Jane Brody’s Cholesterol Headache

      29 Comments on Jane Brody’s Cholesterol Headache

Boy, I’ve had a real problem lately with headaches. Seems like all day, every day, I have a headache. And it’s not as if I don’t know how to get rid of them. I have, in fact, been writing about headache prevention for years, so I did exactly what I’ve always instructed my readers to do:  hit myself in the head with a hammer.

I began with a fairly conservative treatment:  two daily hammer-whacks to the temples for two weeks.  But when I next checked my headache status – which means I sit still for a minute and ask myself, “Does my head hurt right now?” – I was stunned:  instead of being diminished, my headache had gotten worse.

Frustrated, I tried three hammer-whacks per day for another two weeks.  But once again, my headaches only got worse.  So I tried four hammer-whacks per day combined with a stronger dose – namely, a big old sledgehammer I nicknamed “Slammin’ Sammy,” the kind used to knock down walls.

Amazingly, my headaches grew worse.

There was only one conclusion I could draw from the results:  my condition is hereditary. Despite all the studies recommending them, simple hammer-whacks will not do the trick in my case.  (And I must confess that this whole affair is a bit embarrassing, considering how many articles I’ve written praising head-bonk therapy.)

And so, much as I don’t like the idea, I’m considering undergoing the admittedly drastic step of having my head removed.  There are some known side effects from the procedure, such as forgetting the names of your children and expecting the Cubs to win the World Series this year, but they’re not as big a threat to my overall well-being as a constant headache would be.  I will have my head removed and report the results in a month or two.

Does this all make sense?  Or do I sound unbelievably dense?  Because if you substitute “cholesterol” for headache and “low-fat diet” for hammer, I could be an influential health writer for the New York Times.  This is pretty much the experience Jane Brody had trying to treat her “high” cholesterol with a low-fat diet … i.e., the very diet she’s been promoting for decades.

There were many interesting topics that came up while I was researching Fat Head that didn’t quite fit into the film.  Ms. Brody’s campaign to lower her cholesterol was one of them.  If you watch the bonus interview track, you’ll see that Dr. Mary Dan Eades mentions Ms. Brody as an example of someone who simply can’t bear to admit she’s been wrong all these years, in spite of the evidence.

Ms. Brody’s cholesterol panic began when a routine test revealed her total cholesterol to be 222.  (So much for a low-fat diet keeping cholesterol down.)  Since she just knows that a “heart healthy” level should be below 200, Ms. Brody dutifully stopped eating cheese and went on a diet to lose a few pounds.

But – horrors! – when she underwent another test a few months later, her cholesterol had risen to 236, and her LDL had gone up, not down.  Now, you’d think someone with a functioning brain would pause at this point and wonder if perhaps the whole low-fat diet theory is load of bologna.  But not Ms. Brody.  After all, she’s been telling her readers for decades to cut the fat, cut the fat, cut the fat.

So she cut the fat.  She stopped eating red meat, switched to low-fat ice cream, took fish oil, and increased her fiber intake.  In other words, she did just about everything she’s been telling her readers they must do to prevent heart disease.

And boy, what wondrous results!  Her next test revealed that her cholesterol had risen to 248, and her LDL was up yet again.

If this were a horror movie, we’d all be screaming at the screen, “Don’t go through that door, you freakin’ idiot!  Everyone who went through that door ended up hanging on a meat hook!”

But Ms. Brody went through the door.  Mere paragraphs after recounting how her low-fat diet failed utterly to bring down her cholesterol, she reminded her readers how important it is to exercise more and cut the saturated fat from their diets.  She even informed us that a former roommate lowered her cholesterol by becoming a vegetarian.  (“See, this diet made my cholesterol worse, but I know someone who had good results, so you should do exactly what didn’t work for me.  Okay?”)

Yup … hitting myself with a hammer didn’t cure my headaches, but I know a guy who knocked his head clean off and never has a headache anymore, so I still recommend the treatment.  Talk about grasping at straws.

