McDonalds rejoices: (see Update) I was just IM’d by a female reader of this weblog who informed me she was dropping what she was doing so she could run grab a Big Mac. “This is the most exciting news, ever,” she said.
Quote (from the NY Times):
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.
Woddy Allen fans are going to really enjoy this. If you’ll recall this line from the 1973 film, Sleeper:
Dr. Melik: [puzzling over list of items sold at Miles' old health-food store] … wheat germ, organic honey and… tiger’s milk.
Dr. Aragon: Oh, yes. Those are the charmed substances that some years ago were thought to contain life-preserving properties.
Dr. Melik: You mean there was no deep fat? No steak or cream pies or… hot fudge?
Dr. Aragon: [chuckling] Those were thought to be unhealthy… precisely the opposite of what we now know to be true.
Dr. Melik: Incredible!
Also from the NY Times article:
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.
Man, there are entire industries (start with Lean Cuisine and work your way down) that will be impacted by this news. I can’t wait to see the spinmeistering that is about to explode. (Actually, a bit of it starts in the article.)
Bottomline according to this nearly half-billion dollar study: It’s not what you eat, it’s how much you eat, that determines your weight and health.
Somewhere tonight, Julia Child is smiling down on us. She said once, “The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.”
Update: Despite me clearly saying in the original post, “It’s not what you eat, it’s how much you eat, that determines your weight and health,” some of you must not have read that part. So, once more: “If you “intake” lots of calories and don’t burn off those calories, you’ll gain weight.” Also, you’ll be out of shape and have a miserable life. The whole point of my post and of this study is to underscore that fact: You can enjoy food AS LONG AS you control the volume of calories – coming in, being used. Apparently, from this study we learn yet again: It is not in WHAT you eat – it’s how much one eats and how many calories one burns!
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