Low fat diets and exercise are pointless for those wanting to lose weight and obese people should simply eat less, a former shadow health minister told the House of Lords yesterday.
Lord McColl, emeritus professor of surgery at Guys Hospital in London, warned that current health advice to avoid fat was ‘false and misleading’ and was fuelling the obesity epidemic.
Speaking at a House of Lords debate, the former surgeon warned that exercising was useless against the huge levels of calories from carbohydrates and sugars that people are now consuming. He warned that the obesity epidemic was as bad for public health as the 1919 flu epidemic.
Key conclusions | National Obesity Forum report
Eating fat does not make you fat
Evidence from multiple trials reveals that a higher-fat, lower carbohydrate diet is superior to a low-fat diet for weight loss and cardiovascular risk reduction
Stop counting calories
Calories from different foods have different metabolic effects on the body, so the cumulative calorie count is meaningless
You cannot outrun a bad diet
Obesity is a hormonal disorder leading to abnormal energy partitioning, which cannot be solely fixed by increasing exercise
Saturated fat does not cause heart disease and full-fat dairy is likely to be protective
New meta-analysis of the evidence available forty years ago does not support dietary fat restrictions
Avoid at all costs: “processed foods labelled “low fat”, “lite”, “low cholesterol” or “proven to lower cholesterol”
No single piece of evidence exists that demonstrates reducing dietary saturated fat reduces cardiovascular events and death
Snacking will make you fat
The increase in meal frequency plays an equal if not larger role in obesity and has largely been ignored