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  1. 7 april 2014

    IEM commented on Chouwdhury et al study

    The International Expert Movement Steering Committee published a commentary on the meta-analysis published by Chouwdhury et al. in the Annals of Internal medicine.

    Public health implications of an uncritical fanfare of a single publication.

    A recent analysis of different types of studies on dietary fat and the risk of heart disease questions current dietary guidelines on fat quality in the diet. A close look at the authors’ report reveals serious flaws in their data collection and analysis.
    Guidelines for healthier fat intakes must account for what replaces the items that are restricted. We now know that replacing saturated fat with sugar and refined carbohydrates does not reduce the risk of heart disease, but replacement with polyunsaturated fats does. This is the current scientific consensus and is the basis of current recommendations to replace saturated fat in the diet with unsaturated fats.

    Our primary concern is the public health implications of an uncritical fanfare of a single publication. Data show that mixed messages such as this report offers increase the public’s confusion and skepticism about effective dietary guidance. Ongoing scientific discussions about dietary factors, including saturated fat, and health are the foundation of scientific and public health progress. However, debunking the evidence about dietary fat and the risk of heart disease without constructive, science-based recommendations the public can actually use is at the very least unhelpful and contributes negatively to public health.

    The new analysis published last week does not bring new scientific data or insights. The practical dietary recommendations on fat in the diet therefore remain the same: reduce the intake of saturated fat (‘hard’ fat as found in fatty meat, whole milk dairy products, butter, pies) and eat products low in saturated fat and high in unsaturated fats such as lean meats, reduced fat dairy foods, liquid vegetable oils and products made with these oils.


    ANNA LARTEY, PhD.,Professor of Nutrition.
    President of the International Union of Nutritional Sciences

    BETHOLD V. KOLETZKO, Professor of Paediatrics. MD PhD (Dr med Dr med habil)
    Head Div. Metabolic Diseases & Nutritional Medicine, Univ. Munich Medical Centre, Munich, Germany.

    Connie Diekman is Director of University Nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

    Professor Em. of Experimental Nutrition, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands

    JOYCE NETTLETON, DSc; Specialist in seafood nutrition and science communication.
    Dr Joyce Nettleton has an independent consulting practice, ScienceVoice Consulting, in Denver, CO.

    IEM commented on Chouwdhury et al study