The raison d'etre of this website is to provide you with hard scientific information which may help you make informed decisions in your quest for health (so far I have blogged concise summaries of over 1,500 scientific studies and have had three books published).

My research is mainly focused on the effects of cholesterol, saturated fat and statin drugs on health. If you know anyone who is worried about their cholesterol levels and heart disease, or has been told to take statin drugs you could send them a link to this website, and to my statin or cholesterol or heart disease books.

David Evans

Independent Health Researcher

Friday, 15 July 2011

What has caused the rise in obesity?

This post features an article revealing the data for carbohydrate consumption and obesity rates

In the 1970's the "low-fat/high carbohydrate is good" dogma was implemented to "help combat" obesity and heart disease. Dietary fat (especially saturated fat) was vilified as the enemy and the advice was to curtail its intake.

This advice (which is constantly repeated year after year for the past 40 to 50 years) has certainly been heeded as the figures below show. Carbohydrate consumption has risen sharply whilst fat consumption in the diet has declined.

Figure 1 shows the rise in carbohydrate consumption and the fall in fat consumption from 1971-2000 in the United States.

Figure 2 shows the rise in carbohydrate consumption (dots) and the prevalence of obesity (vertical bars).


So after 4 or 5 decades of the eat less fat, eat more carbs message what is the result? Childhood obesity has more than tripled since 1976 and adult obesity rates have doubled.

What is the latest advice? Cut back even further on fats (especially saturated fat) - which of course means an even bigger proportion of your food will then be in the form of carbohydrates.

Why are we been told to cut back on saturated fats? People automatically think saturated fat is connected to heart disease. However is this really the case? Figure 3 shows the relationship between saturated fat consumption and heart disease.

Can anyone spot any correlation between saturated fat consumption and heart disease?

If there is any trend, the data may show that saturated fat actually offers protection from heart disease. France and Switzerland have the highest consumption of saturated fat, yet are among the lowest in terms of heart disease rates. Azerbaijan and Georgia are amongst the lowest in consuming saturated fat, yet are at the top of the countries suffering from high rates of heart disease.

Since the evidence has shown that saturated fat has nothing to do with heart disease and more dietary carbohydrates lead to higher obesity rates - why is the latest dietary advice from the United States government encouraging us to cut back even further on saturated fat and eat even more carbohydrates?