Finally, Ms. Brody reported that despite having some reservations, she began taking a cholesterol-lowering drug.  And lo and behold, her cholesterol went down!  (At this point in the story, you are allowed to scream, “Of course your cholesterol went down! That’s why it’s called a cholesterol-lowering drug!)

Now, here are a few no-bologna facts that Ms. Brody either doesn’t know or can’t bring herself to admit:

  • For women of all ages and men over age 50, there is zero statistical relationship between high cholesterol and heart disease. (In other words, the relationship only shows up in men under 50 – and even then, it’s weak.)
  • The Swiss have an average cholesterol level of around 240. Russians have an average cholesterol below 200. But the Swiss have a low rate of heart disease, and the Russians have one of the highest rates of heart disease in the world.  If you check cholesterol levels and heart-disease rates around the world, you’ll see this pattern (or non-pattern) repeated over and over.
  • There’s never been a single study that offers any evidence whatsoever that cholesterol-lowering drugs prevent heart attacks in women.
  • Cutting carbohydrates reduces your triglycerides, and eating more fat raises your HDL, or “good cholesterol.”  Both effects are good for the health of your heart.

So despite her enthusiasm over her new and improved cholesterol reading, all Ms. Brody actually accomplished was to produce a drug-induced test score that made her feel better about the miserable results of her low-fat diet.  This is equivalent to darkening your gray hair with some Grecian Formula, then telling yourself that you’ve reversed the aging process.  If you have gray hair and you feel old and tired, go ahead and give that a try.

And then whack that newly-darkened hair with a hammer.  Maybe your headache will go away.

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29 thoughts on “Jane Brody’s Cholesterol Headache

  1. Lynda

    Hi Tom – I have just watched your movie/doco and quite frankly it amazed me. I am a total convert to your way of thinking but now just have to get over the whole idea of saturated fats being healthy!! My partner has high cholesterol but does not eat any high fat food. He has to go back again and again to the doctor after his low fat diets only to find he still has high levels.

    I haven’t fully taken onboard all that we are to do – I will read this blog thoroughly – and then make some life changes for us both. This whole low fat thing seems very similar to the man-made global warming theory. If enough people tell us this is the cause, and enough money is at stake politically, then we will be made to believe what is not always scientifically true.

    You are correct. The low-fat diet theory has become an industry. Your partner would be interested to know that a friend of mine cut all sugar and starch from his diet after viewing the film and experienced a dramatic drop in cholesterol.

    If you want more information, I’d also recommend reading the blogs written by Dr. Mike Eades and Jimmy Moore (Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb). There are links in my blogroll.

  2. TonyNZ

    Interesting comparison of the Swiss and Russians. Especially considering the high levels of cheese and meat in the Swiss diet versus high levels of cereals and potatoes in the Russian diet…

    Might pay to note that I myself am half swiss and follow many of their culinary habits, furthermore to my post about high fat and healthy yesterday…

    In the links, you’ll find a YouTube video by Dr. Malcolm Kendrick (author of “The Great Cholesterol Con”) in which he demonstrates cholesterol levels and heart disease rates around the world. Quite enlightening.

    And of course, when I went through my second month-long diet of meat, cheese, etc., but no sugar or starch, my HDL shot up and my total cholsterol dropped.

  3. Willa Jean

    Very well put, Tom. Back in the olden days, when a diet plate was a burger patty with cottage cheese and a tomato slice, didn’t she agree with the rest of us that bread and potatoes were fattening? Then she changed her mind…. when all the white coats (a white coat means you’re really, really smart, right?) told us how important those “healthy whole grains” were? So she’s capable of changing her mind.
    I can’t fault her for buying into the high-carb-low-fat business. I became vegetarian for years because I thought it was healthier. I kept getting weaker and sicker, and finally gave up on it, but until I read Taubes, I really thought I should be avoiding meat and chowing down on pasta. GCBC literally changed my life. I don’t understand why Brody can’t re-examine the “evidence” and see it for the bologna it is.
    Is it too personal to ask what kinds of foods you’re eating these days? I’m sticking with low-carb, but it takes a lot of reinforcement from books and blogs (and one video). It ain’t easy.

