US investigative journalist Nina Teicholz calls it “a victory for science.” South African scientist Tim Noakes says it proves that one person can “change the world.” I say it’s a decisive defeat for medical, scientific and dietetic establishments in their ongoing war against the critics.
The BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal) has announced that it will not retract the peer-reviewed investigation it published by Teicholz in September 2015. The feature documents in detail how the US Dietary Guidelines (DGAs) have ignored vast amounts of rigorous scientific evidence. This evidence is on key issues such as saturated fats and low-carbohydrate diets.
Teicholz’s article has been the target of an unprecedented retraction effort that was organized by an advocacy group that has long defended those guidelines. The BMJ stance is becoming a lesson in unintended consequences for those attempting to stifle debate on the topic. It raises fundamental questions about who was behind the retraction effort and their motivation.
In July 2002, The New York Times Magazine published “What If It’s All Been a Big Fat Lie?,” a cover story by food journalist Gary Taubes arguing that the carbohydrates in our diets, not the fat, were the likely cause of obesity and heart disease. What sounds perfectly reasonable now — essentially a defense of Atkins and Paleo — was at the time akin to heresy. The critical avalanche that followed was swift and relentless, including aCenter for Science in the Public Interest newsletter cover accusing Taubes of promulgating “Big Fat Lies,” a Reason magazine takedown headlined, “Big Fat Fake,” and a Newsweek scolding, written by a former friend, titled, “It’s Not the Carbs, Stupid.”
Almost fifteen years later, much of what Taubes was pilloried for writing in 2002 has become conventional wisdom. Michael Pollan has since referred to Taubes as the Alexander Solzhenitsyn of nutrition research, and he’s been asked to lecture at over 60 universities and medical schools worldwide — from the Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic to Harvard Law School and Oxford University. Taubes is now widely considered to be one of the most influential authorities in nutrition. With his latest book,The Case Against Sugar, coming out from Knopf in December, we asked him to write about his time in the wilderness. Below, in his own words, Taubes ruminates on bouncing back from professional ridicule.
A MORBIDLY obese woman who loved fast food so much she’d eat kebabs for breakfast has swapped her fast food habit for a caveman diet, and shed an amazing 55kg.
Elora Harre, 23, from Perth, was a size 24 at her biggest thanks to a solid diet of convenience foods including pizza, burgers and kebabs every day for brekkie.
But after developing headaches and sore eyes, she discovered she was pre-diabetic as a result of her eating habits, and was forced to ditch them once and for all.
Now Elora has shrunk from a size 24 to a size 12 after swapping her greasy take away food for the paleo diet, and eating meals consisting purely of natural foods.
She’s been so successful in her transformation, that she has amassed a huge online following and has just launched her own book chronicling her journey, called The Shrinking Violet — How to Lose Weight and Get Fit the paleo Way.
Observational associations between red meat intake and cardiovascular disease (CVD) are inconsistent. There are limited comprehensive analyses of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that investigate the effects of red meat consumption on CVD risk factors.
The purpose of this systematically searched meta-analysis was to assess the effects of consuming ≥0.5 or <0.5 servings of total red meat/d on CVD risk factors [blood total cholesterol (TC), LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, ratio of TC to HDL cholesterol (TC:HDL), and systolic and diastolic blood pressures (SBP and DBP, respectively)]. We hypothesized that the consumption of ≥0.5 servings of total red meat/d would have a negative effect on these CVD risk factors.
The results from this systematically searched meta-analysis of RCTs support the idea that the consumption of ≥0.5 servings of total red meat/d does not influence blood lipids and lipoproteins or blood pressures.
Newsreader Jamie Owen is going on a diet that goes directly against government healthy eating advice – and common sense. For the past 30 years we’ve been told the key to a healthy lifestyle is cutting out fat. However, as a nation we’ve got bigger – Jamie included. A controversial new report says the current government advice is making us bigger, and that the food industry is telling us what to eat. The report says that it isn’t butter, milk and other fat that is to blame – the problem lies elsewhere. Join Jamie as he investigates these weighty issues and makes himself a guinea pig for a diet that aims to make us rethink the way we try to control out waistline.
These were the headlines that we woke up to on Thursday 29th September 2016. More specifically, it was claimed that a Mediterranean diet could prevent 20,000 deaths in Britaineach year. That’s an important clarification, as we’re all going to die.
The original study can be seen here and it’s on open view.
There were three really interesting learnings from this study: i) we get a detailed definition of what researchers think the Mediterranean Diet is (as opposed to what Mediterranean people actually eat); ii) we get a new (and incomprehensible) way of guessing (estimating) the impact of this made up diet on deaths; and iii) we get an example of the new way of reporting studies/grabbing headlines, which I forecast will end the “20% greater risk “ coverage we have suffered to date.