Government Money Well Spent: Study Shows Meat and Fat are Good

 

The writers who work with me know that they can short-circuit my temper by mentioning one of two hot-button topics: the Writers Guild or the USDA Food Pyramid.

I’m against both, by the way. Each has done damage to very personal and important parts of me — my wallet and my waistline.

Now, though, at least one of them is starting to crumble. From the NY Times:

People who avoid carbohydrates and eat more fat, even saturated fatlose more body fat and have fewer cardiovascular risks than people who follow the low-fat diet that health authorities have favored for decades, a major new study shows.

Boom. The Food Pyramid — a federal government boondoggle of cronyism and incompetence — told us to eat more bread and pasta and fewer fats and less meat. As with almost everything the federal government codifies, this was, we now know, not only wrong but unhealthy:

The average person may not pay much attention to the federal dietary guidelines, but their influence can be seen, for example, in school lunch programs, which is why many schools forbid whole milk but serve their students fat-free chocolate milk loaded with sugar, Dr. Mozaffarian said.

And now we have fat kids. So what should we eat? How about this:

A typical day’s diet was not onerous: It might consist of eggs for breakfast, tuna salad for lunch, and some kind of protein for dinner — like red meat, chicken, fish, pork or tofu — along with vegetables. Low-carb participants were encouraged to cook with olive and canola oils, but butter was allowed, too.

In other words, you’re supposed to eat pretty much what people ate for years and years before the federal government decided to get into the nutrition business.  

So that’s one pet-peeve put to rest.

I await the study that tells everyone what they already knew about trade unions, which is: their time has come and gone.

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  1. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Rob Long: And now we have fat kids. So what should we eat?

    Diet is not the reason we have fat kids, unless you believe that Americans radically changed the way they eat in 1992, when the USDA first published the Food Pyramid (Furthermore, the USDA has been putting out nutritional guides since 1894, and it’s not like the 1992 version was a radical departure from previous editions.  Also, other countries used the “pyramid” method for many decades before the US adopted it, and their obesity rates didn’t start going up until the mid 90s either).

    In 1990, obesity rates were less than 10% for every State in the Union.

    A much more valid source of causation, IMHO, was the invention of Windows 95, modern gaming, the Internet, etc. 

    Of course, Mrs. Obama cannot campaign to eradicate the Internet or home computers, so she goes after diet instead.

    • #1
  2. Tuck Inactive
    Tuck
    @Tuck

    Yep, “Let them eat cake” turned out to be bad advice.  Who could have seen that coming? ;)

    When I fixed my diet a few years ago (4.5 and counting) my doctor’s initial reaction was that he was very concerned for my health, that going on a high-fat, low-carb diet could be bad for my health.

    That’s why I’m here, Doc, so you can tell me if I’m killing myself.  On those terms, he agreed.

    The first thing I had to do was show him was the tests to run to measure my health accurately.  This is an experienced, well-regarded physician in the community (my father still sees him).  He didn’t know that there were better tests to measure cholesterol, despite telling me that mine was high, and he didn’t know about the best tests for testing blood glucose.

    Once we agreed that the tests were indeed superior, we ran the battery.

    I went from the top of the risk profile, to off the bottom of the risk charts.  I had, at the time, the highest HDL (good cholesterol) he’d ever seen in his career.  And my cholesterol ratios were literally below the bottom of the risk charts.  (The online risk calculators still won’t take a value of 100 for HDL as an input.)

    “You’ll live to 100”, he told me.

    Our health system is seriously broken.  Starting at the medical schools.

    • #2
  3. Casey Inactive
    Casey
    @Casey

    Misthiocracy: Diet is not the reason we have fat kids,

     Ricochet – Where pet peeves are never put to rest. 

    • #3
  4. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Tuck: Yep, “Let them eat cake” turned out to be bad advice.

    That was never the advice. The Food Pyramid always put refined sugars and fats in the “eat the least” category.  The advice was always “let them eat whole grains”.

    • #4
  5. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Casey:

    Misthiocracy: Diet is not the reason we have fat kids,

    Ricochet – Where pet peeves are never put to rest.

    Damned right.

    • #5
  6. Rob Long Editor
    Rob Long
    @RobLong

    Misthiocracy:

    Casey:

    Misthiocracy: Diet is not the reason we have fat kids,

    Ricochet – Where pet peeves are never put to rest.

    Damned right.

     Damn right, damned right.

    • #6
  7. Nick Stuart Inactive
    Nick Stuart
    @NickStuart

    Rob’s essentially correct.

    Need to Know podcast with Mona Charen and Jay Nordlinger a couple weeks ago featured Nina Teicholz talking about her book Big Fat Surprise (available on Ricochet Sponsor Audible.com for just one monthly credit).

    A book about how the science was settled and the consensus was in on the diet-heart hypothesis and low-fat myopia. How dissenting voices were silenced, denied funding, hounded off boards and blocked from presenting at symposia.