    I don’t fault her for buying into the low-fat theory back in the ’80s, either. Pretty much everyone did, including me. (Sorry to say, somewhere in the world there are 25-year-old magazines with my byline above articles recommending a low-fat diet.)

    But given all the evidence that low-fat diets don’t actually reduce heart disease -and especially given her own experience – her rigid adherence to the theory is laughable. This is the health writer for the New York Times. She can get her hands on any research she desires. She has to be simply ignoring the research that disputes the Lipid Hypothesis.

    You will find that sticking to low-carb gets easier, because if you avoid carbs for long stretches, they lose their appeal … plus you’ll probably feel awful when you indulge. (And you can believe me, because I slipped on my white coat before typing my reply.)

    I live on a more or less paleo diet: eggs, a variety of meats, green vegetables, a bit of low-sugar fruit here and there. I’ve switched to goat cheese when I want a cheese omelet, because I seem to digest it more efficiently. For late-night snacks, I eat nuts, but we’re careful to read the labels and avoid nuts that have been “roasted” in vegetable oils. (Why anyone would take a perfectly nice almond and roast it in soybean oil is beyond me.)

  4. TonyNZ

    I must laugh at another “Spurlockian Science” fact that I’ve recently come across. I consulted Wikipedia to ferret out some more information about this stuff (Fat Head had no entry, which it now does and I am slowly updating within the wiki rules, i.e. impartial). On the wiki entry for Super Size Me, it talks about another Spurlock experiment, ‘The Smoking Fry’. Basically it shows that a burger and fries from McDonalds rots more slowly than that from a “slow food” restaurant.

    Now his conclusion is a bad case of bad science. He concludes that because they decompose more slowly like this, they decompose more slowly in the body, hence people retain food and get fat. While a third grader’s education in the digestive system will explain why this is A grade bologna, the wikipedia entry says that it is more likely that this occurs because the McDonalds product has less water, which is essential for the microbial processes, or that there are preservatives. Seeing as McDonalds categorically denies the use of preservatives in most of their food products (at least in New Zealand) I would find it hard to believe that this could be the case. They aren’t stupid enough to open themselves up to that sort of lawsuit potential.

    So this leaves the option of less water (which I would believe, deep frying shoestring fries wouldn’t take long to dehydrate them) or one other possibility, the McDonalds food has less microbial contamination with which to seed the decay process. Either way, his conclusion was totally baseless and flies in the face of well accepted science.

    I’m just trying to imagine the thought process behind this. I mean, if he believes that they don’t break down, is he visualising whole fries moving through his veins and depositing on his thighs, then going through some mysterious alchemical process (because the body can’t digest them) turning into fat?

    The “smoking fry” experiment is a bonus track on the Super Size Me DVD. Yes, it’s as ridiculous as it sounds. I wanted to do a parody track on Fat Head in which we’d put his DVD and mine in a room, release several facts into the air, and watch his DVD decompose, degraded by facts.

    But you can’t do everything on a limited, self-financing kind of budget.

    I appreciate you getting us started on a wikepedia entry. I wasn’t sure it would be ethical to write my own entry.

  5. OhYeahBabe

    “If this were a horror movie, we’d all be screaming at the screen, “Don’t go through that door, you freakin’ idiot! Everyone who went through that door ended up hanging on a meat hook!””

    Brilliant analogy! I hope she reads your blog, and better yet starts examining the pseudo science that got her where she is.

    I should probably have specified a “lean meat with all visible fat trimmed away” hook. She’s so happy she found a drug to beat down her cholesterol level, I don’t know if she’ll ever re-think the cholesterol-kills issue.

  6. Dave Dixon

    Jane Brody needs the boot treatment I described somewhere on my blog. In honor of your post, we’ll change it to the hammer treatment:

    1. Obtain hammer.
    2. Say “I will not blame the observed failure of my hypothesis on unobserved genetic factors.”
    3. Apply hammer to cranium.
    4. Repeat 2-4 until rationality or unconsciousness sets in.

    If there’s a betting pool, I’ll take the unconsciousness square.

