to have conducted searches far and wide for the literature and then selected the methodologically strong studies. A sample:

    National Service Volunteers, a cadre of highly qualified nutrition and health professionals, were trained and served as evidence abstractors to support the systematic review process. They: 1) classified the study by design type, 2) extracted key evidence from each individual study into a comprehensive, templated evidence worksheet (made available to committee members and posted on the NEL), and 3) applied predefined criteria from a Research Design and Implementation Checklists for each primary research study and review study to critically appraise the methodological quality of the study. Evidence abstractors received training on how to apply the criteria to studies differing in design.

    Each study received a quality rating of positive, neutral, or negative, based upon a predefined scoring system (these quality grades are available for each article in the NEL). In the chapter text, for clarity these ratings are described as studies which are methodologically strong (positive), methodologically neutral (neutral), and methodologically weak (negative). The appraisal of study quality is a critical component of the systematic review methodology because in a highly transparent manner, it indicates the Committee’s judgment regarding the relevance (external validity/generalizability) and validity of each study’s results. This rating, referred to as the “quality rating” indicates the extent to which the design and conduct of a study is shown to be protected from systematic bias, nonsystematic bias, and inferential error (Lohr, 2004). Studies were not excluded on the basis of quality rating. However, the quality rating was taken into consideration by the DGAC as they reviewed the literature and formed conclusions.

    Reply
  12. Bushrat

    This bit makes me think they are living in fantasy land:

    “The relationship of dietary fat to adiposity in children has been studied more extensively than for other macronutrients, primarily because of its high energy density and palatability, both qualities likely to promote passive overconsumption of energy if not regulated (Parsons, 1999). In addition, studies suggest that fat intake induces less potent satiety signals and less compensation with respect to subsequent energy intake, compared with dietary protein or carbohydrate (Doucet, 1997; Bray, 2004), and that fat oxidation is not as highly regulated as carbohydrate utilization.”

    If I read it right (my Engfish comprehension is out of practice) they say that you can eat all the fat you want but you won’t feel full and its easy to gorge yourself on fat. I wonder if they really think Mr and Mrs Fatty sit in front of the television spooning lard into their mouths.

    Apparently, they somehow looked at the figures showing we consume less fat than 30-40 years ago and came to exactly that conclusion.

    Reply
  13. Bushrat

    Also, you refer to a lot of studies. You should have a page (continually updated) where you provide the references for the papers you refer to. It would be a great resource for anyone interested in reading them.

    It’s a bit involved, but a good idea. I’ll think on that one.

    Reply
  14. musajen

    Back in college (crap, more than 10 years now) one of my summer job experiences was a camp in Michigan that worked with inner city kids from Detroit. As part of our pre-camper training, we were dividied into teams of six and dropped in the Eastern Market in Detroit with a dollar in each of our pockets.

    Apparently the Eastern Market has undergone revitalization since then but at the time it was dilapitated and teeming with the poor and homeless. It was supposed to be an immersion experience into the world most of our campers were living in day to day and we were tasked to feed ourselves with the four quarters we were each allocated.

    After pooling our resources, we had $6 to feed six people and we ended up with a loaf of bread, a package of bologne, a bunch of banana’s and, (luxury items) a 2 litre of soda and an unnecessarily large bag of cups. Clearly not ideal from a low-carb perspective, but there was produce.

    The Eastern Market is maybe unique to other low income areas – I have no idea if such a thing was or is available in any other low-income areas of major cities (rural girl) but it was an interesting exercise in choices. And our choices weren’t as limited as I would have expected.

    It would be an interesting experiment to see if it’s possible to live on a controlled carb diet on a very low income. Lots of eggs, I would imagine.

    Reply
  15. musajen

    Back in college (crap, more than 10 years now) one of my summer job experiences was a camp in Michigan that worked with inner city kids from Detroit. As part of our pre-camper training, we were dividied into teams of six and dropped in the Eastern Market in Detroit with a dollar in each of our pockets.

    Apparently the Eastern Market has undergone revitalization since then but at the time it was dilapitated and teeming with the poor and homeless. It was supposed to be an immersion experience into the world most of our campers were living in day to day and we were tasked to feed ourselves with the four quarters we were each allocated.

