In the health news ...
- bring on the ice cream :)
Is Fat Our Friend?
[A] decade after that conversation, the science is swinging back to a reconsideration of what fat does—and more important, what it doesn’t do. How that happened turns out to be a fascinating story of the limitations of science and the influence of agribusiness, and of how hard it can be to change public policy on health.
The emerging understanding of fat’s influence, and in where the science went wrong, is captured in “Ending the War on Fat,” a new Time magazine cover story by Bryan Walsh that announces itself with an arresting close-up of an appetizing curl of butter. The story is behind a subscription paywall, but here’s what it says:
* …the experiment was a failure. We cut the fat, but by almost every measure, Americans are sicker than ever. The prevalence of Type 2 diabetes increased 166% from 1980 to 2012. Nearly 1 in 10 American adults has the disease, costing the health care system $245 billion a year, and an estimated 86 million people are pre-diabetic. Deaths from heart disease have fallen — a fact that many experts attribute to better emergency care, less smoking and widespread use of cholesterol-controlling drugs like statins — but cardiovascular disease remains the country’s No. 1 killer. Even the increasing rates of exercise haven’t been able to keep us healthy. More than a third of the country is now obese, making the U.S. one of the fattest countries in an increasingly fat world. “Americans were told to cut back on fat to lose weight and prevent heart disease,” says Dr. David Ludwig, the director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children’s Hospital. “There’s an overwhelmingly strong case to be made for the opposite.” *
This paradox—that eating something we have been persuaded is unhealthful might, in fact, have been healthier for us—is also explored in a new book, The Big Fat Surprise, by Nina Teicholz. And it’s been the professional life’s work of Gary Taubes, whose 2004 New York Times article “What If It’s All Been A Big Fat Lie?” led to two books and the founding of a research nonprofit. Taubes’ work is arguably responsible for igniting enthusiasm for low-carb (now “paleo” and “primal”) diets, whose popularity had foundered with the 2003 death of low-carb pioneer Dr. Robert Coleman Atkins ......