Chewing the saturated fat: should we or shouldn’t we?


We have just had our paper “Chewing the saturated fat: should we or shouldn’t we?” published in the New Zealand Medical Journal  – it’s a nice paper on the reality of the evidence around saturated fat and health.  Thanks to Dr Simon Thornley and George Henderson, my co-authors.

Click this –  sat_fat to read. Please FB, tweet etc and get this out there.

Sorry, the previous link had a paywall

Author: Prof. Grant Schofield

I am Grant Schofield, Professor of Public Health at Auckland University of Technology and director of the university's Human Potential Centre (HPC) located at the Millennium Campus in Auckland, New Zealand. My research and teaching interests are in wellbeing and chronic disease prevention especially reducing the risk and eventual mortality and morbidity from obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. I live by the motto "be the best you can be" and have a strong commitment to peak performance in which I also do consulting work. I’ve been interested in human health and performance for my whole career. I started in psychology, went into sport and exercise psychology, then into public health, especially physical activity, then obesity. There have been some twists and turns along the way, which are the reasons for why I do what I do – you can read about those in my first blog entry. I want to know how we can be the best we can be. This crosses disciplines such as biology, medicine, pubic health, and productivity management. The cornerstones are nutrition, exercise, sleep, neuroscience, psychology and wellbeing. In my blog, I cover these topics under the broad heading of the Science of Human Potential.

16 thoughts on “Chewing the saturated fat: should we or shouldn’t we?”

  1. Hi Grant, do you have a different link to the paper? That links through to somewhere you need a username/password.

  2. Hey Grant,
    Love your stuff.
    Whats the deal with reading this , looks to need a username and password, can you just post the whole thing on your blog for us/

    1. That’s a good idea. It’s as if epidemiology has gone off on its own little tangent and forgotten how much it depends on other branches of medical research for validation. The meta-analysis, boosting weak correlations into significantly weak correlations, has gone to their heads.
      (“Meta-analysis is to analysis what metaphysics is to physics.” – Bob Eckel.)

      A wonderful post about Bradford Hill and a link to his lecture here:

    2. This reference from the letter does apply the Bradford Hill criteria across the board to the evidence for a number of suggested interventions. It comes up in favour of Med diet, but not SFA restriction, for CHD prevention – basically Aseem Malhotra’s position.

      FWIW my opinion is that the Med diet is superior for two reasons;
      1) omega-3 and 6 are balanced, without an excess of 6, and
      2) most fat sources – olive oil, nuts, cheese, fish, avocado – are unheated or minimally heated, and unrefined, as are most carbohydrates.
      The diet could be higher in SFA if this stayed true, that is if fatty dairy foods were supplying the bulk of it.

  3. I don’t think Prof Feinman’s post has a link to the whole Bradford Hill lecture, so here it is; well worth learning by heart, most of his “rules” are modified by common-sense examples of actual or possible exceptions. Towards the end he says
    “On fair evidence we might take action on what appears to be an occupational hazard, e.g. we might change from a probably carcinogenic oil to a non-carcinogenic oil in a limited environment and without too much injustice if we are wrong.
    But we should need very strong evidence before we made people burn a fuel in their homes that they do not like or stop smoking the cigarettes and eating the fats and sugar that they do like. In asking for very strong evidence I would, however, repeat emphatically that this does not imply crossing every ‘t’, and swords with every critic, before we act.”

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