    After pooling our resources, we had $6 to feed six people and we ended up with a loaf of bread, a package of bologne, a bunch of banana’s and, (luxury items) a 2 litre of soda and an unnecessarily large bag of cups. Clearly not ideal from a low-carb perspective, but there was produce.

    The Eastern Market is maybe unique to other low income areas – I have no idea if such a thing was or is available in any other low-income areas of major cities (rural girl) but it was an interesting exercise in choices. And our choices weren’t as limited as I would have expected.

    It would be an interesting experiment to see if it’s possible to live on a controlled carb diet on a very low income. Lots of eggs, I would imagine.

    Reply
  16. Dan

    Scooping sewage or reading the guidelines? That’s a hard choice. 🙂

    Thanks for revealing the obfuscation of real science with gobbletygook. Did these folks get paid by the pound?

    They weren’t paid, at least not directly. I’d be curious to see what kind of grants they receive for future research, however.

    Reply
  17. Dan

    One more thing…
    If they’d take these “goverment iniatives” (including the guidlines) and stick ’em where the sun don’t shine, we’d all be better off.

    Reply
  18. Dan

    Scooping sewage or reading the guidelines? That’s a hard choice. 🙂

    Thanks for revealing the obfuscation of real science with gobbletygook. Did these folks get paid by the pound?

    They weren’t paid, at least not directly. I’d be curious to see what kind of grants they receive for future research, however.

    Reply
  19. Dan

    One more thing…
    If they’d take these “goverment iniatives” (including the guidlines) and stick ’em where the sun don’t shine, we’d all be better off.

    Reply
  20. Wanda

    I just love the total 180 degree turn… carb controlled diets show better results for weight loss, so lets eat MORE carbs! stupid government…

    On a mainly unrelated note, at least in the good ol’ US of A you can get butter with your english muffin, something I occasionally indulge in at breakfast. Up here in Canada, when you ask for butter, they reply “sure,” and hand you a couple of containers of Becel Margarine. Yup, can’t even get real butter at McD’s here!

    I’ve asked for butter in a few restaurants here, only to be told they don’t have any. Even a steakhouse here doesn’t have butter. How’s that for strange: we’ll serve you a big, fatty, juicy steak, but not butter … ?

    Reply
  21. TonyNZ

    So, as I understand it:

    Me: So how did you select methodologically strong studies?

    Them: Well, we trained some people to do it for us.

    Me: So how did you train them?

    Them: Well, we showed them how to use a checklist that tallied up whether they were good or not.

    Me: So what was on the checklist?

    Them: Oh, that’s not important, what’s important is that it was done by qualified nutritionists.

    Me: And the panel is made up of…?

    Them: Qualified nutritionists.

    Me: I see, and the the people doing the research are…?

    Them: Qualified nutritionists.

    Me: And what kind of study is this?

    Them: Independent.

    Me: I see… have you picked up a dictionary lately?

    Also: “systematic bias, nonsystematic bias, and inferential error”

    So, lemme guess. Any high fat intake among healthy individuals was systematic bias in determining fat intake. Any unhealthy people on high carb were non-systematically biased in that they were the unhealthiest carb eaters, thus involved in clinical trials because of this. Any study that concluded saturated fat did not elevate heart disease rates obviously made an inferential error.

    @ Wanda, what really steams me up is if I ask for some butter and they give me margarine…as though they are somehow equivalent. Sorry, no.

    I think you’ve pretty much nailed it. Considering how abysmally weak the evidence that saturated fat causes heart disease is, the fact that they’re calling for an even further reduction of it can only be selection bias.

    Reply
  22. Wanda

    I just love the total 180 degree turn… carb controlled diets show better results for weight loss, so lets eat MORE carbs! stupid government…

    On a mainly unrelated note, at least in the good ol’ US of A you can get butter with your english muffin, something I occasionally indulge in at breakfast. Up here in Canada, when you ask for butter, they reply “sure,” and hand you a couple of containers of Becel Margarine. Yup, can’t even get real butter at McD’s here!

    I’ve asked for butter in a few restaurants here, only to be told they don’t have any. Even a steakhouse here doesn’t have butter. How’s that for strange: we’ll serve you a big, fatty, juicy steak, but not butter … ?

