Wednesday, 18 March 2009

"Care no more for the opinions of others ... Face the truth."

“Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinions of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth.”

Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923)

When considering the RISCK study, that is such an apt quotation that it could almost have been written for it.

The RISCK (Reading, Imperial, Surrey, Cambridge, Kings) study commenced in January 2004 and was due to run until January 2008.

However, according to Dr Susan Jebb, the lead researcher, writing in Nutrition Bulletin Volume 32 Issue 2, Pages 154 - 156, published online on 26 May 2007, results were expected towards the end of 2007.

In her introduction, she writes about the World Health Organization (WHO) Technical Report 916 (WHO 2003), and says:

Recommendations: to consume less saturated fat, less salt and more fruit and vegetables. However, beyond these headlines there is less certainty and precision, because the evidence base is neither complete nor perfect.

As Dr Jebb seems to rate the WHO report so highly, I decided to take a look at it for myself. In its preamble it states:

The recommendations contained in this report are based on the examination and analysis of the best available evidence and the collective judgement of a group of international experts, brought together by WHO and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The report makes the statement on saturated fat:

On the health side, increased consumption of animal products has led to higher intakes of saturated fats, which in conjunction with tobacco use, threatens to undermine the health gains made by reducing infectious diseases

It goes on:

In observational epidemiological studies, a high saturated fat intake has been associated with a higher risk of impaired glucose tolerance, and higher fasting glucose and insulin levels

And the reference for this assertion? Dietary factors determining diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance. A 20-year follow-up of the Finnish and Dutch cohorts of the Seven Countries Study

And what precisely was the Seven Countries Study? None other than that flawed one by Ancel Keys back in the 1950s! The one where he chose the only seven countries that fitted his theory and discarded the fifteen that disproved it!

So the World Health Organisation is yet another influential organ that is perfectly happy to regurgitate 'facts' based on lies.

This blog was to have been about the RISCK study, but this discovery has rather taken me down another avenue, but I'll return to it very shortly, in order to question its early cessation and the results - such as they are.

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