I think that’s being kind. They’re based on junk science. And they’re deadly:
The confluence of self-interest, institutional inertia, and scientific incompetence has led us to where we are today. The federal government has massively increased spending on nutrition and obesity research over the past few decades, and now spends over $2 billion of taxpayer’s money per year. Unfortunately, the people that control that funding are the same researchers that use these anecdotal methods, train the next generation of researchers, and control the publication of scientific papers. As such, new methods and innovative research is stifled. The same researchers are getting funded to do the same research year after year after year. This inertia and self-interest are exacerbated by the exorbitant amount of grant funding established researchers receive. As with many things in life, follow the money.
Say, isn’t there another field of science with profound public-policy implications that operates under the same incentives and pressures?
Americans are fat because we eat large portions, and because we eat foods that are high in sugar and fat. Americans are fat because we eat large portions, and because we eat foods that are high in sugar and fat. Perhaps it’s time for the surgeon general to put scary warning labels on sugary and fatty foods.
Matt Wridley has a brief history of how it’s not bad for you. And this is worth repeating in the context of climate “science”:
If challenged to show evidence for low-cholesterol advice, the medical and scientific profession has tended to argue from authority — by pointing to WHO guidelines or other such official compendia, and say “check the references in there”. But those references lead back to Keys and Framingham and other such dodgy dossiers. Thus does bad science get laundered into dogma. “One of the great commandments of science is ‘Mistrust arguments from authority’,” said Carl Sagan.
Similarly, mistrust people who talk about “consensus” and quote fake statistics on how many scientists believe something.
In 2006, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at the role of dairy consumption in weight regulation for 19,352 Swedish women between the ages of 40 and 55. Data was initially collected between 1987 and 1990, and then again in 1997. It found that for the women in the study, eating one or more servings a day of whole dairy products was “inversely associated with weight gain,” with the most significant findings for normal-weight women consuming whole milk or sour milk.
In 2013, the Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care published findings from a study that tracked the impact of dairy fat intake on 1,782 men. Twelve years after researchers took the initial measurements, they found that consumption of butter, high-fat milk, and cream several times a week were related to lower levels of central obesity, while “a low intake of dairy fat… was associated with a higher risk of developing central obesity.” (Central obesity means a waist-to-hip ratio equal to or greater than one—i.e. big in the middle.)
As I’ve said before, Michelle’s “healthy” school lunches, with low-fat milk, actually constitute government-sponsored child abuse.