How Sketchy Research Got Us All Eating Low Fat

Selective research and skewed results

As journalist Paul John Scott (not to be confused with John Paul Scott, the only Alcatraz inmate to conclusively reached San Francisco during an escape attempt) writes in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Minnesota bears the blame for the wrong-headed low-fat diet that has been promoted by the FDA:

Okay, so Minnesota isn’t really to blame, but rather Keys and his ilk. Scott goes on to further describe how Keys’s well-meaning–but misguided–efforts to get people to eat less animal and especially saturated fat hurt rather than helped us. Many of these points come from the book “The Big Fat Surprise,” by investigative reporter Nina Teicholz. She argues that the data to support a low-fat diet doesn’t exist, as CNN reported:

Not everybody agrees, however. Dr. Walter Willett, chairman of the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, told CNN that replacing saturated fats with healthy fats improves blood lipids, and in turn reduces heart disease.

But both sides would probably agree that a shift from a diet high in animal fats to a diet high in simple carbohydrates like sugar–a pattern seen in the United States–isn’t healthy. To make up your own mind, check out the book yourself here, and read reviews of Teicholz’s tome at the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Sun-Times, and on