    I just ran a search on your blog, but didn’t find your Jane Brody post. Would you mind sending along the URL, or pasting it into another comment? I’d like to read it, and I’m sure others would too.

  7. damaged justice

    I still haven’t seen Fat Head and am hoping I can get my library to carry it! Just wanted to let you know I liked the clips I’ve seen, I’m enjoying your blog (especially this post!), and if anyone liked Fat Head they might want to post a review on IMDB — the only “review” there is someone saying “i feel stupider for watching this…stupid arguments…focuses on trivial stuff instead of interesting facts like SUPER SIZE ME…” blah blah, woof woof!

    I’m not worried about one IMDB review. I don’t know anyone who goes there when deciding to buy or rent a movie. The Amazon reviews are pretty positive.

    If you’re a NetFlix member, they finally have it in stock.

  8. Dave Dixon

    You didn’t find a Jane Brody post becaue I didn’t do one 🙂 I was referring to the boot/hammer procedure, initially put forth in my review of “The Jungle Effect” (another well-meaning but largely misguided book).

    I wonder what other pills Brody has to pop to stave off side-effects of a low-fat diet + statins. I would guess anti-depressants are at the top of the list. It may well be that Brody’s mental function is sufficiently impaired by all of this that scientific rational reasoning is basically beyond her capabilities now. Let’s face it: rational thought is a recent evolutionary development, and probably easily derailed by biological mechanisms that have been in place for millions (if not billions) of years.

    I know some people who take statins end up needing Viagra, but that probably doesn’t apply in her case.

  9. TonyNZ

    As far as the wikipedia entry goes, I’m following my interpretation of their guidelines, which do state to follow the spirit rather than the letter of the rules.

    My observations:
    Verifiability – Big one, but as most of the points come straight from the movie, and I’m only writing that they are represented in the movie, this seems to me a bit of a no brainer.

    They don’t want abstract articles on Mrs Smith’s 3rd cat Smoky, so they have to put this in. Given that your documentary is a published work and #1 on Amazon’s comedy documentary list at the moment – as well as the fact that things like ‘lolcat’ apparently need articles (See wikigroaning on somethingawful.com for more examples of article lengths, i.e. Jedi Knight Vs. Knight etc.) I don’t believe this is a problem.

    As far as the big one that I would say you are concerned about, conflict of interest, well if nobody had opinions or interest in the articles that they were editing, articles wouldn’t be edited. I think as long as you present the information impartially, avoid undue bias towards one argument and generally let people make up their own minds on the evidence presented then there is no problem. They like authors of material that is referenced (i.e. you) not to edit, as there is often an exponentially higher chance for bias from the author. Though many reasonably minded people would be able to edit entries relating to them or their work without undue bias, I think this loose rule helps them avoid a potential quagmire of problems, including credibility issues for themselves. Considering that credibility is wikipedia’s most valuable and most fragile asset for their continued existence, this is fair enough.

    As for them not wanting wikipedia to be an advertising vehicle, I think that goes back mostly to the conflict of interest. As long as links to the article don’t turn up in undue or excessive entries then I don’t believe that it is advertising. So far I’ve linked to the entry from the criticisms sections of super size me and CSPI, fair enough. If I were to start linking to it from, say, lolcat, then I think that would be cause for concern.

    Anyway, I would encourage other blog readers to help me get the entry in shape, particularly as I don’t have a copy of the full documentary on hand, so some facts could be clarified more accurately. I’m also a wikinewbie, so I’m bound to mess up a few things here and there.

    Also, fresh from the annals of media misreporting from AAP in New Zealand:
    “BMI is a calculation that takes in weight and height, and those with a rating up to 25 are considered to be of a healthy weight.”

    Yay. My BMI is 14! I’m healthy. I’m going to go throw up my last meal of brocolli and toothpicks and have a cigarette.

    Thanks for taking care of getting things rolling on Wikipedia … and enjoy that smoke. You’re lean, so you’re entitled.

  10. Ben P

    Tom, would you please explain what “Carb Options fudge bar” is from your food log. I’ve searched and can’t find it. Is the product still available?

