When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

08 February 2006

Low-Fat Diet Does Not Cut Health Risks, Study Finds - New York Times

The largest study ever to ask whether a low-fat diet reduces the risk of getting cancer or heart disease has found that the diet has no effect.

The $415 million federal study involved nearly 49,000 women ages 50 to 79 who were followed for eight years. In the end, those assigned to a low-fat diet had the same rates of breast cancer, colon cancer, heart attacks and strokes as those who ate whatever they pleased, researchers are reporting today.

"These studies are revolutionary," said Dr. Jules Hirsch, physician in chief emeritus at Rockefeller University in New York City, who has spent a lifetime studying the effects of diets on weight and health. "They should put a stop to this era of thinking that we have all the information we need to change the whole national diet and make everybody healthy."

Low-Fat Diet Does Not Cut Health Risks, Study Finds - New York Times

Once again, that deep thinker, Woody Allen, proves to be (at least) thirty years ahead of his time.

From Mr. Allen's 1973 science-fiction parody Sleeper:
Dr. Melik: [puzzling over list of items sold at Miles' old health-food store] ... wheat germ, organic honey and... tiger's milk.
Dr. Aragon: Oh, yes. Those are the charmed substances that some years ago were thought to contain life-preserving properties.
Dr. Melik: You mean there was no deep fat? No steak or cream pies or... hot fudge?
Dr. Aragon: [chuckling] Those were thought to be unhealthy... precisely the opposite of what we now know to be true.
Dr. Melik: Incredible!

1 comment:

Terry said...

A diet was deemed "low-fat" if the caloric intake from fat was between 24 and 29 percent. This is a fairly lax definition, as a person with a 1,500 calorie diet would ingest 40 - 48.3 grams of fat under these guidelines.

I'm skeptical that this is a good definition of low-fat, especially since most people eat more than 1,500 calories.