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Low-Fat Diet Won't Stop Cancer or Heart Disease..NYTIMES..
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NYCFarmboy
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Feb 7, 2006, 09:49 PM
 
enjoy your burger & fries....


http://nytimes.com/2006/02/07/health...pagewanted=all

Study Finds Low-Fat Diet Won't Stop Cancer or Heart Disease

By GINA KOLATA
Published: February 7, 2006
The largest study ever to ask whether a low-fat diet keeps women from getting cancer or heart disease has found that the diet had no effect.

The $415 million federal study involved nearly 49,000 women aged 50 to 79 who were followed for eight years. In the end, those assigned to a low-fat diet had the same rates of breast cancer, colon cancer heart attack and stroke as those who ate whatever they pleased, researchers are reporting today.

"These are three totally negative studies," said Dr. David Freedman, a statistician at the University of California at Berkeley, who is not connected with the study but has written books on clinical trial design and analysis. And, he said, the results should be taken seriously for what they are — a rigorous attempt that failed to confirm a popular hypothesis that a low-fat diet can prevent three major diseases in women.

And the studies were so large and so expensive that they are "the Rolls Royce of studies," said Dr. Michael Thun, who directs epidemiological research for the American Cancer Society. As such, he said, they are likely to be the final word.

"We usually have only one shot at a very large scale trial on a particular issue," Dr. Thun said.

The studies were part of the Women's Health Initiative of the National Institutes of Health, the same program that showed that hormone therapy after menopause can have more risks than benefits. In this case, the diet studies addressed a tricky problem. For decades, many scientists have been saying, and many members of the public have been believing, that what you eat — the composition of the diet — determines how likely you are to get a chronic disease. But it has been hard to prove. Studies of dietary fiber and colon cancer failed to find that fiber was protective. Studies of vitamins thought to protect against cancer failed to show an effect.

Gradually, many cancer researchers began questioning the dietary fat-cancer hypothesis, but it has retained a hold on the public imagination.

"Nothing fascinates the American public so much as the notion that what you eat rather than how much you eat affects your health," said Dr. Peter Libby, a cardiologist and professor at Harvard Medical School.

But the new studies, reported in the Feb. 8 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that women who were randomly assigned to follow a low-fat diet ate significantly less fat over the next eight years. But they had just as much breast and colon cancer and just as much heart disease.

And, confounding many popular notions about fat in the diet, the different diets did not make much difference in anyone's weight. The common belief that carbohydrates in the diet lead to higher insulin levels, higher blood glucose levels and more diabetes was also not confirmed. There was no such effect among the women eating low-fat diets.

As for heart disease risk factors, the only one affected was LDL cholesterol, which increases heart disease risk. The levels were slightly higher in women eating the higher fat diet, but not enough to make a noticeable difference in their risk of heart disease.

The studies follow a smaller one, reported last year, on low-fat diets for women who had breast cancer. That study hinted that eating less fat might help prevent a recurrence. But the current study, asking if a low-fat diet could protect women from breast cancer in the first place, had findings that fell short of statistical significance, meaning they could have occurred by chance. In essence, there was no solid evidence that a low-fat diet helped in prevention.

"These studies are revolutionary," said Dr. Jules Hirsch, physician in chief emeritus at Rockefeller University, who has spent a lifetime studying the effects of diets on weight and health. "They should put a stop to this era of thinking that we have all the information we need to change the whole national diet and make everybody healthy."

Although all the study participants were women, the colon cancer and heart disease results also should apply to men, said Dr. Jacques Rossouw, the project officer for the Women's Health Initiative. He explained that the observational studies that led to the colon cancer-dietary fat hypothesis included both men and women. As for heart disease, he said, researchers have consistently found that women and men respond in the same way to dietary fat.

The results, the study investigators agreed, do not justify recommending low-fat diets to the public to reduce their heart disease and cancer risk.

As for the cancer society, Dr. Thun said, with these results that he describes as "completely null over the eight-year follow-up for both cancers and heart disease," his group has no plans to suggest that low-fat diets are going to protect against cancer.