    It’s an ice cream fudge bar that only has 9 carbs. Their label claims you only have to count 4 of those because the rest are sugar alcohols, but I don’t buy that theory, so I counted all 9.

    I haven’t actually had one in quite some time because I’m cutting back on sweeteners, artificial or otherwise. I’ve read that for some people, the taste of anything sweet fools the brain into thinking there’s sugar coming down the pike, so the body releases insulin.

    You piqued my curiosity, so I went online and ran my own searches. Looks as if the brand may have been discontinued, but I’m sure I’ve seen other low-carb ice cream products in the grocery store.

    1. BroBryceHealth

      I loved your movie, and it seemed to illustrate exactly what I’ve been trying to tell all my friends and family, who keep on asking “so what DO you eat?”

      But I can’t help wondering about the Carb Options fudge bars. In the beginning of the movie you criticize Super Size Me because he couldn’t have possibly reached 5000 calories going by his own rules. But then you say you’re going to go a month eating only fast food. And your food log shows these Carb Options bars. You don’t eat your family’s passover, but these bars keep showing up. Did you get them at a fast food restaurant?

      I still love your film, and was thankful to see it available on my Amazon Prime. I plan on getting the director’s cut so I can share it with my family. I’m just concerned that the credibility of the information might be questioned because of the bars. Of course, we can always expect the information to be questioned by idiot radicals, even though the evidence is clear.

      Thanks so much for your entertaining and informative film.

      1. Tom Naughton Post author

        No, those were my late-night treats.

        Thanks for the kind words about the film.

  11. Dan

    I finally got my copy of FH here in Canada, and it’s brilliant. I will be passing it on to my skeptical family members, count on it. I just want to thank you for starting this blog and being present regularly on it, and for your funny and relevant posts and comments. I’m excited you are doing this, it keeps the conversation started by the movie going, and provides encouragement to readers. I will be dropping by daily on my coffee breaks, for good information and a chuckle or two!

    Glad to have you as a blog visitor and a fan of the film. I don’t know why I didn’t think of starting this blog sooner, frankly. After producing Fat Head, I’m always popping off about some dietary information I see in the news … may as well pop off in print.

  12. Dan

    Tom, a quick question. I was looking at your food log. just how the heck do you eat burgers and egg mcmuffins “sans bun” or “sans muffin”? Do you just plop the innards onto the paper wrapper and have at ‘er with a plastic knife and fork?

    I just tell the counter clerk no bun or no muffin. They put it on a plate for me. A lot of burgers places here will also wrap the burger in lettuce if you don’t want a bun.

  13. Ben P

    Thanks for clearing that up. The name “Carb Options fudge bar” sounded more like a low-carb candy bar to me. Had not imagined it was ice cream.

    I have purchased your movie and thoroughly enjoyed it. Planning on showing it to many of my friends. It really clicked for my Mom, as she finally got what I’d been saying about low carb eating.

    I think I finally convinced my own Mom as well.

  14. Matt Brody

    It is truly unfathomable how anyone who purports to understand health and nutrition, and who reads the latest research, and who experiences her entrenched believes fail miraculously in the face of said research, does not publically question the results. I’ve got to assume JB is well off, so why not take the chance on some lost paychecks from the Times or whatever. Run some experiments on yourself with LC/HF and see what happens. She would be a great spokesperson for low carb if only she were to try it. I wish I was related to her I’d give her a call.

    Well, if she keeps takin a statin, she could become confused — a known side-effect for some. Then you could convince her you’re a nephew a cousin.

    I guess after being a high-profile proponent for low-fat diets for so many years, she just can’t bring herself to admit she’s been wrong.

  15. Dave Dixon

    @Dan: as far as eating burgers, I’ll often just take the stuff off the bun and eat it with my fingers. It’s a little messy, but easily cleaned up. My personal favorite: In&Out 3×3, protein style (they give you the lettuce). I usually eat 2 🙂

    @Tom: anecdote on artificial sweeteners. I plateaued at about 265 for a long time. I used to drink 1-3 diet Cokes a day, but decided to stop because there seemed to be legitimate growing concerns about aspartame. I dropped another 25 pounds once I kicked the soda.

