I was writing another blog, on another matter, when someone sent me an email containing a petition signed by over two hundred Canadian doctors.
Re: Canada’s Food Guide Consultation
From: Group of concerned Canadian Physicians and Allied Health Care providers
For the past 35+ years, Canadians have been urged to follow the Canadian Dietary Guidelines. During this time, there has been a sharp increase in nutrition-related diseases, particularly obesity and diabetes.
We are especially concerned with the dramatic increase in the rates of childhood obesity and diabetes. In 1980, 15% of Canadian school-aged children were overweight or obese. Remarkably, this number more than doubled to 31% in 2011; 12% of children met the criteria for obesity in the same reporting period. This has resulted in a population with a high burden of disease, causing both individual suffering, and resulting in health care systems which are approaching their financial breaking points. The guidelines have not been based on the best and most current science, and significant change is needed.
This is big: nearly 200 doctors and allied health practitioners in Canada have signed an Open Letter to their government calling for urgent, radical reform of nutrition guidelines to include low-carb diets.
They say that authorities told Canadians to follow guidelines for nearly 40 years. During that time, nutrition-related diseases, such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease, increased sharply. The doctors are also concerned about sharp increases in childhood obesity and diabetes rates.
They say that the evidence does not support conventional low-fat dietary advice. In fact, they say it worsens heart-disease risk factors. They say that those responsible must be free to compile dietary guidelines without food and drug industry influence. They want the guidelines to promote low-carb diets as “at least one safe, effective intervention” for people with obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
At heart, the letter’s signatories call for mainstream medical advice to include low-carb, healthy-natural-fat. Here’s more of these doctors’ powerful challenge to orthodoxy.
Yesterday, the BMJ officially announced that it won’t retract a “controversial” 2015 article by investigative journalist Nina Teicholz, author of NYT best-seller The Big Fat Surprise.
Following a lengthy investigation lasting over a year, the BMJ said that two independent reviewers “found no grounds for retraction,” and that Teicholz’s criticisms of the methods used by the 2015 US Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) “are within the realm of scientific debate.”
As reported on this blog and The Sidebar (my US blogging buddy Peter M. Heimlich’s crack investigative journalism blog), Washington-DC based advocacy group the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) – in bed with prominent members of the DGAC – aggressively campaigned to get the article retracted.
After the Wallabies a sedentary life, junk food and too much grog took its toll on his physique. Like many other blokes, he became fat – “fatty boomka” is how he described himself. Then a mid-life epiphany changed everything. Now more than 40 kilograms lighter and altogether happier, the new Peter Fitzsimons wants to share his simple secret of transformation.
Don’t look around at others. I am talking to you, bloke. And don’t be offended at being called “Fatty Boomka” either, precious, because I used to be you … And, just like you, my weight yo-yo-ed up and down for thirty-odd years …
Oh, come on. You have been on exactly the same yo-yo weight plan – very fat … pretty fat … not-so-fat-but-still-a-whole-lot-to-love … VERY bloody fat – and we both know it.
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.