Um... Like, hello? Not to sound like a teenager, but is anyone paying attention? It is surprising how the medical communities have reacted to our declining health. To be clear, in terms of managing the deluge of chronic diseases that have descended upon us over the last 30-40 year, they have been very responsive - the care for diabetics and heart disease patients keeps getting better. But in terms of noodling on the questions, "How did this happen to us?" and, better yet, "How do we stop this from happening to us?", the medical community's response feels like the equivalent of a collective shrug. A "Gee... I don't know... nothing is working. How strange that, en masse, people suddenly started eating too much and exercising too little."
But how do we, the eaters in a results-oriented culture, completely ignore the dismal results of the low-fat diet? It would seem that the ill health that has ensued after the food pyramid's introduction can be explained either one of two ways: 1) The low-fat diet works for a few but not for most. For most, it causes one or more of the collection of chronic diseases that plague us: obesity, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, fatty liver, cancer, and dementia; or 2) The low-fat diet is a great diet, but it is incredibly hard to follow, so most people, although trying, end up failing and get fatter and sicker. Either way, the result is unacceptable and it is obviously time to move on. Yet we don't.
The medical community remains stuck in a failed paradigm, in part, because it sees no other way. Margaret Heffernan calls this 'willful blindness' in her excellent TED talk entitled 'Dare to Disagree.' Hence the bottom line, the results -- to which we normally pay so much attention -- get largely ignored. The data is out there, but few doctors want to know.
As mothers, we can no longer pretend that the low-fat diet is working. Results do matter. We don't want to be chronically ill. And, there is another way - obviously. Let's just return to a vintage diet. Real food. More fat. It worked before. It will work again. Together, we can lead our families back to health.