Editorials

National Obesity Forum report is flawed

BMJ 2016; 353 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i3324 (Published 17 June 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;353:i3324
  1. Daan Kromhout, professor of diet, lifestyle, and healthy ageing
  1. University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
  1. d.kromhout{at}umcg.nl

Extensive existing evidence should guide policies to curb obesity and diabetes

The recent report from the United Kingdom’s National Obesity Forum and Public Health Collaboration called on people to “Eat fat, cut the carbs, and avoid snacking to reverse obesity and type 2 diabetes.”1 The report addresses the epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes and calls them today’s most important public health challenge. The roots of these epidemics are firmly embedded in diet and lifestyle. The report formulated 10 recommendations: four deal with fat, two with carbohydrates, and four with snacks, calories, physical activity, and nutrition education.

Some of the recommendations are sound: eating fat does not make you fat, we should stop counting calories, you cannot outrun a bad diet, snacking will make you fat, and evidence based nutrition should be incorporated in the education curriculums of all healthcare professionals.

Others are more controversial, including statements that “saturated fat does not cause heart disease and full fat dairy is likely protective,” that “processed foods …

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