A major study was just published in the Annals of Internal Medicine from Harvard. In approximately 85,000 women who were followed for 26 years and 45,000 men who were followed for 20 years, researchers found that all-cause mortality rates were increased in both men and women who were eating a low-carbohydrate Atkins diet based on animal protein. However, all-cause mortality rates as well as cardiovascular mortality rates were decreased in those eating a plant-based diet low in animal protein and low in refined carbohydrates. [Previously in MeFi]
Atkins was right?! According to a meta-study of nearly 350,000 people, "there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of (heart disease) or (vascular disease)... However, replacement with a higher carbohydrate intake, particularly refined carbohydrate, can exacerbate ... insulin resistance and obesity that includes increased triglycerides, small LDL particles, and reduced HDL cholesterol. Dietary efforts to improve ... (cardiovascular disease) risk ... should primarily emphasize the limitation of refined carbohydrate intakes and (losing weight)." [more inside]
Yesterday the World Health Organization launched a report on diet and nutrition, saying that sugar should be restricted to 10% of caloric intake. Predictably, the sugar industry (press releases) threw fits and called on their cronies in Congress to cut off WHO funding. Apparently they're fighting and clawing even more than the tobacco industry in similar circusmtances, and WHO fears that lobbyists have more power with the Bush administration. The SA believes that inactivity, not our increased sugar consumption, is the primary cause of the obesity epidemic. Are we in for another few years of declarations of junk science and endless gov't investigations into what seems obvious, a la most environmental and health concerns?
Fat versus Carbs NYT Magazine takes an deep look at the issues of the low fat diet and the modern obesity epidemic.