Friday, February 10, 2006
As for diehard advocates of low-fat diets, they will point, with some justice, to shortcomings in the study. All its 49,000 subjects were women ages 50 to 79, and it is possible that the disease processes begin too early to be affected by diet changes that do not start until the sixth decade.
******Also, those women in the study randomly assigned to the low-fat diet were NOT able to stick to the low levels originally envisioned. ********
(what kind of comparison is that to you?)
That plan called for a diet with no butter on bread and no oil on salads in which fat makes up just 20 percent of calories.
******As it turned out, the lower-fat women by the sixth year of the study were averaging 29 percent, versus 37 percent in the control group.
It is possible that real health gains would have shown up if the lower-fat sample had managed to get by at 20 percent.********
But the fact that those women could not be faithful to such a regimen, despite a behavioral modification program and lessons about low-fat diets, provides another, unintended lesson from this study. A truly low-fat diet is probably not salable to the US public, certainly not without ironclad evidence of substantial protection against serious diseases.
My conclusion is the same as the last paragraph, this is a study about how eating habits are hard to change, not about low-fat diets.
I also wouldn't be surprised if the study and, more importantly, the huge hoopla in the media wasn't pushed by fast food hamburger and fries chains and others.
I also think dieting without exercising has very limited benefits compared to an extensive physical activity program. And it's not just low-fat, if you don't eat any veggies, you'll miss out on a lot, to repeat what we all know. I'm getting sidetracked here, what I really was aghast about was how NO ONE mentioned how little difference there was in this comparison, since the "altered" group failed to significantly alter their diet.
That's science for you, nowadays. I'm sticking to my lovely, delicious, magnificent 20%-fat fromage blanc.