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Are some diets “mass murder”?

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 15 December 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g7654

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My career in medicine has come to and end and I found that I had been a complete failure, with very few exceptions, when it came to treating obesity with the standard low calorie, low fat diet. In the last few years a number of journalists have been doing some investigative reporting/writing showing that the biases we developed and were taught at our medical schools were very wrong. Most of these writers have become very "qualified" in the years they have been writing and gained much valuable experience. A few small selection: Nina Teicholz, Gary Taubes, Zoe Harcombe (She is a graduate from Cambridge) are among these. They have all promoted a High Fat Low Carbohydrate diet. (HFLC) Interestingly at the same time a number of medically qualified doctors have also been writing and promoting the same concepts, reading papers at medical symposia around the world and writing their own books: Dr Andreas Eenfeldt, Dr Uffe Ravnskov, both from Sweden; Prof Tim Noakes from South Africa, a highly respected and qualified medical scientist, are some of the names that are talking the same language. These are just a few of large numbers of qualified doctors thinking this way and importantly explaining why. Our dietary guidelines since the 50s went wrong, and with them the awful state of health of many, many millions of people!
I believe the medical profession developed and followed a wrong turn that became a fixed bias, and now needs to take serious note of what is happening and being proposed. There is a lot of evidence to show that the obesity epidemic ,with all the other diseases associated with it, is mainly as a result of following that "fateful" Food Pyramid of Ancel Keys and the same or similar ones in many Western countries. We are also in the midst of massive epidemic of Type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular Diseases that the 'regular thinkers' are at a loss to explain. The only correlation seems to be the dietary habits that we have been sold by our teachers and of course big business who appear to fund most research in numerous medical schools around the Western world. Our newer lateral thinking colleagues seem to be onto something that we must take note of. They are seeing people cure their illnesses with the HFLC diet. Excess weight is melting away with absolute ease. Sportsmen are winning races, improving their performance times from those on their previous High Calorie Low Fat diets, even though they have got older.
A very interesting thought provoking "FeatureArticle" by Richard Smith.

Competing interests: No competing interests

21 December 2014
Richard B. Hawkes
Retired Medical Practitioner, qualified 1970
11 Penlee Villas, Playing Place, Truro TR3 6EY