    In N Out, best burgers around here, definitely. I’m also cutting back on the diet soda. My naturopathic doctor said to get my caffeine kick from coffee or tea, because the body recognizes them and can handle them efficiently; not so with sodas.

  16. Karen Rysavy

    Bravo! I doubt the misguided Ms. Brody is laughing as hard as I am right now. I just wanted to tell you how much I am enjoying your new blog and encourage you to keep up the crusade.

    I’m really enjoying the new blogging pursuit. I would’ve started a year ago if I’d thought of it.

  17. TonyNZ

    In regards to diet soda:

    I’ve never been into artificial sweeteners, mainly for the fact that they are unproven in the diet, partly for the fact that I don’t like things sweet (my fiancee and I don’t even get through a 3 lb bag of sugar in a year). As far as caloric issues go, I’ve never heard anything, though there is an interesting argument against MSG and aspartame.

    The former contains glutamate, the latter aspartic acid, both neurotransmitters. The argument being that if they are consumed in amounts high enough to get through the filtering systems and reach the bloodstream, they interfere with the brain channels causing lethargy.

    Now I find that if I eat anything with a lot of MSG I get lethargic. Also, I was given a sugar free V (energy drink in NZ, kind of like a red bull) as part of a promotion once, full of aspartame. Not being wasteful and having a try anything once attitude, I polished off the bottle (it tasted like fruity paraffin gone wrong). Yeah, I got a caffiene buzz, but I couldn’t concentrate on anything and felt generally rubbish. The next day I was really quite moody, apparently.

    To the best of my knowledge, no link has been proven, though there is a fair bit of documentation about ‘Chinese Restaurant Syndrome’ as far as MSG goes. I also know a number of people that pack in aspartame like there’s no tomorrow and seem fine. I guess its an new evolutionary selection pressure, and some people have genes to process or ignore aspartame and others don’t.

    Maybe in the next decade or so, we will start hearing documented cases of aspartame intolerance, much in the same manner as lactose intolerance became an issue only after somebody decided that squeezing cow-teats was a profitable pastime.

    My mom can’t drink sodas with aspartame, or she gets numb fingers. Her doc said he’s seen a few cases of that — all women, and he’s a GP who treats men too. I still indulge now then, but not like I used to. Heck, I know beer isn’t good for you, either, but if you told me I could never have another Guinness, I’d be rather upset.

    I try to balance health with enjoying life. If you’re too severe with yourself, you risk living a long life that wasn’t much fun.

  18. TonyNZ

    Actually, the jury is still very much out on the beer not good for you case. Nobody disputes that excessive drinking is bad, but there are numerous studies that indicate a light tipple can actually have health benefits.

    Glad to hear it. It’s Friday night, I’m about to go get the wife to sit down and watch an episode of Foyle’s War, and I do have a bottle of Guinness in the fridge. It looks so lonely in there …

  19. TonyNZ

    If you can get any unfiltered, unpasteurised beer, it has even more benefits because the yeast has many micronutrients (I homebrew everything, so all my beer is like this). So much so that you can buy brewers yeast at pharmacies as a multivitamin. If there are any microbreweries in your locality they are probably your best bet. Also most abbey beers from belgium are unfiltered and unpasteurised, though these are quite a different palate to most commercial beers, generally quite expensive and pack a hell of a hit (often in excess of 10% abv). Dark beers (such as Guiness) also have a reasonably high iron content.

    Also, the carbs are quite low GI in beer, because all the simple carbs get gobbled up by the yeast, and the alcohol is quite efficiently processed by the body (as long as you aren’t going over the 1 standard drink per hour rule). The alpha acids from hops are also quite powerful antioxidants.

    No, I’m not touting beer as a health food, It’s just I’m a beer connoisseur and it’s fun to compare the dietary properties of beer to purported ‘healthier’ choices for treat foods, such as diet sodas and “fat free” (all sugar) desserts.

