This is why people hate diet studies. Researchers say, “hey, we really didn’t have good evidence for the low fat diet, but doing something was better than doing nothing, even if in some ways we made things worse than we made them better.”
This is the first time that I have seen the connection between coronary artery disease and cholesterol made only through smoking, but that makes sense. But it seems like another case of making a population-wide dietary recommendation to address risk in one sub-population (smokers) on the theory that the population “as a whole” will benefit.
Prof Tom Sanders, emeritus professor of nutrition and dietetics at King’s College London, said the low-fat guidance was a pragmatic move.“In the 1970-80s, the UK and other western countries were facing an epidemic of coronary heart disease and there was overwhelming evidence that this was caused by cigarette smoking, especially in the presence of high blood cholesterol.“It was effectively a policy choice between sitting on the fence and doing nothing or opting to follow what the evidence suggested – that cutting total fat intake would help prevent obesity and reducing saturated fat would lower blood cholesterol,” he said.