Ancel Keys’s study was highly flawed and ignored contradictory research, according to Nina Teicholz

A Jan. 26, 2015 CBC The Current podcast is entitled: “‘Fat doesn’t make you fat’: Nina Teicholz’s big surprise.”

The introduction to the podcast notes:

“For decades now, saturated fats have been off the table for many Canadians. It’s all in keeping with the dietary law of the land: Avoid the fats to keep cholesterol down, and ensure a healthy heart…. leading many to deny themselves the fat of the land.

“But now science journalist Nina Teicholz is cutting through that received wisdom, like a hot knife through forbidden butter. Her new book is called, “The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet [2014].” Nina Teicholz was in New York.”

A Feb. 11, 2015 CBC article is entitled: “Old cholesterol warnings steeped in ‘soft science,’ may be lifted in U.S.: Current U.S. guidelines suggest no more than 300 mg of cholesterol per day.”

Key’s study described as highly flawed

The article notes:

“[Ancel] Keys’s study was highly flawed and ignored some contradictory research, Teicholz says. Regardless, his findings showed a link between high-fat diets and poor health, and in 1961, he convinced the American Heart Association to recommend Americans eat less fatty foods.

“‘The American Heart Association guideline is what was the little, tiny acorn that grew into the giant oak tree of recommendations we have today,’ says Teicholz. ‘And it became dogma.'”

An earlier post is of relevance; it refers to two CBC podcasts:

Jill Eisen explores the politics, economics, and science of overeating (CBC Ideas podcast)


A March 2, 2015 CBC “Point of View” article is entitled: “Don’t be fooled by big fat surprises, fat is still bad for you: Popular diet books can oversimplify the message about fat and calories.”

The article notes:

“The new movement to redeem fat was fuelled by a 2014 study in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

“This review of 32 studies is often cited as proof that saturated fats are good for you.

“However, that is not what the study actually showed, says [Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Centre and president of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine.]

“The study found no difference between high-fat and high-sugar diets when it came to cardiovascular disease.

“But that does not mean that saturated fat is good for you, says Katz. ‘Whether it was low-sugar, high-fat or high-sugar, low-fat, the rates of heart disease were basically the same and really high. Everybody lost.’

“You can cut the fat and eat badly, just like you can cut carbs and eat badly.

” ‘There’s a simple shortcut that’s even better,’ Katz says. That’s eating wholesome foods — things like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, lentils and fish — in sensible combinations.”

[End of excerpt]

An August 1, 2015 New York Times article is entitled: “My Dinner With Longevity Expert Dan Buettner (No Kale Required).” The article notes: Not a lot of dairy products.

A Sept. 13, 2016 CBC article is entitled: “Sugar industry paid scientists for favourable research, documents reveal: Harvard study in 1960s cast doubt on sugar’s role in heart disease, pointing finger at fat.”

A Nov. 16, 2016 CBC article is entitled: “Do we have it backward on giving kids low fat milk instead of whole? Whole milk consumption linked to leanness in early childhood, Canadian study finds.”

An April 25, 2017 Science Daily article is entitled: “Parents’ use of emotional feeding increases emotional eating in school-age children.”

A summary of the research report from the Society for Research in Child Development, on which the article is based, reads:

“Emotional eating is not uncommon in children and adolescents, but why youth eat emotionally has been unclear. Now a new longitudinal study from Norway has found that school-age children whose parents fed them more to soothe their negative feelings were more likely to eat emotionally later on. The reverse was also found to be the case, with parents of children who were more easily soothed by food being more likely to feed them for emotional reasons.”

An April 25, 2017 Guardian article is entitled: “Backlash after report claims saturated fats do not increase heart risk: Relying on low fat foods to avoid heart disease is misguided, say cardiologists, but critics say comments ignore evidence.”

An April 26, 2017 CBC article is entitled: “Pass the butter: Cutting saturated fat does not reduce heart disease risk, cardiologists say: Focus should instead be on eating ‘real food,’ walking and reducing stress.”


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