Dr. Rossouw, however, said he was still intrigued by the breast cancer data, even though it was not statistically significant. The women on low-fat diets had a 9 percent lower rate of breast cancer — the incidence was 42 per 1,000 per year in women in the low-fat diet group, as compared with 45 per 1,000 per year in women consuming their regular diet. That might mean that fat in the diet might have a small effect, Dr. Rossouw said, perhaps in some subgroups of women or over a longer period of time. He added that the study investigators would continue to follow the women to see if the effect became more pronounced.

Another of the study's investigators, Dr. Rowan Chlebowski, a medical oncologist at Harbor-U.C.L.A. Medical Center, shared Dr. Rossouw's hopes for a low-fat diet. "There will be different interpretations, but there's a reason for optimism," Dr. Chlebowski said.

While cancer researchers say they were disappointed by the results, heart disease researchers say they are not surprised that simply reducing total fat made had no effect.

"The problem is that this study was designed two decades ago when the fad was low fat," Dr. Libby said. Now, he said, he and others are persuaded that a so-called Mediterranean diet is best — not necessarily low in fat but low in saturated fats, like butter and cream cheese. That, with exercise, should help prevent heart disease, he says.

But, of course, that advice has never been tested in a large randomized clinical trial, Dr. Libby admits. And he says, "if they did a study like that and it was negative, then I'd have to give up my cherished hypotheses for data."

The low-fat diet was not easy, Dr. Chlebowski notes. Women were told to aim for a diet that had just 20 percent of its calories as fat. Most substantially cut their dietary fat, but most fell short of that 20 percent goal. The diet they were told to follow "is different than the way most people eat," Dr. Chlebowski said. It meant, for example, no butter on bread, no cream cheese on bagels, no oil in salad dressings.

"If a physician told a patient to eat less fat, that will do nothing," he said. "If you send someone to a dietician one time, that will do next to nothing." The women in the study had 18 sessions of meeting in small groups with a trained nutritionist in the first year and four sessions a year after that.

In the first year, the women on the low-fat diets reduced the percentage of fat in their diet to 24 percent of daily calories and by the end of the study their diets contained 29 percent of their calories as fat. In the first year, the women in the control group were eating 35 percent of their calories as fat and by the end of the study their dietary fat content was 37 percent.

Some medical specialists stressed that the study did not mean people should abandon low-fat diets.

"What we are saying is that a modest reduction of fat and a substitution with fruits and vegetables did not do anything for heart disease and stroke or breast cancer or colorectal cancer," said Dr. Nanette Wenger, a cardiologist and professor of medicine at Emory University Medical School. "It doesn't say that this diet is not beneficial," she added.

But the overall lesson, said Dr. Freedman, is clear.

"A lot of observational data show diet matters, but those studies have big flaws and that's why we have to do experiments," he said "We, the scientific community, tend to go off the deep end giving dietary advice based on pretty flimsy evidence."
     
Sage
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Feb 7, 2006, 09:59 PM
 
Wait, I’ve never heard of the notion that high-fat diets cause cancer – AFAIK fat has little, if anything, to do with screwing up a cell’s DNA.
     
olePigeon
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Feb 7, 2006, 10:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by Sage
Wait, I’ve never heard of the notion that high-fat diets cause cancer – AFAIK fat has little, if anything, to do with screwing up a cell’s DNA.
Bingo. So you don't get cancer from fat. But you can still have a heart attack.
"…I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than
you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods,
you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen F. Roberts
     
Weyland-Yutani
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Feb 7, 2006, 10:34 PM
 


No Rule 8 over here NYCF.

Would you like to share with the class what your interest in this article is? That this was a really big study? Are you glad/shocked/something else? Do you care either way?

I don't.

cheers

W-Y

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NYCFarmboy  (op)
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Feb 7, 2006, 11:11 PM
 
hello hall moniter.

lol

no not shocked. the food police have screeched so much that "___________" (fill in blank) causes cancer/obesity etc every few months that no one really cares anyhow.

