Regular readers will know my view on the “diet wars”. The straight line correlation between the introduction and promotion of low fat diets with increased rates of obesity is either a complete con-incidence or follows the natural laws of human physiology.
Even though there was never any scientific basis for advocating such a diet, one could excuse its backers in the 1980’s of being well meaning when nobody knew better. This excuse no longer applies. Since the early 2000’s genuine scientists have been looking at the evidence against saturated fats, eggs, and red meat and found none. Conversely the claims for the benefits of a diet high in grains do not stand up to scrutiny.
It is remarkable, but sadly not surprising then, that the EAT-Lancet report released in January not only promotes the disproved “fat is bad” mantra but doubles down. The report which apparently was three years in the making recommends we:
Eat no more than seven grams of pork a day (about one tenth of a sausage), no more than seven grams of beef or lamb a day no more than 29 grams of chicken a day (equivalent to one and a half nuggets).
Furthermore, eat no more than 28 grams of fish a day (a quarter of one fillet), no more than one and a half eggs per week (around a quarter of an egg a day). For good measure eat no more than one quarter of a baked potato.
This is below WW II levels of rationing. Its main financial backer makes artificial meat. Other backers are processed grain groups and fertilizer companies.
To quote Snowden “They state their preferred option bluntly: ‘restrict choice’ or, better still, ‘eliminate choice’. In wealthy countries such as Britain, ‘a priority is to offer less than what is currently offered by reducing portions, choice, and packaging’.
The EAT Lancet paper was “peer reviewed” by its own authors. Some 31 of the 37 involved are on the public record as supporters of vegetarian or vegan diets. The worst aspect is the recommendations that if the public don’t fall into line that governments should take coercive measures. As usual with big public health this would be taxation and bans. This time they have even called for rationing on a “population scale”.
The supporters clearly recognise that the public will not support such measures so they have sought to play the climate change card. The baseless notion that cows cause climate change is the excuse to eat less meat. The theory, I suspect was that if they cloak their ideas as being about climate change they could then attack critics as “climate deniers” without having to actually debate the merits of their ideas. Subsequently the climate component has imploded with admissions that the recommendations have nothing to do with climate change.
Any individual can choose a diet suited to them for personal, religious, political or other reasons. No individual or group has the right to impose their preference on the rest of us.
I will give the final word to Snowdon who shares my concern about the march of unaccountable big public health. “A militant coalition of vegetarians, environmental activists and health campaigners have put their cards on the table and this time you won’t be able to say you weren’t warned”.
My message to the EAT-Lancet crew is this – I am with Groucho and Bugs.
Medical Doctor, author, speaker, media presenter and health industry consultant, Dr Joe Kosterich wants you to be healthy and get the most out of life.
Joe writes for numerous medical and mainstream publications, is clinical editor at Medical Forum Magazine, and is also a regular on radio and television.
Joe is Medical Advisor to Medicinal Cannabis Company Little Green Pharma, Chairman of Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association and sits on the board of Arthritis and Osteoporosis WA. He is often called to give opinions in medico legal cases.