Saturated fat

Removing saturated fat from our diet has resulted in a major rise in our consumption of carbohydrates

Health advocates have kicked off one of the largest obesity problems ever encountered by deciding that fat was bad.  Especially saturated fat.   We’re slowly learning that was a bad move.

Many of us still automatically pick up the skimmed milk rather than the full-fat in the supermarket, or choose low-fat spreads instead of butter.

Such shopping habits are the result of decades of official advice to cut back on foods containing saturated fats because they clog our arteries and raise the risk of heart attack.

But recently there have been the rumblings of a dietary revolution, with claims that saturated fat has been unfairly demonised.

Not only has swapping to skimmed milk and similar products done little to halt the rise in obesity and type 2 diabetes, but major scientific trials have acquitted saturated fat of responsibility for heart disease.

In the past week, Swedish researchers found that eating full-fat dairy products slashed the risk of type 2 diabetes.

We’ve even introduced Type-2 diabetes by forcing people onto, what turns out to be, unbalanced diets.   Read more »

Are butter, cheese and steak really bad for you?

I would have thought the answer was blindingly obvious, but some people have done a study to prove that they aren’t.

“Saturated fat does not cause heart disease”—or so concluded a big study published in March in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine. How could this be? The very cornerstone of dietary advice for generations has been that the saturated fats in butter, cheese and red meat should be avoided because they clog our arteries. For many diet-conscious Americans, it is simply second nature to opt for chicken over sirloin, canola oil over butter.

The new study’s conclusion shouldn’t surprise anyone familiar with modern nutritional science, however. The fact is, there has never been solid evidence for the idea that these fats cause disease. We only believe this to be the case because nutrition policy has been derailed over the past half-century by a mixture of personal ambition, bad science, politics and bias.

Our distrust of saturated fat can be traced back to the 1950s, to a man named Ancel Benjamin Keys, a scientist at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Keys was formidably persuasive and, through sheer force of will, rose to the top of the nutrition world—even gracing the cover of Time magazine—for relentlessly championing the idea that saturated fats raise cholesterol and, as a result, cause heart attacks.

This idea fell on receptive ears because, at the time, Americans faced a fast-growing epidemic. Heart disease, a rarity only three decades earlier, had quickly become the nation’s No. 1 killer. Even President Dwight D. Eisenhower suffered a heart attack in 1955. Researchers were desperate for answers.

As the director of the largest nutrition study to date, Dr. Keys was in an excellent position to promote his idea. The “Seven Countries” study that he conducted on nearly 13,000 men in the U.S., Japan and Europe ostensibly demonstrated that heart disease wasn’t the inevitable result of aging but could be linked to poor nutrition.

Critics have pointed out that Dr. Keys violated several basic scientific norms in his study. For one, he didn’t choose countries randomly but instead selected only those likely to prove his beliefs, including Yugoslavia, Finland and Italy. Excluded were France, land of the famously healthy omelet eater, as well as other countries where people consumed a lot of fat yet didn’t suffer from high rates of heart disease, such as Switzerland, Sweden and West Germany. The study’s star subjects—upon whom much of our current understanding of the Mediterranean diet is based—were peasants from Crete, islanders who tilled their fields well into old age and who appeared to eat very little meat or cheese.

As it turns out, Dr. Keys visited Crete during an unrepresentative period of extreme hardship after World War II. Furthermore, he made the mistake of measuring the islanders’ diet partly during Lent, when they were forgoing meat and cheese. Dr. Keys therefore undercounted their consumption of saturated fat. Also, due to problems with the surveys, he ended up relying on data from just a few dozen men—far from the representative sample of 655 that he had initially selected. These flaws weren’t revealed until much later, in a 2002 paper by scientists investigating the work on Crete—but by then, the misimpression left by his erroneous data had become international dogma.

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‘Fat Tax’ in Denmark Is Repealed After Criticism – I said it wouldn’t work

Back in 2011 I blogged about the new fat tax in Denmark and said at the time it wouldn’t work.

Unfortunately the Danes experiment won’t work because they are taxing the wrong things. Instead of taxing foods with fat in them they need to be taxing things with carbohydrates in them, that is a much broader tax base to start with and secondly will actually address the issue.

You would think that after 50 years of telling people to eat less fat to get thinner we would have a whole heap of thin people, instead we have the exact opposite with the high focus on carbohydrate rich foods. The obesity epidemic is being caused by the health professionals forcing us to carb load.

I was right…it didn’t work and is now it is being repealed…though that won’t stop Labour and the Greens adopting similar stupid policies:

Citing a harmful effect on businesses and consumer buying power, lawmakers in Denmark have repealed the so-called fat tax, which was charged on foods high in saturated fats, after just one year.

In a related decision, the Danish tax ministry said it was canceling plans for a sugar tax. “The fat tax is one of the most criticized we had in a long time,” Mette Gjerskov, minister of food, agriculture and fisheries, said on Saturday during a news conference in Copenhagen, the day the repeal was announced.

“Now we have to try to improve public health by other means.”

Fat bastards just need to stop stuffing food in their gobs.

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Does New Zealand need a Fat Tax?

Denmark is getting one. And for good reason. If someone is fat they cost all tax payers a lot of extra money because they eat too much food and don’t exercise enough.

Denmark is to impose the world’s first “fat tax” in a drive to slim its population and cut heart disease.

The move may increase pressure for a similar tax in the UK, which suffers from the highest levels of obesity in Europe.

Starting from this Saturday, Danes will pay an extra 30p on each pack of butter, 8p on a pack of crisps, and an extra 13p on a pound of mince, as a result of the tax.

The tax is expected to raise about 2.2bn Danish Krone (ÂŁ140m), and cut consumption of saturated fat by close to 10pc, and butter consumption by 15pc.

“It’s the first ever fat-tax,” said Mike Rayner, Director of Oxford University’s Health Promotion Research Group, who has long campaigned for taxes on unhealthy foods.

“It’s very interesting. We haven’t had any practical examples before. Now we will be able to see the effects for real.” The tax will be levied at 2.5 per Kg of saturated fat and will be levied at the point of sale from wholesalers to retailers.

Problems with obesity are going to cost the New Zealand taxpayer billions, and it is time we had an honest debate about making fat bastards pay for their lifestyle choices.

Lets broaden the tax base by taxing fat bastard food and not using quite so much income tax to fund keeping fat bastards alive. Unfortunately the Danes experiment won’t work because they are taxing the wrong things. Instead of taxing foods with fat in them they need to be taxing things with carbohydrates in them, that is a much broader tax base to start with and secondly will actually address the issue.

You would think that after 50 years of telling people to eat less fat to get thinner we would have a whole heap of thin people, instead we have the exact opposite with the high focus on carbohydrate rich foods. The obesity epidemic is being caused by the health professionals forcing us to carb load.

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