You can't eat lettuce for fear of something,
you can't eat meat for fear of something,
you can't drink water for fear of something...

goes back to, moderation. enjoy any food you like, moderately, excersize 5 hours a week, and you'll be fine.

let the food police worry about whether people post & run.

*hug*
     
Weyland-Yutani
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Feb 7, 2006, 11:32 PM
 


I agree that people shouldn't fear so much what they eat. The body can take a lot and if one listens to one's body one will lead a long and healthy life without having to count each calorie or gram of protein.

Eat with common sense, excercise a bit each day and smile every day. That is my advice, but it has no huge research behind it.

cheers

W-Y

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Cubeoid
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Feb 7, 2006, 11:55 PM
 
McDonalds paid for that article to be printed... 1 000000000000000000 dollars.
     
SpaceMonkey
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Feb 8, 2006, 01:57 AM
 
I would suggest that 8 years might not be enough time for the effects of the experimental group's reduction of "the percentage of fat in their diet to 24 percent of daily calories" to have much effect after 50 years of their "normal" diet.

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Rolling Bones
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Feb 8, 2006, 01:58 AM
 
Alright, that's it! I'm gonna go out and find a pig and eat it raw.

Or get some sausage at the deli and fry it up nice and greasy.
     
voyageur
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Feb 8, 2006, 02:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by NYCFarmboy
enjoy your burger & fries....
At least if you're a woman (men were not included in the study).
     
NYCFarmboy  (op)
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Feb 8, 2006, 09:06 PM
 
what is interesting is how the media have reported the "truth" that "fatty" foods were bad for you for decades.... and now it unravels as nothing but hogwash, pushed by those who like to demonize foods.

If it tastes good, it probably isn't bad for you... think about it, would our tastebuds be programmed to harm us? I think not.

The same media has been reporting the "Global Warming" drivel that some believe just because they read about it.

common sense is a good thing.... to bad that doesn't sell papers.
     
Mastrap
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Feb 8, 2006, 09:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by NYCFarmboy
what is interesting is how the media have reported the "truth" that "fatty" foods were bad for you for decades.... and now it unravels as nothing but hogwash, pushed by those who like to demonize foods.

If it tastes good, it probably isn't bad for you... think about it, would our tastebuds be programmed to harm us? I think not.

The same media has been reporting the "Global Warming" drivel that some believe just because they read about it.

common sense is a good thing.... to bad that doesn't sell papers.

You are simplifying and generalizing.

Certain fatty foods, when consumed excessively, are bad for you, especially animal fats. Eat a pint of butter a day and I can guarantee you that you'll die of a heart attack.

Olive oil, granola oil and certain fish fats you can eat until you resemble blubber yourself, yet they will not harm you.

Oh, and you believe global warming is drivel? I've got a bridge for sale that's looking for a buyer.
     
Weyland-Yutani
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Feb 8, 2006, 09:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by voyageur
At least if you're a woman (men were not included in the study).
Well.. you are closer related to us than the average rhesus monkey

(half a chromosome)

cheers

W-Y

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NYCFarmboy  (op)
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Feb 8, 2006, 09:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by Mastrap
You are simplifying and generalizing.

Certain fatty foods, when consumed excessively, are bad for you, especially animal fats. Eat a pint of butter a day and I can guarantee you that you'll die of a heart attack.

Olive oil, granola oil and certain fish fats you can eat until you resemble blubber yourself, yet they will not harm you.

Oh, and you believe global warming is drivel? I've got a bridge for sale that's looking for a buyer.
BAD, BAD, EMPHASIS ON BAD.... laughing......screech it louder and maybe people will listen.

or... just go have a cookie and relax.
     
