Today’s JAMA contains three papers showing that the low-fat diet does not reduce the risk for colon cancer, heart disease or breast cancer.
Data from the giant Women’s Health Initiative Dietary Modification Trial show that after 8 ½ years post menopausal women consuming a diet meant to contain about 20 percent of calories as fat, but in fact containing about 28 percent of calories as fat, showed no decrease risk for breast cancer, heart disease or colon cancer compared to a control group of women consuming their regular diet.
To read the full text of the paper on breast cancer click here.
To see the abstracts of the other two papers click here and here.
This same issue contains two editorials that show the bias of the editorialists in the direction of the low-fat diet. In one in the very last paragraph the authors just can’t help themselves. Despite these studies showing no benefit to the low-at diet, these guys just can’t leave it at that.
Despite null findings from the WHI Dietary Modification Trial, dietary changes can have powerful, beneficial effects on CVD risk factors and outcomes. To reduce the risk of CVD, individuals should maintain a desirable body weight, be physically active, avoid tobacco exposure, and eat a diet consistent with national guidelines [the low-fat diet]. Additional results from the WHI Dietary Modification Trial, likely forthcoming, should provide valuable evidence that will refine these recommendations and further enhance CVD prevention efforts in women.
So, what they’re saying is that despite these studies showing no benefit to low-fat diets it is advisable to follow a low-fat diet. Hmmm.
Many thanks to Regina Wilshire (her excellent blog is Weight of the Evidence) for giving me the heads up that these studies were coming out.
I’ll have much more to say later after an exhaustive evaluation of all these papers.
MD and I are flying back home tonight, so I’ll be back at it at full speed in short order.