The Swiss gnomes blow the doors off the fat/cholesterol nonsense

Finally….finally!  The smart money is into FAT! Here are some highlights, from the report issued by Credit Suisse, entitled   Fat: The New Health Paradigm.

We believe that we are at a turning point. Our own analysis and the most recent medical research support these new trends. Medical research has shown that eating cholesterol has basically no influence on the level of cholesterol in the blood or on potential heart diseases. Neither has the link between saturated fat intake and cardiovascular risk ever been proven.

On the other hand, a high intake of omega-6 polyunsaturated fats (vegetable oils) has not been proven as beneficial for our health and trans-fats have been shown to have negative health effects. The higher intake of vegetable oils and the increase in carbohydrate consumption in the last 30-40 years are the two leading factors behind the high rates of obesity and metabolic syndrome in the U.S. Saturated and monounsaturated fats are not.

View/download the entire report. And tell all your friends.


11 responses to “The Swiss gnomes blow the doors off the fat/cholesterol nonsense

  1. Except that this report contradicts the latest TransFat study results (industrial TranFat consumption did NOT correlate with adverse outcomes in that study), it seems that Fat is no longer the Villain – Carbs are the new enemy.

    • @Stan B–
      Right. But no worries, since trans fats were added to the mix to ward off the evil sat fats. They are not typical in nature with respect to foods.

      Carbs have been known by most rational commentators to be the problem for at least 40 years. Atkins–among others–figured this out (actually work to this effect was published in the 1920s), and was vilified for his trouble. His mistake was trying to sell no-carb, which is virtually impossible to maintain—and also unnecessary.

      Advocacy of low fat/high carb is one of the greatest public health scandals of all time. A close second is cholesterol.

  2. One of the most frustrating things I find in writings and discussions of nutrition and disease is a certain pattern that is repeated again and again. The pattern is this: the author(s) of numerous articles and books will devote the first half of their work to a devastating and scientifically correct critique of those theories that indict things like cholesterol and saturated fats as causes of disease. They systematically point out the scientific flaws in the “studies” that claim to prove these elements are people’s health on both an individual and societal basis. But then they turn around and use the same sort of crappy epidemiological “evidence” to claim that some other nutritional factor or foodstuff is the true cause of the disease in question. These days the most popular bad boy in this regard is carbohydrates. But others have incriminated trans fats or nebulous categories such as “fast foods” and “processed” foods.
    There isn’t a shred of scientifically credible evidence to support any of these contentions. Despite the fact that “everybody knows” they are bad, no harm has ever been credibly linked to trans fats. Ditto for carbohydrates. Several generations of Americans have now been raised on diets heavily weighted toward “fast foods” and processed foods and all we have to show for it is a steadily increasing longevity curve.
    Why is it so hard to understand that food is fuel and has virtually nothing to do with health and disease over a wide range of different diets? The physiology of nutrition, digestion and absorption is one of the most widely studied and best worked out systems in all of biology. Even a rudimentary knowledge of the principles involved should be enough to conclude that there is no physiologically plausible mechanism by which foods could cause disease. But the rewards–pecuniary and otherwise–that redound to those who endlessly pursue this chimera will probably ensure that it goes on forever.

  3. @ernest–
    I would comment as follows…
    We are in total agreement as to diet/cholesterol/CHD nonsense. Nonetheless, it is difficult to not link the clearly observable effects of the promoted high carb/low fat diet–with the dramatic increase in obesity.

    I will grant you that there is no such thing as type 2 diabetes, so I will not even go there, but no one can deny that there are now a whole lot more fat people.

    Even if obesity per se cannot easily be correlated with specific morbidity/mortality, you can’t deny that most fat people would feel a lot better about themselves, and at least be more “fit” and active if they were not overweight.

    While food cannot cause disease, as you say, there are folks with underlying conditions that can definitely be exacerbated by eating the “wrong” foods.

    And, yes, there is a large and quite evil “scientific” establishment that makes its living off promoted diet and health memes. The solution to this is by no means simple, since the entire American academic system relies on grants for their pointless research. (Not to mention sports revenues.)

    Just as you could never convince the American public that the FDA is basically useless, you could never convince them that 75% of academic research is garbage, either.

