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Obesity, Fat and Junk Food
Relationship Between Dietary Fat and Obesity Remains Controversial
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Obesity, Fat & Junk Food

Throughout the war on obesity and fat, the low-fat message has been most taken to heart. Diet fat raises body fat, it seems.

Except the data simply doesn't support the link. As total fat consumption among American adults dropped from 1965, obesity rates have soared.

Cara Ebbeling, Ph.D., and colleagues at the Division of Endocrinology at Children's Hospital Boston questioned the relationship between dietary fat and fatness in the Aug. 10, 2002, issue of Lancet, noting: "Findings of epidemiological studies do not consistently show an association between dietary fat and adiposity in children and young adults."

The science also doesn't conclusively support low-fat eating as being healthful for most people, as Gary Taubes' extensive thesis in Science magazine on March 30, 2001, documented. One example among a significant body of evidence against eating low fat is the clinical trials led by Laura A. Corr, M.D., Ph.D., published in European Heart Journal in 1997. Researchers found "little support for such [low-fat] recommendations and it may be that far more valuable messages for the dietary and non-dietary prevention of coronary heart disease are getting lost in the immoderate support of the low-fat diet." In the conclusions, Dr. Corr wrote: "Dietary advice to reduce saturated fat and cholesterol intake, even combined with intervention to reduce other risk factors, appears to be relatively ineffective for the primary prevention of coronary heart disease and has not been shown to reduce mortality."

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