Saturday, July 20, 2013

Did low fat diets cause the obesity epidemic in the US?

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The title of this post is a common theme repeated by the likes of Swedish diet doctor Andreas Eenfeldt - That somehow going low fat (thus high carb) has caused the obesity epidemic.  At best, by percentage only, the USofA has decreased fat consumption from 37% to 33% (or 36% to 33% for women) ... this 3-4% reduction in fat percentage has been accompanied by a 7% increase in carbs (42-to-49% men, 45-to-52% women).  As you can see in the graphs, absolute fat content is basically flatlined -- we didn't cut fat, women (who tended to "comply" on the fat recs moreso than men)  even added a small amount.  Any way you cut it, this relatively insignificant change would be insufficient to cause some sort of carb triggered, insulin-induced fat cell mutiny!  Confronted with such facts the insulin hypothesis, or what I call TWICHOO, is changed ever so slightly to focus on how carbs cause you to eat more -- to the tune of some 300-500 calories/day and gain weight.   (I would note that NuSI discounts any ineffectiveness of various LC diets that are not really LC and use 40% carbs -- If you don't see an effect there, you will do nothing to pin the obesity epidemic on the lowly carbohydrate.)
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