June 10, 2016

Science, or the Lack of Science

Many of the dietary guidelines of the past 35 to 40 years have not been based on science, but the persuasive arguments of a few individuals. The American Heart Association has bought into these ideologies hook, line, and sinker and will not be persuaded otherwise.

Fat doesn't make you fat, but don't say this to a cardiologist if you want to keep this doctor. Butter is good for you, as well as cream. Many still consider skimmed milk what you should drink, but it is not a healthy food, but a way of making ourselves miserable which has taken over the world on the basis of an illusion.

The British National Obesity Forum has made a renewed attack on these mistaken attitudes. In the USA, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics puts forth similar information and promotes Coke products as being healthy for us.

Sugar, not fat, is the menace to our lives. And this has been known since 1972 when a brave scientist, John Yudkin, wrote a book – Pure, White And Deadly – showing it was so. He and his unfashionable message were buried in abuse. It may be that some in the sugar industry might have been involved. These days he would have been called a ‘fat-threat denier’, or something of the kind. He died in 1995, too soon to see his ideas rescued and taken seriously again.

Even today, people are becoming fat and dying of horrible diseases because the anti-fat pro-sugar lobby still hasn't been stopped. It will be, but these things take time. I mention this not just because it’s true, but because it’s an example of how thoughtless worship of scientists gets us repeatedly into trouble. Doubters like me are told not to dare criticize the sacred men in white coats.

But scientists often disagree among themselves and are often wrong. In fact, science progresses by exploding dud theories of the past. And laymen are perfectly entitled to apply facts and logic to what these people say. The obvious argument against the skimmed-milk fanatics is that decades of this policy have left us with more fat people than ever. But we should not have had to wait so long.

There is powerful evidence against many other things now accepted as true, and often very weak evidence for them. I’d name ‘antidepressant’ pills, ‘dyslexia’, ‘ADHD’ and ‘man-made climate change’.

Those who criticize these things are angrily hushed, with righteous cries of ‘How dare you!’, and if they won’t shut up, they are punished – as was John Yudkin. Yet I believe in all these cases the critics will be proved right, as Professor Yudkin was. The miserable thing is that so much damage will be done while we wait for the truth to get the upper hand.

Be less trusting of all fashionable ideas, is my advice. Gullibility and conformity never advanced civilization by a single step.

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