Why didn't the low-fat advice end in 2011?? - Weight Loss NHS

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Why didn't the low-fat advice end in 2011??


I just read this on nutrition.org

"The National Diet and Nutrition Survey of adults shows that in 2008/09-2010/11, the average daily intake of fat was 78.8g and 60.1g for men and women respectively (providing around 35% and 34.4% of the food energy in the diet, i.e. excluding alcohol intake), having fallen from 40% of food energy intake in 1986/7. This indicates that fat now contributes a significantly lower proportion of energy in the UK diet than when the previous survey was carried out in 1986/87 and that on average men and women are meeting the recommended population target for dietary fat of 35% of food energy. The survey also showed that intake of saturated fatty acids (SFA, saturates) had fallen from 17% (in 1986/7) to 12.8% and 12.6% of food energy for men and women respectively, although this still exceeds the recommended 11%."

Which is astounding! Most of us met the fat goal and some (including me) must have been way under. And even though we didn't quite meet the saturated fat goal, nearly half of us must have been at 11% or below (again, including me). Has there ever been a more successful public health lifestyle intervention?

So what happened to our weight at during that period? In 1986 there was 7% of men obese, and 12% of women. By 2009, that had grown 24% and 26% respectively. Note: it's about 1/3 of the population now.

I really don't understand how they can continue to push this advice a decade later. It's baffling.

I did check what happened to cardiovascular disease during the same period: it dropped precipitously. Then I checked, smoking rates dropped 43% over the same period, which would explain the drop entirely.

1 Reply

Percentages are always interesting but did that article also include the changes in total calorie intake? I'd guess that the mad growth in those packaged "low fat" foods which replaced the fat with sugar and in many case increased the total energy had something to do with what went on.

If you really want to know what's going on you need to consider total energy and all the major nutrients not just one. Neither "low fat" or "high fat" on their own will solve anything.

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