    • Michael, no question that most people would feel better if they were not overweight. But the way people feel and their health are often two very different things. Obesity is not a disease and does not lead to disease. A large portion of the so called epidemic of obesity can be traced to the changes in definition that are based on BMI measurements. Another important factor is that the largest generation in history (baby boomers) is now well into middle age and beyond. And excess weight is a very frequent result of ageing (in the absence of disease). A number of recent studies have refuted the commonly accepted belief that children are now significantly fatter than they used to be. Longevity has continued its steady increase despite the so called epidemic of obesity. So I think we can say that if obesity has indeed increased–so what.
      I think you are being generous when you say that 75% of academic research is garbage. I would put the figure at closer to 95%. As far as convincing the American public of anything rational, remember that most of the public is convinced that some politician of one party or the other is going to reverse the trend toward increasingly intrusive and bureaucratic government despite decades of experience to the contrary.

  4. @ernest–
    Science begins with observation. When I was a kid, there were maybe three fat kids in my elementary school, and they weren’t all that fat. Try going to a mall or high school now. At least one-third of the kids are fat. Heck, go to a fast food place.

    Last trip to LA, my wife and I went to a McDonald’s close to Taft High School in Woodland Hills. The place was full of kids and they were ALL fat.

    For oldsters like you and me, it has come to this: “Attractive” at this age is to not be fat!

    There may not be direct links to longevity, but a fundamental change is occurring in society. In the past, we ostracized fatties; now, it’s normal.

    And, you’re right. There is no fix as to long trend toward more and more government. MAYBE Trump can slow it down, but then, even St. Ronnie didn’t make a dent.

    • You fall into a bit of a trap there. Your recollection of elementary school was 3 fat kids, but then you some how transfer that observation of a high school being full of “fat kids.” I assume the point about McDonald’s was perhaps an unintended assertion of cause. First, your recollection of elementary school would likely not stand up to scrutiny, but that’s a side issue. The more important issue is that social and living conditions are different so you cannot equate one against the other in order to draw a conclusion.

      My life is a great example, when I was a kid a lot of time was spent outside playing — there weren’t computers and TVs weren’t even color yet in my neighborhood. VHS wasn’t even at the Betamax stage and there were no microwaves. We were in great shape because we ran around, road bikes, played ball — that was our only choice. Now, most of the child’s time is spent in doors on various activities. Now, you might blame the boob-tube or computer-nanny; however, that ignores the societal pressures that “computer skills” some how magically equate to what our educational system “needs” to succeed.

      The same goes for eating. Single worker home allowed for the stay-at-home to cook. They actually had to cook, no microwave. We’ve progressed to a dual-income society (thanks to inflation — but I digress) and dietary habits have changed.

      Now, which has caused this “obesity” epidemic? Change in eating habits? Change in lifestyle? Both? Neither (genetic component as we have greater diversity in the area now)? Dietary science is about as scientific as climate science in this respect.

  5. @bill-
    No trap, really. Just look around. There are lots more fat people now, compared to when I was a kid. Plenty of reasons for this, but biggest one is society’s at least superficial acceptance.

    Some kids still do play outside. Only now, there’s lots more acceptance of socially awkward nerds and geeks. Yeah, they’re all going to turn out to be Mark Zuckerberg.

    As to “The more important issue is that social and living conditions are different so you cannot equate one against the other in order to draw a conclusion.” Say what?

    • My point with the confusing statement is that you cannot blame “fat kids” on food since social behavior is different. The converse holds true as well, you can’t blame insufficient exercise as the root cause either. You say there are more fat kids now, I suggest that is anecdotal as well as based upon new forms of measure. Very much parallel to re-casting the historical record as is done in Climate Science. Height changed over time as well. You have greater blending of genetic codes thanks to global travel. Historically ‘fat’ groups, like Polynesian peoples, have blended into society. Norms have changed, etc. I would point out that a few hundred years ago it was desirable to be Rubenesque (sp) in Europe, so I doubt they were all the stick-figures of the US Great Depression era.

  6. Thank you for this information. It appears that lock-step, politically correct, consensus ‘science’ has almost destroyed the benefits of science to society.

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