• Your life and health are your own responsibility.
• Your decisions to act (or not act) based on information or advice anyone provides you—including me—are your own responsibility.


The “Lipid Hypothesis” Has Officially Failed (Part 2 of many)

“We spend more time sick now than a decade ago
Despite longer life spans, fewer years are disease-free”

Original paper: Mortality and Morbidity Trends: Is There Compression of Morbidity? Eileen M. Crimmins and Hiram Beltrán-Sánchez. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci (2010)

A 20-year-old today can expect to live one less healthy year over his or her lifespan than a 20-year-old a decade ago, even though life expectancy has grown.

Actually, it’s even worse than that…more below.

The average number of healthy years has decreased since 1998. We spend fewer years of our lives without disease, even though we live longer.

Apparently 1998 is when the increased lifespan afforded by the advance of medicine was overwhelmed by our deteriorating health.

Functional mobility was defined as the ability to walk up ten steps, walk a quarter mile, stand or sit for 2 hours, and stand, bend or kneel without using special equipment.

Anyone whose otherwise-whole body can’t walk up ten steps, or who can’t bend over without special equipment, is already dead. What kind of life is that?

Actually, I think we know already. It looks like this...

...or this.

A male 20-year-old today can expect to spend 5.8 years over the rest of his life without basic mobility, compared to 3.8 years a decade ago — an additional two years unable to walk up ten steps or sit for two hours. A female 20-year-old can expect 9.8 years without mobility, compared to 7.3 years a decade ago.

So we’ve lost a year to disease—and over TWO YEARS to being so broken, or in so much pain, that we can’t move.

Why is that?

“There is substantial evidence that we have done little to date to eliminate or delay disease while we have prevented death from diseases,” Crimmins explained. “At the same time, there have been substantial increases in the incidences of certain chronic diseases, specifically, diabetes.”

From 1998 to 2006, the prevalence of cardiovascular disease increased among older men, the researchers found. Both older men and women showed an increased prevalence of cancer. Diabetes increased significantly among all adult age groups over age 30.

The proportion of the population with multiple diseases also increased.

In other words, we’re getting diabetic and having heart attacks, with more cancer as a bonus. And Type 2 diabetes tracks neatly behind our massive increase in obesity, charted here in Part 1.

Why is that?

Could it be because we suddenly decided in the 1970s that fat and cholesterol were EVIL—and that everyone needed to eat a lot less meat, eggs, and butter, and a lot more sugar?

Fun fact: cholesterol is absolutely required by all animal life, and is manufactured by almost every cell in our bodies. A 150-pound person contains about 35 grams of cholesterol, and synthesizes about 1 gram a day. If we eat cholesterol, our bodies simply synthesize less. Still scared of the 210 mg in an egg? You shouldn’t be.

Eggs, serum cholesterol, and coronary heart disease. TR Dawber, RJ Nickerson, FN Brand and J Pool. Am J Clin Nutr October 1982 vol. 36 no. 4 617-625
“Using either method of analysis (the actual follow-up from the time of the diet study, (or, as presented here, the 24-yr follow-up from inception of the Study), there was no evidence of any significant association of egg consumption with the incidence of death from all causes, total CHD, myocardial infarction, or angina pectoris (Table 2).”

“Heart-healthy whole grains” are mostly carbohydrates, which is to say: sugar. The glycemic index of “heart-healthy” whole wheat bread (72) is greater than that of Skittles (71). Metabolically, a whole wheat bagel is the same as two bags of Skittles.

Let that sink in for a while. We’re told to eat 7-11 servings of sugar (“grains”) each day…and now we’re surprised that we’re fat and diabetic.

“The growing problem of lifelong obesity and increases in hypertension and high cholesterol are a sign that health may not be improving with each generation,” Crimmins said. “We do not appear to be moving to a world where we die without experiencing significant periods of disease, functioning loss, and disability.”

Did you catch that? We were told to eat low-fat, low-cholesterol foods, so we did…and now we have hypertension and high cholesterol!

The “lipid hypothesis” was a giant, uncontrolled experiment on an entire nation. It has failed catastrophically. More people have been killed by Ancel Keys, the McGovern committee, the CSPI, and assorted hangers-on like Ornish and Pritikin than were killed in the Rwanda genocide…

…and the death toll continues to mount.

How many millions more will die before the US government and the medical profession abandon the failed “lipid hypothesis”, and its zombie avatar the “food pyramid”?

Stay healthy, stay strong.
Eat meat, eggs, vegetables, and root starches.
Don’t eat seeds (‘grains’) or seed oils (‘vegetable oil’).
Live in freedom, live in beauty.


This article is Part II of my continuing series on the failure of the “Lipid Hypothesis”. See Part I. If you want to know how we got here, watch Tom Naughton’s presentation Big Fat Fiasco. And here’s what I eat.


Permalink: The “Lipid Hypothesis” Has Officially Failed (Part 2 of many)
  • chuck

    another beauty. nice job. you stole some of my blog post ideas or i should say you beat me to it.

  • Chuck:

    Thanks! I've been scooped before, too: Dr. Harris recently wrote a post I was hoping to write.

    Where is your blog?

    Frankly, I'm surprised no one grabbed this article before, since it was from December.  