    Of course, some people are just naturally prone to alcoholism, so no amount of alcohol would be helpful to these people.

    I drank a LOT of beer in 20s and 30s, then quit drinking completely for three years. Now it’s a beer here and there, a glass of wine or two here and there. I wouldn’t say it’s health food either, but I don’t think a moderate amount will hurt any. Might even help with the HDL a bit.

    We do have some microbreweries around here. Pretty tasty stuff.

  20. Dana

    My little girl’s dad gets migraines from any artificial sweetener, doesn’t matter what it is–aspartame, sucralose, even the polyols. The fakest sweetener he can tolerate is stevia. That’s it. I have my own hypothesis about why aspartame bothers some people and not others–it may be related to PKU. As in, maybe the person suffering from the reaction doesn’t have it but might carry one gene? I wonder if anyone’s ever looked into that. Wouldn’t be surprised if the answer’s no, or if yes, that the research has been buried. Just because a gene might be recessive doesn’t mean you never feel any effects from it.

    My dad was never interested in matters of health or biology and now has diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol and no idea how to deal with any of it other than by taking the meds his doctor prescribes. It makes me nuts to know he could turn it all around with diet but probably won’t even try.

    I hope he gives it a try. My dad has stents in his arteries, colon cancer, and Alzheimer’s. You can bet I want to avoid that fate.

  21. Meredith

    I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your post. I haven’t seen Fathead [yet], but have been talking about Jane Brody’s denial of the truth for years. My favorite is JANE ON EGGS:

    I have a friend in Australia who was feeling down and thought that maybe she wouldn’t try to get her PhD because the profs can’t accept Fat Acceptance or the notion that being fat is not necessarily unhealthy, despite the studies that say, “Wait! If you’re overweight you might live longer than one of those waifs over there.”

    I sent my friend hyperlinks about JANE ON EGGS from 1985 on, including the untitled 1995 article in which Jane gets confused because eggs don’t make bad cholesterol and actually may help get rid of it. And there she was in 2007, still beating her head against the wall because she was on that “heart healthy diet” and her cholesterol kept going up!

    I sent my friend the links to JANE ON EGGS to make my point about so-called authorities in denial and included this article. My friend may not find acceptance for her thesis, but she certainly has a book in her and she feels a lot better.

    Thanks for the article!

    Jane’s not exactly a whiz with logic, based on her writings. Wishing your friend good luck in her pursuit …

  22. Tina

    The often neglected part for a balanced diet is the fibre intake. We see the hype about importance of vitamins, proteins and other nutrients but fibre is often less talked about. The truth is that our body needs a good proportion of fibre in our diets for optimum functioning and leading a healthy life.

  23. Rahul

    I know this might sound a little mean, but for some reason if the climax to her horror low-fat diet and her reliance on statin-like drug is a heart-attack , for some reason it seems to make me chuckle instead of feeling sorry for her…:P Its probably because her situation is in the same category as your hammer theory, where if you kept hammering your head to cure the head-ache, and it didn’t work, and you hammered more and it didn’t work and finally in the climax your head just broke off and rolled on the floor, the audience would consider that as classic slap-stick humour and laugh instead of feeling sorry for your head-less body lol

  24. Bailey

    The really sad part is, you used an analogy that would be considered insanely ridiculous to anybody you mentioned it to right now: hitting yourself in the head with a hammer to cure a headache.

    But I’d bet you that if some sort of whacked off science experiment showed that somehow, hitting yourself in the hammer DID cure headaches, that woman would promote it.

    After all, if it’s making money it can’t be a bad thing, right?

  25. Simon McNeilly

    talking of sugars !

    are all sugars created equal ( no pun intended )

    in australia our sweets mostly contain sugar from sugar cane

    any thoughts on the whole real sugar vs HFCS vs replacements

    i sometimes think that the US use of HFCS and other sweeteners in EVERYTHING is a real problem where here in australia its not in a lot of foods

    I think sugar and HFCS are both bad news. HFCS is in more products than sugar ever was because it acts as a preservative as well as a sweetener.

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