Thursday, 16 June 2016

The Elephant in the Room.

On Twitter about two weeks ago, Max Roser tweeted the following graphic:
From Health and the Economy in the United States from 1750 to the Present

The plots of low & stable BMI's until ~1945 made me think.

1. Over-refined sugars & starches entered the US food supply in ~1880. Ref: How the Mid-Victorians Worked, Ate and Died. ∴ Over-refined sugars & starches don't cause obesity.

2. Americans ate more carbohydrate per day from 1909 to 1929 than they do now. Ref: 3rd Fig. from More Thoughts on Macronutrient Trends. ∴ Carbohydrates don't cause obesity.

3. The "low-fat" dietary guidelines were issued in 1980. The two dates at which BMI began to increase significantly are ~1945 (slow rate of increase) and ~1990 (rapid rate of increase). ∴ The 1980 "low-fat" dietary guidelines didn't cause obesity.

So, what happened in the US in ~1945? From my comment HERE:
"After World War 2, the economy was in a slump and something had to be done to get people to buy more stuff, to stimulate economic growth. Corporations changed the way that they marketed to people. Instead of appealing to people’s logic, they began to appeal to people’s emotions. It worked.

Edward Bernays pioneered all of the dirty tricks used by the Food Product Industry to get people to over-consume. Ref: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2d29tf_the-century-of-the-self-part-1-of-4-happiness-machines_school

One of Bernays's dirty tricks is confusing the public by promulgating conflicting information. The Tobacco Industry paid health professionals to advertise cigarettes. On the one hand, you had researchers telling people that smoking was bad for them and on the other hand you had a doctor on TV saying that he preferred to smoke Camel cigarettes. This confused the public and made them mistrust researchers & science. Another dirty trick was setting-up organisations with scientific-sounding names to promulgate conflicting reports which the press published as “science”, saying that “X” was good for you, then some time later “X” was bad for you, then some time later “X” was good for you again and so on. The public mistrusted researchers & science even more.

The recent NOF report from Malhotra et al telling people to eat more fat is conflicting information, resulting in even more public confusion and even more mistrust of researchers & science. This is exactly what the Food Product Industry wants."

The Tobacco Industry used Bernays's dirty tricks to encourage women to smoke in public by making smoking a women's rights issue. Cigarettes were marketed to women as "Torches of Freedom". From the 1920's, women became as free as men to greatly increase their risk of getting Emphysema a.k.a. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Lung Cancer & Coronary Heart Disease, while the Tobacco Industry's profits increased.

By focusing on foods/macronutrients/micronutrients etc, people like Taubes, Teicholz, Malhotra et al are helping the Food Product Industry to manipulate the masses to over-consume their products.


So, what happened in the US in 1990? Which dirty trick used by the Food Product Industry caused the rapid rate of increase in BMI from 1990?

See also The cause of America's rising obesity rate is irrelevant. The cure for it is what's important.