    Reply
  23. TonyNZ

    So, as I understand it:

    Me: So how did you select methodologically strong studies?

    Them: Well, we trained some people to do it for us.

    Me: So how did you train them?

    Them: Well, we showed them how to use a checklist that tallied up whether they were good or not.

    Me: So what was on the checklist?

    Them: Oh, that’s not important, what’s important is that it was done by qualified nutritionists.

    Me: And the panel is made up of…?

    Them: Qualified nutritionists.

    Me: I see, and the the people doing the research are…?

    Them: Qualified nutritionists.

    Me: And what kind of study is this?

    Them: Independent.

    Me: I see… have you picked up a dictionary lately?

    Also: “systematic bias, nonsystematic bias, and inferential error”

    So, lemme guess. Any high fat intake among healthy individuals was systematic bias in determining fat intake. Any unhealthy people on high carb were non-systematically biased in that they were the unhealthiest carb eaters, thus involved in clinical trials because of this. Any study that concluded saturated fat did not elevate heart disease rates obviously made an inferential error.

    @ Wanda, what really steams me up is if I ask for some butter and they give me margarine…as though they are somehow equivalent. Sorry, no.

    I think you’ve pretty much nailed it. Considering how abysmally weak the evidence that saturated fat causes heart disease is, the fact that they’re calling for an even further reduction of it can only be selection bias.

    Reply
  24. Sarah

    Does anyone really believe the US Department of Agriculture is going to promote anything that leads to a reduction in grain consumption?

    Not gonna happen, period.

    Listening to diet advice handed down by the USDA makes as much sense as taking medical advice from a Pfizer sales rep.

    Reply
  25. Sarah

    Does anyone really believe the US Department of Agriculture is going to promote anything that leads to a reduction in grain consumption?

    Not gonna happen, period.

    Listening to diet advice handed down by the USDA makes as much sense as taking medical advice from a Pfizer sales rep.

    Reply
  26. Chris

    Appreciate your plowing through the document. Have been following Jimmy Moore’s road trip to testify. Listened to some of the recorded testimony and plowed through some of the transcripts of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee leading up to the preliminary report. Tedious. Committee members had their minds made up before hearing any testimony. They were certain that we needed less fat and more exercise. If only they could convice us and overcome the toxic fast food environment.

    Interesting to read the Strategic Vision of the USDA:

    “USDA has created a strategic plan to implement its vision. The framework of this plan depends on these key activities: expanding markets for agricultural products and support international economic development, further developing alternative markets for agricultural products and activities, providing financing needed to help expand job opportunities and improve housing, utilities and infrastructure in rural America, enhancing food safety by taking steps to reduce the prevalence of foodborne hazards from farm to table, improving nutrition and health by providing food assistance and nutrition education and promotion, and managing and protecting America’s public and private lands working cooperatively with other levels of government and the private sector.” (USDA Website http://www.usda.org

    If processed foods–specifically the HFCS in most of them–are fueling obesity epidemic, then it would be bad expanding markets to tell countries that import these foods the truth. As Dr. Lustig pointed out to Jimmy, “The fox is guarding the henhouse.” The USDA’s true role–promoting commodities–means it has to recuse itself from offering nutritional guidelines.

    Like that will ever happen.

    So we simply have to make our conversation more frequent and a lot louder.

    Thanks, Tom, for using math.

    Unfortunately, as Thomas Sowell points out in his books, the fox guarding the henhouse is a common result of government regulations. People mistakenly believe that while businesses are self-interested, most people in government act purely out of good intentions and a desire to protect us. In reality, we simply end up arming self-interested people with government power — a very bad combination.

    Reply
  27. Isabel

    Have you seen this new article?

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704288204575363072381955744.html

    I especially enjoy:

    “Studies have found that a diet of sweet, high-fat foods can indeed blunt the body’s built-in fullness signals. Most of them emanate from the digestive tract, which releases chemical messengers including cholecystokinin, glucagon-like peptide and peptide YY when the stomach and intestines are full. Those signals travel up to the brain stem and then the hypothalamus, telling the body to stop eating. ”

    There is no mention of the action insulin levels have on hunger, of course.

