Government’s “Dietary fat guidelines have no evidence base”

I’ve been alive long enough now to see dietary science come 180° in their recommendations. 

Here’s my recommendation: eat anything you want in moderation. Exercise. 

Incidents of obesity and diabetes explode after low-fat guidelines were implemented.

The theory of “consensus science reliability” seems to have taken another hit, as a new report has been released that asserts government-based dietary fat guidelines “have no evidence base”.

Publishing in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, Dr Zoë Harcombe of the Institute of Clinical Exercise and Health Science of the University of the West of Scotland researched both the origins and the results of following the dietary fat guidelines that have prevailed in the US and the United Kingdom for almost 40 years. The evidence provides no support for the assertion that low-fat diets are healthier, especially as the incidences of obesity and diabetes have escalated dramatically during the same four decades of the guidelines’ implementation.

Until the introduction of dietary guidelines in 1977, the view of Tanner, from the Practice of Medicine, prevailed “Farinaceous and vegetable foods are fattening, and saccharine matters are especially so” …. In 1960, 13.3% of US adults were obese; 44.8% were overweight. By 2007, 34.7% of US adults were obese; 67.7% were overweight.68 In the UK, in 1972, 2.7% of men and 2.7% of women were obese and 23.0% of men and 13.9% of women were overweight. By 1999, obesity rates had risen to 22.6% of men and 25.8% of women, while 49.2% of men and 36.3% of women were overweight.69 (Health was devolved in the UK in 1999 to the regions of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and thus UK statistics terminated).

The diabetes rate was 2.4% in 1976 in the USA. The introduction to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans reported that 24 million Americans, almost 11% of the adult population, were diabetic and 78 million Americans, 35% of the adults, were pre-diabetic.71 This has recently been updated to 29 million diabetics and 86 million pre-diabetics. A recent review in the Lancet estimated that the lifetime risk for developing diabetes was 40.2% for American men and 39.6% for women. There were 800 000 people with diabetes in the UK in 1980, from a population of 56 million—an incident rate of 1.42%. The diabetes rate in the UK in 2015 was 6.1%.75 The incident rate of diabetes, both in the USA and the UK, has increased more than fourfold since the dietary fat guidelines were introduced.

Harcombe, who is a noted obesity researcher, takes a look at the obesity epidenic and its relationship to dietary guidelines in the following video:

Zoe Harcombe’s intro to The Obesity Epidemic

For further information on Zoe, her work and her writings, please visit Thanks to Modern Television ( ) and Simon Mansfield for producing this five minute taster tape.