  • Cornelius

    Yes, it amazes me that we keep hearing that Americans are getting fatter and fatter, and yet almost no one seems to get the connection between the low-fat high-sugar diet and fat Americans. For the last 50 years or more, we have been getting fatter, and for the last 50 years or more, almost everyone has been trying to eat a “healthy” low-fat diet. Reminds me of the Biff quote from “Back to the Future.” “Hello? Hello? Anybody home? Huh? Think, McFly. Think!”

    Yup, order a latte with low-fat, non-fat, or soy milk, (another can-o-worms) add a lot of sugary syrup to make it taste somewhat less than crappy, then have a gigantic low-fat chocolate chip muffin with it, and call it lunch. Then wonder why you keep gaining weight and having health problems. 😛

    And the thing that REALLY amazes me is that many nutritionists don’t have a clue as to how and why the body makes fat. I recently heard one say that beer can’t make you fat, because there is no fat in it. According to her, what makes beer drinkers fat is the poor choices of food they make while drinking, like fried foods. Idiocy abounds. (Aside from the breading, of course, fried foods are fine, as long as they are fried in real lard. And in many cases, the breading is not that big of a deal.)

    If even nutritionists don’t understand the very basics, most people are screwed, unless they take it upon themselves to learn the truth. Ingesting fat does not make you fat, people. If you think it does, you need to study basic biology. As you may know, pigs are considered to be the omnivores with the digestive system that is the closest to ours. Ask a pig farmer what he feeds his pigs to fatten them up. I’ll give you a hint, it is not fat.

  • Cornelius:

    We all know that the way to fatten any animal as quickly as possible is to feed it grains. Did you know that the way foie gras (“fatty liver”) is made is by force-feeding corn to geese? There is a lesson here for us all.

    As far as “nutritionists”, I don't think there is any field more full of total baloney.  What passes for nutritional “knowledge” contradicts basic biology and chemistry. We might not know all the answers — but when someone says that “beer can't make you fat because there's no fat in it”, we know right away that this person doesn't understand the first thing about how food is digested, absorbed, metabolized, and stored.


  • tracker

    Great article. I’m off to eat some saturated fat 😀

  • Around the Web; and

    […] Declining health since 1998: Via J. Stanton at gnolls.org, lifespan isn’t correlated with health, and health may have peaked in 1998. Our lifespans are […]

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    […] 20-year-old can expect 9.8 years without mobility, compared to 7.3 years a decade ago." The “Lipid Hypothesis” Has Officially Failed (Part 2 of many) - GNOLLS.ORG Reply With Quote   + Reply to […]

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    […] One topic I’ve gotten a bit interested in is the effect of obesity on lifespan, which is not large. If one effect of obesity is to reduce metabolic rate, this may tend to extend life. Perhaps this is why lifespan is extending even as morbidity is increasing. […]

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  • WalterB

    I have to disagree about lack of mobility with a full body is equivalent to being dead. I have a friend who survived a stroke and lost the use of his right foot and hands arms and legs and he still is glad to be alive albeit that he is in a nursing home, but expects to get out shortly. He seems to be his old self even with some cognitive difficulties which seem to be lessening.

    It is a terrible loss, however, and all reasonable steps should be taken to prevent it. Eating yourself into a lack of mobility is however beyond stupid.

  • WalterB:

    Point taken.  I wish your friend the best recovery possible.


  • Mike

    i teach 16-19yr old students in a sports college (UK), your research & work which i was intoduced to 6 months ago has had a real impact upon what i deliver to students. It all makes so much sense. Tomorrows potential fitness instructors and coaches are now receiving a balanced view on nutrtion and not just what the government or curriculum endorse. Keep up the great work.


  • Mike:

    I'm glad that I can contribute to the education (and perhaps even the health) of the young!  It's an honor to be cited by educators like yourself as a reliable source of information.


  • Name (required)

    What has people eating lots of fast food junk and becoming more fat, sick and diabetic got to do with the lipid hypothesis? If you really think the health of the nation would be improved by telling people to eat more bacon, eggs and butter then I don’t know what to say. The lipid hypothesis is accepted by the major health organizations all over the world who have reviewed the literature compiled over the last 100 years.

  • Name (required):

    What is your evidence that fast food has caused the obesity crisis? 

    As I point out in Part I, obesity only began to skyrocket somewhere around 1980…and as I point out at the beginning of my 2013 AHS presentation, 1980 doesn't coincide with any sort of parallel increase in fast food consumption.  (Quite the opposite, in fact.)

    “The lipid hypothesis is accepted by the major health organizations all over the world who have reviewed the literature compiled over the last 100 years.”

    Once we accepted it, and it became official nutrition policy, in the late 1970s, obesity skyrocketed — as I point out in Part I.  I believe that is known as “epic failure”.

    Also, if you go back before the 1960s, it's considered a loaf of baloney, e.g. “The great progess in dietary control of obesity was the recognition that meat was not fat producing; but that it was bread and sweets which lead to obesity.” Here's a timeline of the relevant research. 

    Result: yes, the health of the nation would absolutely be improved by telling people to eat more bacon, eggs, and butter.  However, red meat is better for your health than industrially-produced bacon, and I both prefer it and recommend it to my readers.  

    Meanwhile, I'm sorry you're still bamboozled by the dry-whole-grain-toast propaganda: you'll enjoy life much more, and probably live longer, by ditching all that unpleasant junk and enjoying some real food. 


  • […] The Lipid Hypothesis Has Officially Failed- Part II (Gnolls) […]

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