    And also:

    “Bypass surgery seems to make food less tempting, too.”…”The bypass patients and the non-obese had scores far lower than those who were currently obese. (Exactly why is still unclear, but some experts think it could relate to “dumping syndrome,” in which high fat and sweet food creates nausea and dizziness in bypass patients. They may have learned to associate such foods with discomfort rather than pleasure.)”

    No shit? Their bodies have been mutilated so that they can’t over eat without suffering discomfort.

    My friend who underwent bypass surgery has all kinds of digestive issues now. She regrets the surgery.

    Reply
  28. Chris

    Appreciate your plowing through the document. Have been following Jimmy Moore’s road trip to testify. Listened to some of the recorded testimony and plowed through some of the transcripts of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee leading up to the preliminary report. Tedious. Committee members had their minds made up before hearing any testimony. They were certain that we needed less fat and more exercise. If only they could convice us and overcome the toxic fast food environment.

    Interesting to read the Strategic Vision of the USDA:

    “USDA has created a strategic plan to implement its vision. The framework of this plan depends on these key activities: expanding markets for agricultural products and support international economic development, further developing alternative markets for agricultural products and activities, providing financing needed to help expand job opportunities and improve housing, utilities and infrastructure in rural America, enhancing food safety by taking steps to reduce the prevalence of foodborne hazards from farm to table, improving nutrition and health by providing food assistance and nutrition education and promotion, and managing and protecting America’s public and private lands working cooperatively with other levels of government and the private sector.” (USDA Website http://www.usda.org

    If processed foods–specifically the HFCS in most of them–are fueling obesity epidemic, then it would be bad expanding markets to tell countries that import these foods the truth. As Dr. Lustig pointed out to Jimmy, “The fox is guarding the henhouse.” The USDA’s true role–promoting commodities–means it has to recuse itself from offering nutritional guidelines.

    Like that will ever happen.

    So we simply have to make our conversation more frequent and a lot louder.

    Thanks, Tom, for using math.

    Unfortunately, as Thomas Sowell points out in his books, the fox guarding the henhouse is a common result of government regulations. People mistakenly believe that while businesses are self-interested, most people in government act purely out of good intentions and a desire to protect us. In reality, we simply end up arming self-interested people with government power — a very bad combination.

    Reply
  29. Isabel

    Have you seen this new article?

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704288204575363072381955744.html

    I especially enjoy:

    “Studies have found that a diet of sweet, high-fat foods can indeed blunt the body’s built-in fullness signals. Most of them emanate from the digestive tract, which releases chemical messengers including cholecystokinin, glucagon-like peptide and peptide YY when the stomach and intestines are full. Those signals travel up to the brain stem and then the hypothalamus, telling the body to stop eating. ”

    There is no mention of the action insulin levels have on hunger, of course.

    And also:

    “Bypass surgery seems to make food less tempting, too.”…”The bypass patients and the non-obese had scores far lower than those who were currently obese. (Exactly why is still unclear, but some experts think it could relate to “dumping syndrome,” in which high fat and sweet food creates nausea and dizziness in bypass patients. They may have learned to associate such foods with discomfort rather than pleasure.)”

    No shit? Their bodies have been mutilated so that they can’t over eat without suffering discomfort.

    My friend who underwent bypass surgery has all kinds of digestive issues now. She regrets the surgery.

    Reply
  30. KD

    “Local zoning policies should be considered to reduce fast food restaurant placement near schools.”

    I also agree with the person who said above that elementary school children typically don’t have money to buy fast food. My school had a fast food place one block away, but the only time I ever got fast food after school is when a friend’s mother picked us up and took us through the drive thru for a snack. The concept of having a happy meal as just a snack had been foreign to me at the time because my own mother never took us for fast food except for occasional lunches and dinners. Not that that stopped me from gaining weight as a teenager… I ate bad food at home that I homemade myself… bowls [yes plural] of cereal as a snack. At the time I thought I was eating healthy because I was getting in my grain pyramid allowance. It kills me to think now how much of my weight gain was from the cereal I thought was a good snack for me.

    You and me both. Cereal was my snack of choice as an adolescent, which is when I started gaining weight rapidly.

