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Official advice on low-fat diet and cholesterol is wrong, says healt...

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/may/22/official-advice-...

Official advice on low-fat diet and


cholesterol is wrong, says health
charity
Report accuses UK public health bodies of colluding with food industry and
calls for overhaul of dietary guidelines
Press Association
Monday 23 May 2016 07.16BST

Urging people to follow low-fat diets and to lower their cholesterol is


having disastrous health consequences, a health charity has warned.
In a damning report that accuses major public health bodies of
colluding with the food industry, the National Obesity Forum and the
Public Health Collaboration call for a major overhaul of current
dietary guidelines. They say the focus on low-fat diets is failing to
address Britains obesity crisis, while snacking between meals is
making people fat.
Instead, they call for a return to whole foods such as meat, sh and
dairy, as well as high-fat, healthy foods including avocados, arguing:
Eating fat does not make you fat.
The report which has caused a huge backlash among the scientic
community also argues that saturated fat does not cause heart
disease while full-fat dairy, including milk, yoghurt and cheese, can
actually protect the heart.
Processed foods labelled low fat, lite, low cholesterol or proven
to lower cholesterol should be avoided at all costs, and people with
type 2 diabetes should eat a fat-rich diet rather than one based on
carbohydrates.

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23/05/2016, 10:26

Official advice on low-fat diet and cholesterol is wrong, says healt...

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/may/22/official-advice-...

The report also said sugar should be avoided, people should stop
counting calories and the idea that exercise could help you outrun a
bad diet was a myth. Instead, a diet low in rened carbohydrates but
high in healthy fats was an eective and safe approach for preventing
weight gain and aiding weight loss, and cuts the risk of heart disease,
it said.
The report added: Eating a diet rich in full-fat dairy such as cheese,
milk and yoghurt can actually lower the chance of obesity.
The most natural and nutritious foods available meat, sh, eggs,
dairy products, nuts, seeds, olive, avocados all contain saturated fat.
The continued demonisation of omnipresent natural fat drives people
away from highly nourishing, wholesome and health-promoting
foods.
The authors of the report also argue that the science of food has also
been corrupted by commercial inuences.
Just as big tobacco companies bought the loyalty of scientists when
a link was made between smoking and lung cancer, the inuence of
the food industry represents a signicant threat to public health,
they argued. They said the recent Eatwell Guide from Public Health
England (PHE) was produced with a large number of people from the
food and drink industry.
Prof David Haslam, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, said: As
a clinician, treating patients all day every day, I quickly realised that
guidelines from on high, suggesting high-carbohydrate, low-fat diets
were the universal panacea, were deeply awed.
Current eorts have failed the proof being that obesity levels are
higher than they have ever been, and show no chance of reducing
despite the best eorts of government and scientists.
Dr Aseem Malhotra, consultant cardiologist and founding member of
the Public Health Collaboration, a group of medics, said dietary
guidelines promoting low-fat foods were perhaps the biggest mistake
in modern medical history, resulting in devastating consequences for
public health.

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23/05/2016, 10:26

Official advice on low-fat diet and cholesterol is wrong, says healt...

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/may/22/official-advice-...

Sadly this unhelpful advice continues to be perpetuated. The current


Eatwell Guide from Public Health England is in my view more like a
metabolic timebomb than a dietary pattern conducive for good health.
We must urgently change the message to the public to reverse obesity
and type 2 diabetes.
Eat fat to get slim. Dont fear fat. Fat is your friend. Its now truly time
to bring back the fat.
Prof Iain Broom, from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, said:
The continuation of a food policy recommending high-carbohydrate,
low-fat, low-calorie intakes as healthy eating is fatally awed.
Our populations for almost 40 years have been subjected to an
uncontrolled global experiment that has gone drastically wrong.
But Prof John Wass, the Royal College of Physicians special adviser on
obesity, said there was good evidence that saturated fat increases
cholesterol.
He added: What is needed is a balanced diet, regular physical activity
and a normal healthy weight. To quote selective studies risks
misleading the public.
Prof Simon Capewell, from the Faculty of Public Health, said: We fully
support Public Health Englands new guidance on a healthy diet. Their
advice reects evidence-based science that we can all trust. It was not
inuenced by industry.
By contrast, the report from the National Obesity Forum is not peer
reviewed. Furthermore, it does not it indicate who wrote it or how is
was funded. That is worrying.
Dr Mike Knapton, associate medical director at the British Heart
Foundation (BHF), said: This report is full of ideas and opinion,
however it does not oer the robust and comprehensive review of
evidence that would be required for the BHF, as the UKs largest heart
research charity, to take it seriously.
This countrys obesity epidemic is not caused by poor dietary
guidelines; it is that we are not meeting them.

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23/05/2016, 10:26

Official advice on low-fat diet and cholesterol is wrong, says healt...

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/may/22/official-advice-...

Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at PHE, said: In the face of all


the evidence, calling for people to eat more fat, cut out carbs and
ignore calories is irresponsible. Unlike this opinion piece, our
independent experts review all the available evidence often
thousands of scientic papers run full-scale consultations and go to
great lengths to ensure no bias.
Prof Naveed Sattar, from the University of Glasgow, said the reports
main headline simply to eat more fat is highly contentious and
could have adverse public health consequences.
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