History of low fat diets

By | December 3, 2020

history of low fat diets

Ann F. This article examines how faith in science led physicians and patients to embrace the low-fat diet for heart disease prevention and weight loss. Scientific studies dating from the late s showed a correlation between high-fat diets and high-cholesterol levels, suggesting that a low-fat diet might prevent heart disease in high-risk patients. By the s, the low-fat diet began to be touted not just for high-risk heart patients, but as good for the whole nation. After , the low-fat approach became an overarching ideology, promoted by physicians, the federal government, the food industry, and the popular health media. Many Americans subscribed to the ideology of low fat, even though there was no clear evidence that it prevented heart disease or promoted weight loss. Ironically, in the same decades that the low-fat approach assumed ideological status, Americans in the aggregate were getting fatter, leading to what many called an obesity epidemic. Nevertheless, the low-fat ideology had such a hold on Americans that skeptics were dismissed. Only recently has evidence of a paradigm shift begun to surface, first with the challenge of the low-carbohydrate diet and then, with a more moderate approach, reflecting recent scientific knowledge about fats. For years I suspected there was no good medical reason for all Americans to follow the prescribed low-fat diet, and I wondered where these low-fat recommendations came from. Nineteenth-century French health manuals, for example, recommended individualized diets based on geography, age, sex, occupation, and constitution.

Why did America love the low-fat food trend? Ann F. La Berge, a science and technology scholar, explains how we got to the point where we thought eating that sort of thing was a good idea. By the s, magazines targeting middle- and upper-class women regularly featured diet columns and recipes. In this context, the goal was losing weight to look good and fit into fashionable clothes rather than for health. Dieting usually meant counting calories, and since fat is more energy-rich than protein or carbohydrates, that usually meant cutting fat. In the s, medical researchers began broadcasting a different anti-fat message. A number of studies suggested a big problem was diets heavy on saturated fat and cholesterol. Then the federal government got involved.

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Words super history of low fat diets apologise but

This article examines how faith in science led physicians and patients to embrace the low-fat diet for heart disease prevention and weight loss. Scientific studies dating from the late s showed a correlation between high-fat diets and high-cholesterol levels, suggesting that a low-fat diet might prevent heart disease in high-risk patients. By the s, the low-fat diet began to be touted not just for high-risk heart patients, but as good for the whole nation. After , the low-fat approach became an overarching ideology, promoted by physicians, the federal government, the food industry, and the popular health media. Many Americans subscribed to the ideology of low fat, even though there was no clear evidence that it prevented heart disease or promoted weight loss. Ironically, in the same decades that the low-fat approach assumed ideological status, Americans in the aggregate were getting fatter, leading to what many called an obesity epidemic. Nevertheless, the low-fat ideology had such a hold on Americans that skeptics were dismissed. Only recently has evidence of a paradigm shift begun to surface, first with the challenge of the low-carbohydrate diet and then, with a more moderate approach, reflecting recent scientific knowledge about fats. Abstract This article examines how faith in science led physicians and patients to embrace the low-fat diet for heart disease prevention and weight loss. Substances Dietary Fats.

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