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.


  1. Our country is practically INFECTED with low-fat dogma. It’s horrible. Since going on a low-carb diet I’ve lost 60+ pounds, have stable energy, and my acne went away. I’m never going back and the people who put my diet down usually get an earful. I’m also writing more than ever about low-carb in my blog now. I’m not on Protein Power, but was reading about PP in a book today and it’s very highly rated (5 stars out of 5 possible).

  2. As soon as I read a NYT article covering this, I zipped over to your blog to see what you’d have to say, and I’m looking forward to an analysis of the data. In the NYT piece, they also tried saying to not write off the low-fat diet and that maybe it’s just the type of fat bla bla bla. The interesting part was this brief paragraph in the middle of the article that wasn’t really connected to any other thoughts:
    “There is a common belief that Americans get fat because they eat too many carbohydrates. The idea is that a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet leads to weight gain, higher insulin and blood glucose levels, and more diabetes, even if the calories are the same as in a higher-fat diet. That did not happen here.”
    Well I guess this whole low-carb thing is just a myth. Hmmm… but how’d I loose that 45 lbs again? And why am I not 230 lbs again 5 years later? How is it that I am able to manage my weight easily and reliably? I can’t seem to remember what dietary change I made… 😉
    Their diet failed, so they wanted to take a jab at something that does work, but happens to be contrary to almost everything they’ve ever said.

  3. Dan, I hope I can keep my weight off 5 years from now. I’ve only been on Maintenance for a month now so I still have a long way to go!

  4. FAT, FAT, FAT! That’s all we ever hear from people about why Americans are fat.
    But guess what? We’re STILL fat and getting fatter. Anyone wanna take a guess why that is?
    Could it be we are a nation overconsuming sugar and other refined carbohydrates? WAY overconsuming!
    Until our government and health leaders stop monopolizing the nutrition message in the U.S., we’ll NEVER see a measurable change in obesity statistics.
    Jimmy Moore, author of “Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb”

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