The Skinny on How Fat Was Demonized
Ancel Keys, a biochemist and well-known researcher was responsible for the Seven Countries Study, which was conducted between 1958 and 1964.
The study reported that an increased in fat consumption correlated with an increase in cardiovascular disease.
In his report, Keys left out many details of the study which actually included 15 other countries, with the result that the study appeared to support his theory that fat was unhealthy.
You see, correlation simply implies a statistical association, while causationmeans that one variable is dependent on the other - in this case Keys correlates cardiovascular disease with fat intake - specifically animal fat. He does not demonstrate causation - that is that fat causes cardiovascular disease.
Keys was a determined and outspoken man who had influence with those on the government committees creating dietary guidelines at the time.
The outcome of the study was accepted by the scientific community and became part of America's dietary guidelines.
At the same time, subsidies for crops such as wheat, corn and soy were increased and we had more food available than we could eat and we had to figure out how to make this excess food into sale-able products: corn syrup, corn starch, all kinds of packaged baked goods, and soy products to feed the growing vegetarian population were created to consume the excess.
Meanwhile, the sugar industry was quietly paying for studies that would show that sugar was not to blame for increasing health concerns and that fat was indeed the culprit.
The end result was that fat, animal fat in particular, became demonized. And here we are today, Americans are increasingly suffering from chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, stroke, cardiovascular disease and autoimmune disorders.
Curiously (or not!), the chart below demonstrates the surge in cases of diabetes begins about this time period!