    Worth reading/listening.

    • #7
  8. Xennady Member
    Xennady
    @

    But what about the Writer’s Guild?

    • #8
  9. Casey Inactive
    Casey
    @Casey

    Rob Long:

    Misthiocracy:

    Casey:

    Misthiocracy: Diet is not the reason we have fat kids,

    Ricochet – Where pet peeves are never put to rest.

    Damned right.

    Damn right, damned right.

    Should we be expecting new sponsorship from the Shinola corporation? 

    Filthy, filthy mouths around here lately.

    • #9
  10. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Casey:

    Rob Long:

    Misthiocracy:

    Casey:

    Misthiocracy: Diet is not the reason we have fat kids,

    Ricochet – Where pet peeves are never put to rest.

    Damned right.

    Damn right, damned right.

    Should we be expecting new sponsorship from the Shinola corporation?

    Filthy, filthy mouths around here lately.

    Maybe we’ve taken up sailing?

    • #10
  11. Gretchen Inactive
    Gretchen
    @Gretchen

    Misthiocracy:

    Rob Long: And now we have fat kids. So what should we eat?

    Diet is not the reason we have fat kids, unless you believe that Americans radically changed the way they eat in 1992, when the USDA first published the Food Pyramid (Furthermore, the USDA has been putting out nutritional guides since 1894, and it’s not like the 1992 version was a radical departure from previous editions. Also, other countries used the “pyramid” method for many decades before the US adopted it, and their obesity rates didn’t start going up until the mid 90s either).

    In 1990, obesity rates were less than 10% for every State in the Union.

    A much more valid source of causation, IMHO, was the invention of Windows 95, modern gaming, the Internet, etc.

    Of course, Mrs. Obama cannot campaign to eradicate the Internet or home computers, so she goes after diet instead.

     Don’t give her  any ideas.

    • #11
  12. cirby Inactive
    cirby
    @cirby

    Misthiocracy: Diet is not the reason we have fat kids, unless you believe that Americans radically changed the way they eat in 1992, when the USDA first published the Food Pyramid

     …except that the concept of “more bread, less meat and fats” predates the Food Pyramid by over three decades. The “Basic Four Food Guide” dates to the mid-1950s, and featured four or more servings of the “bread or cereal group.” They suggested two or more servings of the “meat group,” but that included beans and peas (more carbs!). Quite a few of the 1960s and 1970s posters you would find in schools were even in a pyramid shape, with a lot of breads and very little meat and fats.

    The “Food Wheel” from 1984 boosted the bread and cereal group to 6-11 servings per day, while keeping the meat servings low.

    So yeah, it’s perfectly reasonable to associate the USDA guidelines starting in the mid-1950s with the increase in carb consumption.

    • #12
  13. Gretchen Inactive
    Gretchen
    @Gretchen

    Tuck:


    When I fixed my diet a few years ago (4.5 and counting) my doctor’s initial reaction was that he was very concerned for my health, that going on a high-fat, low-carb diet could be bad for my health.

    Once we agreed that the tests were indeed superior, we ran the battery.

    I went from the top of the risk profile, to off the bottom of the risk charts. I had, at the time, the highest HDL (good cholesterol) he’d ever seen in his career. And my cholesterol ratios were literally below the bottom of the risk charts. (The online risk calculators still won’t take a value of 100 for HDL as an input.)

    “You’ll live to 100″, he told me.

    Our health system is seriously broken. Starting at the medical schools.

     Yup. Me too. HDL over a hundred. And still not tired of steak (two years and counting).

    • #13
  14. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    cirby:

    … The “Food Wheel” from 1984 boosted the bread and cereal group to 6-11 servings per day, while keeping the meat servings low.

    So yeah, it’s perfectly reasonable to associate the USDA guidelines starting in the mid-1950s with the increase in carb consumption.

    Yeah, that pretty much reiterates what I wrote about USDA nutrition guidelines going back to the 19th century.  My point was that, even with the federal push for increased carb consumption, obesity rates didn’t start to become a problem until the mid 1990s …

    … when computers made the leap from academia, industry & hobbyists to the general public with the introduction of Windows 95.

    Clearly, the class action lawyers should be going after Bill Gates, not McDonalds.

    • #14
  15. Gretchen Inactive
    Gretchen
    @Gretchen

    Nick Stuart:

    Rob’s essentially correct.

    Need to Know podcast with Mona Charen and Jay Nordlinger a couple weeks ago featured Nina Teicholz talking about her book Big Fat Surprise (available on Ricochet Sponsor Audible.com for just one monthly credit).

    A book about how the science was settled and the consensus was in on the diet-heart hypothesis and low-fat myopia. How dissenting voices were silenced, denied funding, hounded off boards and blocked from presenting at symposia.

