Big Fat Lying Science

Science is never settled no matter what politicians say.

The Obama administration, its international friends and political allies, and the undercover administration members who make up the media, are fond of claiming that "the science is settled" about global warming.  They also like to argue that Obamacare, having been duly passed by Congress and the Supreme Court, is now the unchangeable law of the land, as if we were living under the Law of the Medes and the Persians that nobody could ever change.

What they forget - or, more likely, are intentionally obscuring - is that this is far from the first time someone claimed that science was settled only to be proved completely, utterly, and disastrously wrong.  In fact, in the dietary world it happens just about every day.

The June 23, 2014 Time magazine cover story was "Ending the War On Fat."  The article begins:

For decades, it has been the most vilified nutrient in the American diet. But new science reveals fat isn't what's hurting our health.

In 1980, the US Department of Agriculture issued strongly-worded nutritional advice that we should avoid cholesterol and fat.  Food companies responded with low fat or fat-free or cholesterol-free products.  People ate fewer eggs and cut back on butter and other foods which had been labeled "bad."

We cut the fat, but by almost every measure, Americans are sicker than ever. The prevalence of Type 2 diabetes increased 166% from 1980 to 2012. Nearly 1 in 10 American adults has the disease, costing the health care system $245 billion a year, and an estimated 86 million people are prediabetic.

What happened?  Why did healthful advice make people so much sicker?  The science was flat-out wrong.  As Time puts it:

And we want to believe that science is purely a matter of data - that superior research will always yield the right answer.  But sometimes research is no match for a strong personality.  No one better embodies that than Dr. Ancel Keys, the imperious physiologist who laid the groundwork for the fight against fat. [emphasis added]

At the time President Eisenhower famously suffered a heart attack, many seemingly-healthy men were dying of sudden, unexpected heart attacks. Dr. Keys had an explanation - Americans were eating too much fat.

He traveled the world seeking confirmation, and sure enough, his "Seven Countries Study" showed that a high-fat Western died correlated with high rates of heart disease.

His study became "received wisdom" and has been cited more than 7 million times.  Dr Keys never hesitated to blast away at anyone who disagreed with him and tried to keep studies which contradicted his supposedly rock-solid science from getting published.

But Keys' research had problems from the start. He cherry-picked his data, leaving out countries like France and West Germany that had high-fat diets but low rates of heart disease. Keys highlighted the Greek island of Crete, where almost no cheese or meat was eaten and people lived to an old age with clear arteries. But Keys visited Crete in the years following World War II, when the island was still recovering from German occupation and the diet was artificially lean. Even more confusing, Greeks on the neighboring isle of Corfu ate far less saturated fat than Cretans yet had much higher rates of heart disease. [emphasis added]

When people eat less fat, the missing calories come from carbohydrates.  For reasons which are still mysterious, a low-fat, high-carb diet leads to obesity.  Further, industry researchers have tweaked their recipes so that we'll want to eat more and more of whatever low-fat concoctions they sell.

This wrong-headed war against fat changed our entire food market. Manufacturers lined the shelves with low-fat foods, and farmers planted more corn to produce nonfat, high-fructose corn syrup. As Time reported, we're sicker than ever.

It's Deja Vu All Over Again

The false "science is settled" saga of our war on fat is just like what's become known as "Climate Change," except that Climate Change has had an even more dubious history.

Climate Change started out with articles about "The Coming Ice Age" back in the 1970s.  That didn't get any traction, so they switched to Global Warming - the exact opposite problem, but oddly enough, solveable by the same combination of higher taxes, more government regulation, and an end to personal freedom and choices.  What a surprise!

Like the fake fat fight, Global Warming was lucky enough to attract a strong personality with a gift for publicity - Al Gore.  His "Inconvenient Truth" video, a puff piece for climate-based catastrophe, was somehow accepted as a factual documentary in the US.  The British were wiser - a judge ruled that his video couldn't be shown in schools because it was so filled with errors of fact.

The "Climategate" emails showed that climate scientists not only cherry picked their data, they fudged it, too.  Then when they couldn't keep a scientific journal from publishing papers that contradicted the message they were trying to sell, the pro-global-warming scientists tried to discredit the journal by having their colleagues refuse to submit papers.

Like the IRS emails, some of their data has "gone missing."  The famous "hockey stick" which predicted that temperatures would be much higher today than they are, has been more or less discredited, but being shown to be spectacularly wrong hasn't stopped the advocates of raising our energy costs.

Energy costs in Germany have tripled due to subsidies for "renewable" energy.  Turning corn into automobile fuel has raised food prices all over the world and badly hurt poor people everywhere.  Al Gore his made millions by investing in "green" businesses that get rich government subsidies.  We've wasted billions of dollars eriching the high priests of Climate Change.

But Climate Change hasn't damaged our health nearly as much as the false fat fight, at least not yet.

Americans may not understand computer models all that well, but we do know BS when we hear it.  The louder that power-mad warmists like Mr. Obama yell to try to shut their opponents up, the more we taxpayers believe that they have something to hide.

So the science is settled?  Don't bet on it.

Will Offensicht is a staff writer for and an internationally published author by a different name.  Read other articles by Will Offensicht or other articles on Environment.
Reader Comments

"We cut the fat, but by almost every measure, Americans are sicker than ever"

Except for the most significant measure of all: life expectancy. Life expectancy between then and now has increased continuously:

The typical response to this is that elderly Americans are now wondering around like drugged zombies for the last 20 years of their life so life expectancy is irrelevant. I disagree. The anecdotal evidence surrounding my own life, and that of my friends, tends to be the exact opposite. It's rare to find a friend or loved one living in a stupor.

There is also an obvious irony to saying "we now know" about a wrong medical study or position while at the same time saying that medical science can never really be trusted.

July 16, 2014 12:30 PM

One, that "fat is evil" attitude is why Dr. Atkins was fought tooth and nail for years.

Two, science doesn't "settle." Science isn't results; it is a process. There are those things which no longer seem to demand scientific scrutiny. Science is such that newer inquiriesag yet lead to new understanding of things we now take for granted.

Beware any man coming your way declaring that science is on his side and he needs your money. He's lying. No question - he's lying.

July 16, 2014 9:55 PM
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