About 40 years ago public health experts claimed that dietary fat in the American diet was one of the main causes of heart disease. Lawmakers and food activists clamored for national guidelines to trim fat consumption to about 30 percent of your total daily caloric intake. Now a recent study published in the journal OpenHeart shows that the conclusion health experts had drawn on fat consumption and heart disease was just simply based on bad science.
Lead researcher Zoe Harcome told Time.com, “The bottom line is that there wasn’t evidence for those guidelines to be introduced. One of the most important things that should have underpinned the guidelines is sound nutritional knowledge, and that was distinctly lacking.”
Sounds familiar? It does to us. Back in the ‘70s and ‘80s, fat was targeted as the source of cardiovascular disease by many in the public health community and in the media. Now those same groups consider sugar-sweetened beverages the “unique driver” of rising obesity and diabetes rates in the United States.
The truth is, Americans are consuming 37 percent fewer calories from sugar in soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages today than they were in 2000. And, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, food is the number one source of added sugars for children and teens, not sugar-sweetened beverages. Just like back then, activists are once again conveniently ignoring factual data that shows soda cannot be a driver of obesity.
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