    Reply
  31. KD

    “Local zoning policies should be considered to reduce fast food restaurant placement near schools.”

    I also agree with the person who said above that elementary school children typically don’t have money to buy fast food. My school had a fast food place one block away, but the only time I ever got fast food after school is when a friend’s mother picked us up and took us through the drive thru for a snack. The concept of having a happy meal as just a snack had been foreign to me at the time because my own mother never took us for fast food except for occasional lunches and dinners. Not that that stopped me from gaining weight as a teenager… I ate bad food at home that I homemade myself… bowls [yes plural] of cereal as a snack. At the time I thought I was eating healthy because I was getting in my grain pyramid allowance. It kills me to think now how much of my weight gain was from the cereal I thought was a good snack for me.

    You and me both. Cereal was my snack of choice as an adolescent, which is when I started gaining weight rapidly.

    Reply
  32. Gabrielle

    I’m so glad the FDA is able to explain these things to us in a way we can understand and follow without question. Whoops.

    On an ironic ans somewhat related note, i thought you might like to know that the google ads to the right of your entry link to a page stating that high fructose corn syrup is completely natural and “meets the Food and Drug Administration’s requirements for use of the term ‘natural,'” and that it is nutritionally identical to sugar (http://www.sweetsurprise.com/index.php?q=myths-and-facts/top-hfcs-myths&utm_source=Google&utm_medium=ppc&utm_content=Myths&utm_campaign=CNGeneralCATEGORY&gclid=CLyMisio26cCFRFOgwodCFyb_g). And when confronted with the idea that they are metabolized differently, the article’s answer is that “beverages sweetened with sugar, high fructose corn syrup and 1% milk all have similar effects on feelings of fullness.” Doesn’t that make you feel better?

    Yeah, Google places some strangely inappropriate ads in those spots.

    Reply
  33. Gabrielle

    I’m so glad the FDA is able to explain these things to us in a way we can understand and follow without question. Whoops.

    On an ironic ans somewhat related note, i thought you might like to know that the google ads to the right of your entry link to a page stating that high fructose corn syrup is completely natural and “meets the Food and Drug Administration’s requirements for use of the term ‘natural,'” and that it is nutritionally identical to sugar (http://www.sweetsurprise.com/index.php?q=myths-and-facts/top-hfcs-myths&utm_source=Google&utm_medium=ppc&utm_content=Myths&utm_campaign=CNGeneralCATEGORY&gclid=CLyMisio26cCFRFOgwodCFyb_g). And when confronted with the idea that they are metabolized differently, the article’s answer is that “beverages sweetened with sugar, high fructose corn syrup and 1% milk all have similar effects on feelings of fullness.” Doesn’t that make you feel better?

    Yeah, Google places some strangely inappropriate ads in those spots.

    Reply
  34. Chris

    Hi Tom,
    Just wanted to say that I saw Fathead a few weeks ago on Netflix (like, it seems, a lot of others did). Watched it right after watching “Supersize Me”, and loved it. You pointed out and lampooned many of the same problems I saw in Supersize Me (the fact that he’s eating 5,000 calories a day, the “I’m addicted” vs. “this food is disgusting”, the vegan theory of male impotency). I caught Fathead just at a point when I started coming around to the utter farce that is the food pyramid and the low-fat jihad. I had read Taubes’ “Big Fat Lie” Times article back when it came out, forgot about it, then read it again a few months ago. I had just finished Oliver’s “Fat Politics” when I caught your movie, and now I’m reading GCBC and “Why We Get Fat”.

    I’m convinced. And I started following the basic diet in the appendix of “Why We Get Fat” (from Westman’s Duke Lifestyle Clinic) last week. Too early to report many results, but I do feel better, and am much happier now eating a diet with a lot of animal fat and very few carbs (without the guilt). Anyway, I wanted to tell you that I think your stuff is spot on and funny, and you do really have a knack for cutting through the smoke and mirrors. I work for a health services research company, and I encounter the misty fog of the public health establishment on a daily basis. I literally just finished arguing with one of my directors (public health person) about the folly of reporting results from less robust statistical models (her view) versus reporting results from more robust statistical models so as not to mislead the audience (my view). I can’t tell you how many times she has trotted out the disclaimer, “oh, we didn’t have enough statistical power to show a difference” when one of the many ill-conceived public health hypotheses falls on its face under the bright light of empirical data.