Doofy
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Feb 8, 2006, 09:41 PM
 
<insert obligatory "go veggie" post here>
Been inclined to wander... off the beaten track.
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BRussell
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Feb 8, 2006, 09:44 PM
 
My wife is a nutrition professor and has been looking at this study. It was quite surprising, and it was a well-done study. But it was only on post-menopausal women - it's likely that, by that time, your diet for the first 50 years of your life has already done its thing. The other issue is that they didn't break this down by type of fat - it was an across-the-board fat reduction, even though we know that type of fat really matters. In addition, the women on the low-fat-diet lost weight and were perfectly healthy, contrary to some claims about low-fat diets.

So although it does change our view of things, it's wrong to say "go ahead and eat as much fat as you want, because it won't hurt you."
     
NYCFarmboy  (op)
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Feb 8, 2006, 09:56 PM
 
do you disagree the nutrition profession has a vested interest in perpetuating the myth of the benefits (none proven that are meaningful) of a lowfat diet?




EDIT:

It really burns me the amount of damage the "nutrition establishment" has done to the people of not only the United States but of the entire world.

For 20+ years every year more and more, louder and louder the "nutition establishment" has been beating the drum that low fat foods were good for you, and that high fats were bad for you.

For those same 20+ years Americans and now people the entire world are now getting fatter and fatter than they ever were 20 years ago before the "nutition establishment" starting scaring people about what foods not to eat etc.

The reasons for this, I think are that so much press has been given to this "issue" that people have become psychologically crazed by food, as they have been tought for so long now that food is bad for you that they eat more to compensate because it is all that is on their mind....

There were not very obese people walking around the mall 30 years ago or even 20 years ago, now its not that uncommon.

I think this is a DIRECT causation of the demonization of food by the medical & nutrition establishment.

Sorry I don't mean this personal against anyone but I think much more harm has been done against people by this demonization of food than if people would just remember the fundamentals of moderation and enjoying ALL foods.
( Last edited by NYCFarmboy; Feb 8, 2006 at 10:22 PM. )
     
BRussell
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Feb 8, 2006, 10:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by NYCFarmboy
do you disagree the nutrition profession has a vested interest in perpetuating the myth of the benefits (none proven that are meaningful) of a lowfat diet?




EDIT:

It really burns me the amount of damage the "nutrition establishment" has done to the people of not only the United States and the world.

For 20+ years every year more and more, louder and louder the "nutition establishment" has been beating the drum that low fat foods were good for you, and that high fats were bad for you.

For those same 20+ years Americans and now people the entire world are now getting fatter and fatter than they ever were 20 years ago before the "nutition establishment" starting scaring people about what foods not to eat etc.

The reasons for this, I think are that so much press has been given to this "issue" that people have become psychologically crazed by good, as they have been tought for so long now that food is bad for you that they eat more to compensate because it is all that is on their mind....

There were not 500 lb people walking around the mall 30 years ago or even 20 years ago, now its not that uncommon.

I think this is a DIRECT causation of the demonization of food by the medical & nutrition establishment.

Sorry I don't mean this personal against anyone but I think much more harm has been done against people by this demonization of food than if people would just remember the fundamentals of moderation and enjoying ALL foods.
The demonization has been done by the diet industry, which is always at odds with the "nutrition profession," as you call it. The ADA has always been in favor of a balanced diet, is always accused of kow-towing to the meat and milk companies, has never endorsed vegetarianism, and has always fought the entire notion of "dieting" (i.e., food restriction) as counter-productive.

But to suggest that people who do research on nutrition somehow profit from incorrect information is absurd. Our knowledge changes with research, and it is nutrition professionals who do that research, including this study, fer cripesake.

And again, this study absolutely does NOT say that high-fat diets are just fine.
     
NYCFarmboy  (op)
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Feb 8, 2006, 10:38 PM
 
If high fat foods were not fine, they wouldn't taste so good.



In moderation of course.

     
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Feb 9, 2006, 10:25 AM
 
I'm going to continue to follow a low fat diet. Be careful of what I eat. I saw the result of that a low fat diet had on my blood pressure. The results documented in research study that I participated. Otherwise heart disease and stroke are a real possibility.

"Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never - in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense." Winston Churchill
     
   
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