Thanks to George McGovern and the “United States Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs” for killing millions of people via the consequences of obesity—diabetes, heart disease, depression, cancer, dementia, stroke, osteoarthritis, and a host of other totally preventable maladies.
Seriously: we let a Senate committee decide what was healthy to eat? I guess we got what we deserved.
“Low-Calorie” Foods Made Us Fat
To forestall the inevitable cascade of reflexive defenses of the status quo, which are “We started eating more junk food”, “We started eating more food generally. Calories in, calories out” and “People got lazy and stopped exercising”, I’ll point the skeptics to the following study, which uses the same data set (NHANES) as the graph:
The American Journal of Medicine Volume 102, Issue 3 , Pages 259-264, March 1997. Divergent trends in obesity and fat intake patterns: The american paradox. MD Adrian F. Heini, MD, DrPH Roland L. Weinsier
RESULTS: In the adult US population the prevalence of overweight rose from 25.4% from 1976 to 1980 to 33.3% from 1988 to 1991, a 31% increase.
[WIth a 55% increase in obesity and a 214% increase in extreme obesity. See the original NHANES data.]
During the same period, average fat intake, adjusted for total calories, dropped from 41.0% to 36.6%, an 11% decrease.
[We were doing exactly what we were told to do: eat less fat.]
Average total daily calorie intake also tended to decrease, from 1,854 kcal to 1,785 kcal (−4%). Men and women had similar trends.
[Look at that! We weren’t eating any more food…but, somehow, we got fatter anyway.]
Concurrently, there was a dramatic rise in the percentage of the US population consuming low-calorie products, from 19% of the population in 1978 to 76% in 1991.
[Again, we were doing exactly what we were told to do: eat low-fat, high-carb products.]
From 1986 to 1991 the prevalence of sedentary lifestyle represented almost 60% of the US population, with no change over time.
[So we weren’t exercising any less, either.]
In other words, we were eating the same number of calories, eating dramatically more low-calorie, low-fat ‘health food’, and exercising the same amount…but we got dramatically fatter!
Then, continue to Part 2!
Live in freedom, live in beauty.
Welcome Google searchers! Pull up a log and have a seat…there’s a lot more here than just diet advice. May I suggest subscribing to my RSS feed, or to my newsletter (see right sidebar –>)? I update on Tuesdays, sometimes more often.