Skip to comments.Maybe You're Not What You Eat (Report is from a huge federal study - Women's Health Initiative)
Posted on 02/13/2006 11:38:52 PM PST by neverdem
In an early 19th-century best seller, a famous food writer offered a cure for obesity and chronic disease: a low-carbohydrate diet.
The notion that what you eat shapes your medical fate has exerted a strong pull throughout history. And its appeal continues to this day, medical historians and researchers say.
"It's one of the great principles no, more than principles, canons of American culture to suggest that what you eat affects your health," says James Morone, a professor of political science at Brown University.
"It's this idea that you control your own destiny and that it's never too late to reinvent yourself," he said. "Vice gets punished and virtue gets rewarded. If you eat or drink or inhale the wrong things you get sick. If not, you get healthy."
That very American canon, he and others say, may in part explain the criticism and disbelief that last week greeted a report that a low-fat diet might not prevent breast cancer, colon cancer or heart disease, after all.
The report, from a huge federal study called the Women's Health Initiative, raises important questions about how much even the most highly motivated people can change their eating habits and whether the relatively small changes that they can make really have a substantial effect on health.
The study, of nearly 49,000 women who were randomly assigned to follow a low-fat diet or not, found that the diet did not make a significant difference in development of the two cancers or heart disease. But there were limitations to the findings: the women assigned to the low-fat diet, despite extensive and expensive counseling, never reached their goal of eating 20 percent fat in the first year only 31 percent of them got their dietary fat that low. And the study did...
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Oh, this is like nature vs. nurture... err nutrition!
You are in control of your own density.
FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list. Anyone can post unposted links as they see fit. Happy Valentine's Day!
I'm not anti science, but this is another example of what's called 'scientific truth' changes from time to time. Once they said alcohol is bad, then it turns out one glass a day is good for your heart. And there are so many things that are considered 'scientific truth' out there actually are challenged in other studies.
I remember somebody said something like, "in science, truth is held until a new study shows that it's not true anymore"
Unfortunately, there are many people that do believe this.
I have MS...if I mention that to certain people, I get a lecture on what I should or shouldn't eat, or what supplements I should try, ad nauseum.
I just smile politely and listen to their attempts at "control" because if in their minds they can come up with a reason that I have MS, that means then they can avoid MS.
A lot of people do this "self comfort" or "control" trick on a lot of areas in their lives (i.e. if something tragic happens to a child, they say, "where was the parent" or "the parent should have....") implying that if they had been the parent they could have prevented the tragedy.
Control is an illusion!
I'm waiting for a study that proves, PROVES, Cheetos prevent cancer and heart disease. Oh! Lovely day! Come soon!
The low-carb diet people could point to the way the digestive system actually works.
We should not be surprised to find that in a large population study, no "science" could be found to recommend a low-fat diet to anyone.
There is such an obvious sexual crack that can be made, referenced to this thread, but I won't do it, not I, no way...
Now they are passing common sense off as a scientific observation?
For what it's worth, I feel better on a 1400 cal diet than a 2000 cal diet...I think I eat too many carbs on the higher diet and not a high enough amount of green stuff...
Keep your hands off my cat!
Your on my health & science list. Adios
Well, it was a huge and expensive study. But that doesn't mean it was "scientific". The women who were told to eat a low fat diet weren't all that successful in doing so.
I'd say the only thing this study proved is that if you tell people to eat a low fat diet, they won't be able to stick with it for long.