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This Christmas I got one of the best gifts I could ask for - a study that rips to shreds government Dietary Guidelines. Santa, you know me so well.

The study is reported on here, or if you have a Medscape account (which is free) you can find the original study here. Interestingly, one of the researchers in the study was Dr. Zoë Harcombe, author of The Harcombe Diet and big name in the low-fat, high-carb scene. Her Twitter feed is generally very informative.

The study is actually the fourth in a series that have each shown the complete lack of evidence for government dietary guidelines (specifically the US and the UK) in regards to association between coronary heart disease (CHD) deaths and total fat consumption. This series of studies are great for many reasons, but the one that tops the list for me is the fact that it shows that there never was any scientific basis for the dietary guidelines to recommend restriction of total fat consumption, or specifically, saturated fat consumption, based on the stated purpose of those guidelines: to stem the tide of increasing CHD.

The previous studies looked at the available evidence the government bodies had at the time they initially made the recommendations to reduce total fat and saturated fat. These studies showed there wasn't any. The current study is the second one to look at available evidence that has come since those initial recommendations to see if there is any support for continuing to make these recommendations. So they divided the existing evidence as follows (from the study):
In 2015, we published a systematic review and meta-analysis, which reported that evidence from randomised controlled trials (RCTs), available to the dietary guideline committees, did not support the introduced dietary fat recommendations. In 2016, we published a systematic review and meta-analysis, which reported that RCT evidence currently available does not support the introduced dietary guidelines. In 2016, we published a systematic review, which reported that epidemiological evidence, available to the dietary guideline committees, did not support the introduced dietary fat recommendations. The aim of these systematic reviews has been twofold: to examine the epidemiological and RCT evidence base for the dietary fat guidelines to assess if they were justified at the time of their introduction and to review if the evidence currently available supports the extant recommendations. This systematic review and meta-analysis completes this work by examining the totality of epidemiological evidence currently available.
And this final study in the series measured up to the first three pretty much as you'd predict: there's still no evidence for restricting fat and saturated fat in the diet, even after all these years. The researchers put it bluntly: "Not one review has found evidence to support public health dietary fat guidelines." Boom!

"Dietary recommendations were introduced in the USA (1977) and in the UK (1983)" the study says, "to (1) reduce overall fat consumption to 30% of total energy intake and (2) reduce saturated fat consumption to 10% of total energy intake." This represented a pretty serious departure for people at the time, who had no reason to restrict fat consumption (and still don't. Remember, science). And since protein usually stays pretty stable across diets at around 15%, restricting fat to 30% means the other 55% has to be made up by carbohydrates.

That's a lot of carbs. Like, far too much.

And it's no secret that, since the introduction of these dietary guidelines, not only have waistlines increased, but so has diabetes. As the researchers state, "This association needs examination." Yeah, you think?

Yet despite the continued mounting evidence in the form of scientific studies, government dietary guidelines don't show any sign of changing. Still using questionable methods to gather evidence, the government seems hell-bent on sticking to the status quo in telling people what to eat. And, as long as they do, we have more illness and death in the population to look forward to.

Maybe these governments should take a page from Sweden's book. (Just that page though - the rest of it is a cuckbook for disaster).