From the “Everything You Know Is Wrong” Department

Diet and Fat: A Severe Case of Mistaken Consensus – New York Times:

Guess what! Fats in the diet don’t cause heart disease any more than masturbation causes hairy palms and blindness.

And there’s never really been any evidence that they did, other than an inconclusive statistical study from one researcher back in the fifties.

But that didn’t prevent it from becoming a Scientific Fact which everybody knows and nobody questions.

I’ll grant this to the global warming deniers: it is indeed possible for a “scientific consensus” to be totally wrong.

2 thoughts on “From the “Everything You Know Is Wrong” Department”

  1. …and this is the beauty of science, it’s strength…it is self-correcting. Some young stud of a scientist is out there trying to make his mark, prove the other theories wrong.

    I see this as a strength.

    On the other hand – I didn’t see any links to informative scholarly refutations of the accepted “fact” in the article.

    Are we trading one myth for another?

  2. Actually – while reading “Breaking the Spell” by Dennett yesterday he explores the “Fat is bad for us” issue as a way of looking at the reality that the what we know, scientifically, is always changing and that is a difficult truth for non-scientists and the general public to get a handle on. (on which to get a handle?)

    Anyway, this book was publish in Feb 2007 and he was probably writing it for awhile – so this is hardly new news, right? It kinda makes me kinda wonder what was the motivation for bringing it up now and not a year ago.

    I’m also not sure what you mean by “everyone knows and no one questions.” Do you mean the general public? Do you mean scientists? Or do you really mean, actually, everyone?

    Because certainly in my discussion with dietitians (mostly class, some work related) and in nursing school the idea is that moderation in all things is best and erring on the low-side of calories is good.

    In fact, the only thing I remember being stressed with regard to fats is that they hold more caloric energy than carbohydrates so it is easier to consume more of them and thus have THAT MUCH MORE caloric energy available to your body which in turn stores the excess energy as fat.

    Anyway, I’ll stop pestering your blog for a few days. =)

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