In 1951, Keys was working at Oxford when the Food and Agriculture Organization asked him to chair their first conference on nutrition in Rome. He states, “The conferees talked only about nutritional deficiencies”. When he asked about the new epidemic of coronary heart disease, Gino Bergami, Professor of Physiology at the University of Naples, said “coronary heart disease was no problem in Naples”.
In 1952, Keys and his wife Margaret visited Naples. Margaret measured serum cholesterol concentrations and found them to be very low except among members of the Rotary Club. Heart attacks were rare except amongst the rich whose diet included daily servings of meat. He obtained similar results in studies in Madrid.
Ancel Keys and colleagues posed the hypothesis that differences among populations in the frequency of heart attacks and stroke would occur as a result of physical characteristics and lifestyle and diet. Surveys were carried out between 1958 - 1970 in populations of men aged 40-59, in sixteen areas of seven countries. Follow-up surveys were continued until the 1990s. Most of the areas were stable and rural and had wide contrasts in habitual diet.Read more ⇨
Popular commentators frequently accuse Keys of manipulating data in his 1953 paper, Atherosclerosis, A Problem in Newer Public Health.
This study is sometimes referred as the “Six Countries Study”. A number of popular commentators think this is the Seven Countries Study— they count England & Wales as two countries.
This paper was presented in Amsterdam in 1952 and in January 1953 in New York.
Far too much attention is paid to one page of a minor discussion paper written in the early 1950s. Keys writes,
“The fact that the present high rate from degenerative heart disease in the United States is not inevitable is easily shown by the comparison with some other countries.”
This was the purpose of the paper.Read more ➱
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation Catalyst program series produced a 2 part program collectively titled Heart of the Matter. The programs are titled Dietary Villains and Cholesterol Drug War. These programs were aired in October 2013.
The presenter and co-producer is Dr Marianne Demasi. The medical experts interviewed include Dr Michael Eades, Dr Jonny Bowden and Dr Stephen Sinatra. Science and medical writer Gary Taubes was also interviewed.
The views presented are based on popular books stating that we has been following the expert medical advice for the past 20 years (or 30, 40 or 50 years) and we are unhealthy than ever. They claim that there is a conspiracy to hide the truth concerning health, fat and cholesterol. These popular views are based on myths, fabrications and a distortion of the facts.Read more ➱