The success story in Finland shows that science-based dietary guidelines can save millions of lives.
Image thanks to foxypar4.
Why do we care what the federal dietary guidelines say? Well, the Guidelines do ”direct how billions of dollars are spent in programs like the School Lunch Program, Breakfast Program, Food Stamps and WIC.” More importantly though, is their potential to turn this country’s health around.
After World War 2, Finland joined us in packing on the meat, eggs, and dairy. By the 1970’s, the mortality rate from heart disease of Finnish men was the highest in the world. They didn’t want to die, so they got serious. Heart disease is caused by high cholesterol, high cholesterol is caused by high saturated fat intake, so the main focus of the strategy was to reduce the high saturated fat intake. So that means cheese and chicken, cake and pork. So, a berry project was launched to help dairy farmers make a switch to berry farming. Whatever it tool And indeed, many farmers did switch from dairies to berries. They pitted villages against each other in friendly cholesterol-lowering competitions to see who could do best.
So how’d they do? On a population scale, even if mortality rates drop 5% you could still save thousands of lives. But remarkable changes took place…
An 80% drop in cardiac mortality across the entire country. “With greatly reduced cardiovascular and cancer mortality the all cause mortality has reduced about 45%, leading to greater life expectancy: approximately 7 years for men and 6 years for women.” That's what real dietary guidance can do.
Now vying for the world record heart disease diease, the United States of America.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Peter Mellor.
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Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. Be sure to check out all the videos on dietary guidelines and heart health. And be sure not to miss Monday's blog post Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board accused of illegally deceptive claims. And as always, there are 1,449 subjects covered in my other videos–please feel free to explore them!
You may also be interested in checking out my related blog posts for more context: Eating To Extend Our Lifespan, Dietary Guideline Graphics: From the Food Pyramid to My Plate, Harvard’s Healthy Eating Plate, and PCRM’s Power Plate, Stool Size and Breast Cancer Risk, Avoiding Dairy to Prevent Parkinson's, Industry Influence on Dietary Guidelines, and Raspberries Reverse Precancerous Lesions