    I do have one issue to take up with you about the implicit notion that free markets fix everything and that government is solely to blame (maybe that’s a misrepresentation of your views, and if so, I apologize). I mean, the claim that an economist would say that “lack of supermarkets would be associated with lack of community support for supermarkets” is way too simplistic. An economist would probably say that, but they also say that any kind of hiring discrimination is economically irrational, and thus does not happen, which, I think is pretty obviously not true. Plus, economists have the luxury of never having to validate their theories with empirical data – they try to distract with shiny statistics, then claim their challengers are too unsophisticated to understand their analyses (given more space, I can illustrate with an article from Finkelstein, Trogdon, Cohen, and Dietz about the “high cost of obesity”).

    Anyway, people typically build supermarkets in densely populated areas, and I would say that almost any population would have sufficient demand for much of what is sold at a supermarket. And supermarkets are pretty flexible in terms of what they stock. But imagine proposing to build a supermarket in an area where there are only 30 people per square mile – I doubt there is a venture capitalist anywhere who would go for that. Supermarkets have huge overhead, and are dealing with really perishable products. I imagine that even really busy, successful marts still toss out a ton of food. All 30 of those people (or, say, all 600 in a 20 square-mile area with similar low density) could all be demanding fresh produce and meats, but that still wouldn’t be enough to justify, financially, building a supermarket in the middle of that area. Meeting demand isn’t just about what people want, but also about how the people are distributed, the perishability of the products, the efficiency of the supply chain. Conveniency stores sell stuff with a really long shelf life, and raw materials at a McDonalds (or other fast food place) are mostly frozen (or have a long shelf life, like ketchup), plus, McDonalds has a super-efficient supply and production chain – they manage their balance of supply and demand with surgical precision. I’m not saying that government should step in to force or subsidize their own notions of a ‘food landscape’, but markets are not perfect.

    My other issue: government does not operate in a vacuum, and is far from autonomous. Why do you think corn subsidies persist, year after year (to just state one example)? Certain big corporations demand them, and find ways (follow the money) to get the politicians in corn-producing states to keep the subsidies coming. It is a partnership. Then the private corporations (say, Monsanto, or Coke) use the artificially cheap corn to mass produce the very foods that make people fat. These same corporations fund the American Dietectic Association through whom they are able to influence the dietary advice coming out of the government that says, “eat more grains”. Is it the case that we can never fault a private corporation for seeking to maximize it’s own material self-interest, even when they are aware of the negative impacts of their actions?

    Sorry for the diatribe – for probably 98% of what you say and do, I say Bravo!

    We actually agree about the unholy alliance between big corporations and government officials. I don’t excuse the corporations, but see their behavior as exactly what any libertarian economist would predict: people act in their own best interests. Same goes for the government officials; they’re acting in their interests, not ours. That’s why I’m such a firm believer in limited government. Every time government gains new powers, the opportunity for corruption grows accordingly. If you have no special favors to confer, no corporation has any motivation to bribe you.

    Reply
  35. Chris

    Hi Tom,
    Just wanted to say that I saw Fathead a few weeks ago on Netflix (like, it seems, a lot of others did). Watched it right after watching “Supersize Me”, and loved it. You pointed out and lampooned many of the same problems I saw in Supersize Me (the fact that he’s eating 5,000 calories a day, the “I’m addicted” vs. “this food is disgusting”, the vegan theory of male impotency). I caught Fathead just at a point when I started coming around to the utter farce that is the food pyramid and the low-fat jihad. I had read Taubes’ “Big Fat Lie” Times article back when it came out, forgot about it, then read it again a few months ago. I had just finished Oliver’s “Fat Politics” when I caught your movie, and now I’m reading GCBC and “Why We Get Fat”.

