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Were The Us And Uk Dietary Guidelines Wr…ong zoe harcombe on what has driven diet for 30 years

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In this 9-minute podcast Zoe Harcombe asks whether dietary guidelines were based on evidence or whether there were other drivers. She summarises what was in the literature at the time the 1977 (US) and 1983 (UK) guidelines were created. Importantly, she highlights that food choices have major implications on the planet. The podcast was recorded in February 2015 – she was a keynote speaker at the Old Mutual 1st International Low Carb High Fat Health Summit 2015 hosted by Prof Tim Noakes & Karen Thomson (Cape Town).

There are plans for a future summit in London in 2016.

BJSM senior associate editor Liam West (@Liam_West) led the BJSM team who attended the meeting – including Johann Windt and Ania Tarazi. BJSM has spaced out the recordings from that summit over 12 months and this is the last on the series from that event.

Related podcasts were with Dr Stephen Phinney http://ow.ly/X70OP, Dr Jason Fung (http://ow.ly/X70AJ), Dr Aseem Malhotra http://ow.ly/X712D and Professor Timothy Noakes (http://ow.ly/X71rX). All have proven very popular.


0m 30s: Why Zoe Harcombe (@ZoeHarcombe) challenges current dietary guidelines

3m 00s: What are the sensible food choices (according to the guest, of course)?

4m 40s: Challenges to supplying calorie-dense low carb foods for the world’s population: “I don’t know if we can feed 7-11 million people on animal based food, I don’t know if we can’t”. Grain requires topsoil and “we are raping the land of nutrients, topsoil, potentially destroying the planet’s ability to house any food”.

5m 50s: Time to revisit the guidelines?

7m 00s: Training doctors – what training do doctors get? (Link to the exercise prescription training module, a template, here: http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/49/4/207.extract

Call to action for all health professionals to look at the evidence in an open-minded way. It may need a ‘bottom up’ approach – patients and the public – to draw attention to these issues.


The key paper for this podcast: Evidence from randomised controlled trials did not support the introduction of dietary fat guidelines in 1977 and 1983: a systematic review and meta-analysis

An editorial in the same issue of OpenHeart: http://openheart.bmj.com/content/2/1/e000229.extract (11,000 views as of January 2016)

Challenging beliefs in sports nutrition: are two 'core principles' proving to be myths ripe for busting?
Peter Brukner (@PeterBrukner) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23603852 Br J Sports Med. 2013 Jul;47(11):663-4. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2013-092440. Epub 2013 Apr 20.

It is time to bust the myth of physical inactivity and obesity: you cannot outrun a bad diet
Malhotra A, Noakes T, Phinney S.
Br J Sports Med. 2015 Aug;49(15):967-8. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2015-094911. Epub 2015 Apr 22.

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