Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters WHO guidelines on dietary fats

The dramatic rise of ultra-processed foods

BMJ 2019; 366 doi: (Published 05 August 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;366:l4970
  1. Agnes Ayton, consultant psychiatrist and honorary senior lecturer at University of Oxford1,
  2. Ali Ibrahim, specialty trainee year 5 in child and adolescent mental health2
  1. 1Cotswold House Oxford, Warneford Hospital, Oxford OX3 7JX, UK
  2. 2South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, London SE5 9RS, UK
  1. agnes.ayton{at}

We agree with Astrup and colleagues that the World Health Organization should reconsider its dietary recommendations and prioritise a food based approach in future dietary guidelines.1 People consume foods and not individual nutrients. Reduced intake of saturated fats and their replacement with vegetable oils was first recommended in US dietary guidelines in 1977.2 Vegetable oils have been promoted as healthier alternatives to …

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