    Worth reading/listening.
    And applying to man-made global warming.

    • #15
  16. Casey Inactive
    Casey
    @Casey

    Misthiocracy:

    Casey:

    Rob Long:

    Misthiocracy:

    Casey:

    Misthiocracy: Diet is not the reason we have fat kids,

    Ricochet – Where pet peeves are never put to rest.

    Damned right.

    Damn right, damned right.

    Should we be expecting new sponsorship from the Shinola corporation?

    Filthy, filthy mouths around here lately.

    Maybe we’ve taken up sailing?

     You maybe, but Rob doesn’t know ship from Shinola. 

    • #16
  17. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M
    @RyanM

    … I’ve got a Chicken Fricassee simmering over on the stove right now.  Used butter, olive oil, lard (homemade!), heavy cream.

    I’m loving this recent stuff coming out about fat (which has always been a staple in the M household). Now I’m just waiting for  “recent studies link homebrew and whiskey consumption to increased longevity.”

    • #17
  18. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Ryan M:

    … I’ve got a Chicken Fricassee simmering over on the stove right now. Used butter, olive oil, lard (homemade!), heavy cream.

     I use bacon fat for almost all my oily needs.

    • #18
  19. Whiskey Sam Inactive
    Whiskey Sam
    @WhiskeySam

    You can eat whatever you want in moderation with exercise.

    • #19
  20. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M
    @RyanM

    Misthiocracy:

    Ryan M:

    … I’ve got a Chicken Fricassee simmering over on the stove right now. Used butter, olive oil, lard (homemade!), heavy cream.

    I use bacon fat for almost all my oily needs.

    I like to make a hungarian “delicacy” called toportyu, which is essentially rendered pork fat.  It goes in some biscuits called pogacsa.  Delicious!  A wonderful side product is the rendered fat, which goes in a jar in my fridge and is used in all sorts of things. 

    • #20
  21. Richard O'Shea Coolidge
    Richard O'Shea
    @RichardOShea

    This reminds of that scene from “Sleepers” when Woody Allen wakes up in the future and finds out everything that was supposed to be bad for you is now considered healthy.
    I am looking forward to the study that proves cigars are good for you.  I like to stay ahead of the curve.

    • #21
  22. Mike H Coolidge
    Mike H
    @MikeH

    Ryan M: Now I’m just waiting for  ”recent studies link homebrew and whiskey consumption to increased longevity.”

     I’m going to need to sample those at some point.

    • #22
  23. Tuck Inactive
    Tuck
    @Tuck

    Misthiocracy: Diet is not the reason we have fat kids, unless you believe that Americans radically changed the way they eat in 1992, when the USDA first published the Food Pyramid (Furthermore, the USDA has been putting out nutritional guides since 1894, and it’s not like the 1992 version was a radical departure from previous editions.

    It happened earlier than that, and it happened right after the USDA radically changed their dietary guidelines.  Too late for detail tonight, I can provide tomorrow.

    • #23
  24. Tuck Inactive
    Tuck
    @Tuck

    Misthiocracy: The advice was always “let them eat whole grains”.

     Not correct.

    • #24
  25. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M
    @RyanM

    Mike H:

    Ryan M: Now I’m just waiting for ”recent studies link homebrew and whiskey consumption to increased longevity.”

    I’m going to need to sample those at some point.

     open invitation at my place…

    • #25
  26. Tuck Inactive
    Tuck
    @Tuck

    See this post: far too long to include here.

    • #26
  27. Blondie Thatcher
    Blondie
    @Blondie

    Whiskey Sam:

    You can eat whatever you want in moderation with exercise.

     You beat me to it!! Whatever you eat, don’t act like it is your last meal. And for Pete’s sake, unless you physically can’t, get off the couch once in a while!

    • #27
  28. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    I am looking forward to the study that proves cigars are good for you. I like to stay ahead of the curve.

    I once read that, statistically-speaking,  pipe-smokers live longer than non-smokers.

    (There’s a correlation vs. causation thing going on there. Pipe-smokers tend to come from the higher end of the socio-economic ladder to begin with.)

    • #28
  29. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Blondie: And for Pete’s sake, unless you physically can’t, get off the couch once in a while!

    Leave the remote control on top of the tv.

    • #29
  30. Tuck Inactive
    Tuck
    @Tuck

    Blondie: You can eat whatever you want in moderation with exercise.

    So what’s a “moderate” dose of poison?  There are real, demonstrated genetic differences in how various people react to foods like carbohydrates (which is not a poison, of course) that means this advice is a very bad idea for those people.

    In my own case, I’ve got a gluten intolerance, like > 7% of the population.  Wheat or barley is literally a poison to me: I’ve been hospitalized repeatedly.

    The “in moderation” advice is only useful if you already know what a moderate amount is.  For me, a moderate amount of the staff of life is zero. 

    • #30
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