The Food Revolution – AHS 2011 – By Andreas Eenfeldt (Transcript)

Anyway, there is not even any sign of this obesity epidemic slowing down, it’s just advancing every year in America. And you might wonder [where is it from now on] and according to some researchers, if nothing happens, if the trends continue every American would be obese or overweight by the year 2048. Nobody would be normal anymore. And obviously this is crazy, it’s not okay. We have to do something about it, and perhaps we can learn something from where I come from which is Sweden, a small country in Northern Europe and there is about 9 million Swedes and they are known for at least three different things: the [corporate dada], the Nobel prize and finally, fad diets. This is the journal the Lancet, it’s a very prestigious journal and recently they published a paper called fad diets in Sweden, of all places because they were horrified by the popularity of the diets called LCHF standing for low-carb high fat. And it’s basically low carb diet where you remove all sugar and starch such as bread and the goal is just to lose weight and improve your health and the focus is on real food diet, meat, fish, and eggs and vegetables and the difference between this and traditional paleo diets is allows for high-fat dairy products as well such as butter, cheese and some heavy cream but are no [sugar] in it because that’s too much carbs.

And perhaps the big protein is a bad thing to eat in big amounts but the question is first of all, there is no restriction at all on saturated fat which faced some people quite nervous and we will get to that but you might also wonder is this a fat or not? We will get to that too after some perspective because this is the sales of butter in Sweden from 925 up to few years ago and you can see it’s come down to less than half because probably we have been getting the same advice in Sweden to avoid fat, avoid saturated fat, mostly perhaps to avoid cardiovascular disease. But also the thinking has been that if you remove this calorie dense food you’re going to lose weight. That’s one problem we need to work like that in America and in Sweden, if you add the statistics for overweight and obesity, you can see that it didn’t quite work in Sweden either because in the same time period, we’ve been getting more problems with obesity.

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Now if you look at on the right hand of the butter sales, you can see it’s actually increasing again now. And this has been going on even more in the last year. So interestingly obesity epidemic seems to have at least slowed down and I believe it will be possible to reverse it. So what happened in the last few years here? Well, lot of things but there is one event that kind of made the media really interested in low carb diets. And it started with this woman, a doctor called Annika Dahlqvist, general practitioner and she had problems with her weight herself, tried unsuccessfully to lose weight in different kinds of ways until she found the low-carb diet and she lost her excess weight. And she improved her health. So she started giving the same kind of advice to her patients. And they lost weight and felt good. So she started a blog and got (inaudible) ended up in the papers and on TV. And then of course, everybody was happy about this. So through dieticians actually notified the highest medical authorities in Sweden, the National Board of Health and Welfare because they felt that recommending obese patients and diabetics to eat fat was unacceptable. Of course, they thought that they were going to die.

Now the National Board of Health and Welfare, they quickly discovered that this was not quite easy to answer. Should they reprimand this doctor? Should they take away her medical license or not? They had to do an investigation, and it took two years and back in 2008 in January, they came with their conclusion and they said that this is okay. The doctor can give advice to her patients to eat low-carb diet with a lot of fat because like they said in their conclusions, low-carb diets can today be seen as compatible with scientific evidence and best practice for losing weight, as the number of studies have shown an effect in the short term and no evidence of harm has emerged. And as you could imagine, this really affected the debate because this ended up in all the papers and all the Television channels and that low-carb had been called the dangerous fat diet. But now the highest medical authority in Sweden said the opposite that has proven to work and there is no dangers. So this was a revolution in the debate and it’s been gaining popularity this kind of eating ever since and now according to new survey, 23% of Swedes are trying to lower their carb in diet which is quite a lot I would say.

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So the question is, is it a fat or I would like to ask, is rich in fat the diets (inaudible) multi-million dollar design my plate, which is all based on this old idea that fat raises the cholesterol in the blood and gets you heart disease. Now that’s it. After half a century of research, we now have an answer from reviews of all the evidence. The answer is no, it doesn’t work. Avoiding saturated fat doesn’t make you live any longer or say from dying of a heart attack. In fact, if you look at all the observational data, there is not even an association giving that people who defy the advice, I mean eating a lot of saturated fat, they don’t get sicker than people who followed the advice and avoided. So it doesn’t work.

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