On 24th September 2015, BMJ issued a press release titled BMJ investigation questions expert advice underpinning new US dietary guidelines. The press release stated:
The BMJ Investigation was an article written by Nina Teicholz in response to the above report. It was not a BMJ investigation. Why is The BMJ press release stating that they, The BMJ, performed an investigation when it is clear that this is not the case.
This article was fully funded with a grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation (www.arnoldfoundation.org).
The Laura and John Arnold Foundation provided the seed funding for NuSI, the organisation founded by Gary Taubes and Peter Attia to promote low-carbohydrate nutritional science.
What is the natural diet for humans? This is a common question but — we evolve based on behaviour and our behaviour may have a number of consequences, some beneficial and others not so much.
Giraffes have long necks, not to enable them to reach leaves high in a tree, but because males fight using the necks. Males with the longest, strongest neck wins. It does make life more awkward when eating grass or drinking from a water-hole in the evening.
Evolution is based on changes that enable us to pass on genes for future generations. If a genetic change affects cholesterol metabolism and causes an increase in heart disease this may not be relevant in evolutionary terms because heart disease usually affects people later in life.
It still may have an impact on human society because of the important influence of grandparents involved in child-minding and their importance as a repository of knowledge.
The Wadsworth VA Hospital in Los Angeles operated a home where male army veterans resided. The meals were provided by one of two dining halls.
Men in dining Hall A continued their usual diet. The “saturated animal fat and hydrogenated shortening replaced with vegetable oils in the experimental diet” for the diets provided in dining Hall B. Low fat diets were not considered because such a diet required “gastronomic sacrifice”. The total fat content of the 2 diets were the same, providing 40% of the total energy. (Diets of 40% fat cannot be considered a healthy diet.)
This study is sometimes used to "proof" that a polyunsaturated fats promote cancer. A reading of papers from the trial shows that this is not the case.
The Australian Broadcaster ABC televised the program Heart of the Matter Part 1 - Dietary Villains on Thursday, 24 October 2013. This program listed the MRFIT study as more evidence that cholesterol is not implicated in heart disease.
The Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial (MRFIT) was a coronary heart disease prevention trial that was conducted at 22 US clinical centres (18 cities) from 1973 to 1982. The multiple risks evaluated were elevated serum cholesterol, elevated blood pressure and cigarette smoking.
A number of popular commentators use this trial as proof that cholesterol is not implicated in heart disease.
The tobacco industry also used the results of the MRFIT study to argue that smoking is not harmful.
The objective of The Women’s Healthy Eating and Living (WHEL) Randomized Trial was to:
To assess whether a major increase in vegetable, fruit, and fiber intake and a decrease in dietary fat intake reduces the risk of recurrent and new primary breast cancer and all-cause mortality among women with previously treated early stage breast cancer.
The conclusion of this “controlled trial of dietary change in 3088 women previously treated for early stage breast cancer” was:
Among survivors of early stage breast cancer, adoption of a diet that was very high in vegetables, fruit, and fiber and low in fat did not reduce additional breast cancer events or mortality during a 7.3-year follow-up period.
This made headlines all over the world. This is the proof people were waiting for – that changes to your diet has no impact on breast cancer. Medical practitioners, dieticians and the public now have the evidence that there is no need to change your diet.
It appears that the authors are deliberately being deceptive.
A study published in the British Medical Journal stated
If everyone over the age of 50 ate an apple a day, 8,500 deaths from heart attacks and strokes could be avoided every year in the UK.