    I’m convinced. And I started following the basic diet in the appendix of “Why We Get Fat” (from Westman’s Duke Lifestyle Clinic) last week. Too early to report many results, but I do feel better, and am much happier now eating a diet with a lot of animal fat and very few carbs (without the guilt). Anyway, I wanted to tell you that I think your stuff is spot on and funny, and you do really have a knack for cutting through the smoke and mirrors. I work for a health services research company, and I encounter the misty fog of the public health establishment on a daily basis. I literally just finished arguing with one of my directors (public health person) about the folly of reporting results from less robust statistical models (her view) versus reporting results from more robust statistical models so as not to mislead the audience (my view). I can’t tell you how many times she has trotted out the disclaimer, “oh, we didn’t have enough statistical power to show a difference” when one of the many ill-conceived public health hypotheses falls on its face under the bright light of empirical data.

    I do have one issue to take up with you about the implicit notion that free markets fix everything and that government is solely to blame (maybe that’s a misrepresentation of your views, and if so, I apologize). I mean, the claim that an economist would say that “lack of supermarkets would be associated with lack of community support for supermarkets” is way too simplistic. An economist would probably say that, but they also say that any kind of hiring discrimination is economically irrational, and thus does not happen, which, I think is pretty obviously not true. Plus, economists have the luxury of never having to validate their theories with empirical data – they try to distract with shiny statistics, then claim their challengers are too unsophisticated to understand their analyses (given more space, I can illustrate with an article from Finkelstein, Trogdon, Cohen, and Dietz about the “high cost of obesity”).

    Anyway, people typically build supermarkets in densely populated areas, and I would say that almost any population would have sufficient demand for much of what is sold at a supermarket. And supermarkets are pretty flexible in terms of what they stock. But imagine proposing to build a supermarket in an area where there are only 30 people per square mile – I doubt there is a venture capitalist anywhere who would go for that. Supermarkets have huge overhead, and are dealing with really perishable products. I imagine that even really busy, successful marts still toss out a ton of food. All 30 of those people (or, say, all 600 in a 20 square-mile area with similar low density) could all be demanding fresh produce and meats, but that still wouldn’t be enough to justify, financially, building a supermarket in the middle of that area. Meeting demand isn’t just about what people want, but also about how the people are distributed, the perishability of the products, the efficiency of the supply chain. Conveniency stores sell stuff with a really long shelf life, and raw materials at a McDonalds (or other fast food place) are mostly frozen (or have a long shelf life, like ketchup), plus, McDonalds has a super-efficient supply and production chain – they manage their balance of supply and demand with surgical precision. I’m not saying that government should step in to force or subsidize their own notions of a ‘food landscape’, but markets are not perfect.

    My other issue: government does not operate in a vacuum, and is far from autonomous. Why do you think corn subsidies persist, year after year (to just state one example)? Certain big corporations demand them, and find ways (follow the money) to get the politicians in corn-producing states to keep the subsidies coming. It is a partnership. Then the private corporations (say, Monsanto, or Coke) use the artificially cheap corn to mass produce the very foods that make people fat. These same corporations fund the American Dietectic Association through whom they are able to influence the dietary advice coming out of the government that says, “eat more grains”. Is it the case that we can never fault a private corporation for seeking to maximize it’s own material self-interest, even when they are aware of the negative impacts of their actions?

    Sorry for the diatribe – for probably 98% of what you say and do, I say Bravo!

    We actually agree about the unholy alliance between big corporations and government officials. I don’t excuse the corporations, but see their behavior as exactly what any libertarian economist would predict: people act in their own best interests. Same goes for the government officials; they’re acting in their interests, not ours. That’s why I’m such a firm believer in limited government. Every time government gains new powers, the opportunity for corruption grows accordingly. If you have no special favors to confer, no corporation has any motivation to bribe you.

    Reply
  36. Lynda

    Hi again Tom – here is a story about the 60 minutes documentary which explains what it was all about. I also can’t get the video to who and I’m in NZ so not sure what the problem in there. Anyway, interesting to see stories like this making their way to mainstream viewing.

    http://paleozonenutrition.wordpress.com/2010/07/07/taine-randell-maori-eating-like-their-ancestors-losing-weight-improving-health-60-minutes/

    Excellent. Sounds very much like “My Big Fat Diet,” in which Native tribes in Canada returned to their ancestral diets (full of meat, fat, etc.) and experienced great improvements in health. Very good documentary if you can get ahold of a copy.

    Reply

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