Thursday, May 26, 2016

Not shunning fat and still keeping good health-Another obesity control theory

Food and nutrition sciences seem to be turning upside down if a latest report by a charitable trust in the UK is to be believed! In essence the "scientists" in the trust are saying the eating more fat is the solution to overcome obesity epidemic that is ravaging wealthy nations in the world! It is not that the main stream health experts are sitting quite without challenging this new theory which does not appear to be based on any great scientific study and they have cautioned consumers not to "trust" this Trust for changing their food habits. Here is a take on this report and readers can come to their own conclusions regarding the credibility of the claims made. 

Thirty years of official health advice urging people to adopt low-fat diets and to lower their cholesterol is having "disastrous health consequences," a leading obesity charity warned yesterday. "Eating fat does not make you fat," argues a new report by the National Obesity Forum (NOF) and the Public Health Collaboration, as they demanded a major overhaul of official dietary guidelines. Promoting low-fat foods is perhaps the biggest mistake in modern medical history according to Dr Aseem Malhotra, consultant cardiologist. The report says the low-fat and low-cholesterol message, which has been official policy in the UK since 1983, was based on "flawed science" and had resulted in an increased consumption of junk food and carbohydrates. The document also accuses major public health bodies of colluding with the food industry, said the misplaced focus meant Britain was failing to address an obesity crisis which is costing the NHS £6 billion a year. The authors call for a return to "whole foods" such as meat, fish and dairy, as well as high-fat healthy foods like avocados. The report, which has provoked a broad backlash among the scientific community, also argues that saturated fat does not cause heart disease while full fat dairy products such as milk, yoghurt and cheese, can actually protect the heart. Professor David Haslam, NOF chairman, said: "As a clinician treating patients all day every day, I quickly realised that guidelines from on high suggesting high carbohydrate, low-fat diets were the universal panacea, where deeply flawed."Current efforts have failed, the proof being that obesity levels are higher than they have ever been, and show no chance of reducing despite the best efforts of government and scientists." Processed foods labelled "low-fat", "lite", "low cholesterol" should be avoided at all costs and people with Type 2 diabetes should eat a fat-rich diet rather than one based on carbohydrates, the report urges. Dr Aseem Malhotra, consultant cardiologist and member of the Public Health Collaboration, a group of medics, said dietary guidelines promoting low-fat foods "is perhaps the biggest mistake in modern medical history, resulting in devastating consequences for public health". "Sadly this unhelpful advice continues to be perpetuated," he said. Eat fat to get slim. Don't fear fat; fat is your friend says Dr Aseem Malhotra. The current Eatwell guide from Public Health England is in my view more like a metabolic timebomb than a dietary pattern conducive for good health." Dr Malhotra also suggested the scientific integrity of the PHE advice had been compromised by commercial interests. "We must urgently change the message to the public to reverse obesity and Type 2 diabetes," he added. "Eat fat to get slim," he concludes. "Don't fear fat; fat is your friend." Snacking between meals is one of the main causes of the current obesity crisis, the report argues, while added sugar should be avoided because it has "no nutritional value whatsoever".Snacking will make you fat, the report warns. Calorie counting is also a damaging red herring when it comes to controlling obesity, said the NOF report, as calories from different foods have "entirely different metabolic effects on the human body, rendering that definition useless". Similarly, "you cannot outrun a bad diet" the authors state, citing the "incorrect" assumption among the public that the solution to obesity is to burn more calories than are consumed. Our populations for almost 40 years have been subjected to an uncontrolled global experiment that has gone drastically wrong Prof Iain Broom. "Obesity is a hormonal disorder leading to abnormal energy partitioning which cannot be solely fixed by increasing exercise," the report says. Responding to the NOF document, Professor Iain Broom, from Robert Gordon University, said: "The continuation of a food policy recommending high carbohydrate, low fat, low calorie intakes as healthy eating is fatally flawed. "Our populations for almost 40 years have been subjected to an uncontrolled global experiment that has gone drastically wrong."
However, scientists from a range of fields have criticised the report and questioned its evidential basis. Dr Mike Knapton, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation (BHF), said the NOF findings were "full of ideas and opinion" but could not be counted as a comprehensive review of the evidence. The report's main headline – simply to eat more fat – is highly contentious and could have adverse public health consequences says Dr Mike Knapton. "This country's obesity epidemic is not caused by poor dietary guidelines; it is that we are not meeting them," he said. Professor Naveed Sattar, Professor of Metabolic Medicine at Glasgow University, said: "The report's main headline – simply to eat more fat – is highly contentious and could have adverse public health consequences."

It is true that all the actions and programs taken by the countries suffering from obesity have not brought any positive results so far and on the contrary the obesity population is surging at an unprecedented rate. Whether it is low carbohydrate diet or massive promotion of low fat food products, there is no dent in the galloping growth of overweight people. Naturally this has given opportunity to some "queer" people to try to swim against the tide and gain some popularity and attention. But the damage such unproven claims on the health of the people is forgotten by them while propagating such outlandish claims. It is understandable that those practicing low fat diets have to depend on carbohydrates for bulk of their energy needs and white sugar and HFCS provide the same. There are scientific evidence to show that too much carbohydrates in the diet can be a worrisome factor that can precipitate metabolic syndrome disease and other disorders. The lesson that is to be learned is that there is no sure recipe or quick fix for maintaining healthy weight and following a balanced diet giving importance to fat, proteins and carbohydrates derived through natural diet ingredients combined with regular physical activity is the best approach for good health


No comments: