Food Industry Funded Research Bias

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How Big Food Twists the Science

Just like mosquitos are the vectors of spread for malaria, a landmark article published recently in one of the most prestigious medical journals described large food corporations as the vectors of spread for chronic disease. Unlike “infectious disease epidemics, however, these corporate disease vectors implement sophisticated campaigns to undermine public health interventions.” Most mosquitoes don’t have as good PR firms.

A key message was that “alcohol and ultra-processed food and drink industries use similar strategies as the tobacco industry to undermine effective public health policies and programs.” What they mean by ultra-processed is things like burgers, frozen meals, chicken nuggets, fish sticks, potato chips, doughnuts and soda pop.

But how is the food industry like the tobacco industry? The “first strategy is to bias research findings.” For example, Philip Morris implemented the Whitecoat project to hire doctors to publish ghost-written studies purporting to negate links between secondhand smoke and harm, publishing biased cherry-picked scientific reports to deny harm and suppress health information. In my video Food Industry-Funded Research Bias, you can see the actual industry memo describing the Whitecoat Project, designed to reverse the scientific “misconception” that secondhand smoke is harmful.

Similarly, funding from these large food corporations biases research. Studies show systematic bias from industry funding; so, we get the same kind of tactics—supplying misinformation, use of supposedly conflicting evidence, and hiding negative data. 

The same scientists-for-hire that downplayed the risks of secondhand smoke are the same hired by the likes of the National Confectioner’s Association to say candy cigarettes are A-OK as well. Of course, they declared “no conflict of interest.”

The similarities between strategies used by the tobacco, alcohol, and food and drink corporations are unsurprising in view of the flow of people, funds and activities across these industries, which also have histories of joint ownership—like Philip Morris owned both Kraft and Miller Brewing.

So what’s their strategy? As a former FDA commissioner described:

“The tobacco industry’s strategy was embodied in a script written by the lawyers. Every tobacco company executive in the public eye was told to learn the script backwards and forwards, no deviation was allowed. The basic premise was simple— smoking had not been proven to cause cancer. Not proven, not proven, not proven—this would be stated insistently and repeatedly. Inject a thin wedge of doubt, create controversy, never deviate from the prepared line. It was a simple plan and it worked.”

Internal industry memos make this explicit, stating “doubt is our product, since it is the best means of competing with the body of fact that exists in the mind of the general public.” The internal industry memos list objective number one as “to set aside in the minds of millions the false conviction that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer and other diseases; a conviction based on fanatical assumptions, fallacious rumors, unsupported claims and the unscientific statements and conjectures of publicity-seeking opportunists… [We need] to lift the cigarette from the cancer identification as quickly as possible, and to establish—once and for all—that no scientific evidence has ever been produced, presented or submitted to prove conclusively that cigarette smoking causes cancer,” similar to what’s now coming out from the food industry, from the same folks that brought us smoke and candy.

This is part of a series of “political” blogs which includes my video, Collaboration with the New Vectors of Disease. Why don’t I just “stick to the science”? When there are billions of dollars at stake, the body of evidence can be skewed and manipulated. Funders can determine which studies are performed, how they’re performed and whether or not they get published at all. That’s why I think it’s important to take a broader view to account for the ways the scientific method can be perverted for profit.

Here are some examples:

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live, year-in-review presentations—2013: Uprooting the Leading Causes of DeathMore Than an Apple a Day2014: From Table to Able: Combating Disabling Diseases with Food, 2015: Food as Medicine: Preventing and Treating the Most Dreaded Diseases with Diet, and my latest, 2016: How Not To Die: The Role of Diet in Preventing, Arresting, and Reversing Our Top 15 Killers.


Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.

73 responses to “How Big Food Twists the Science

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  1. Dr Greger, thanks for taking this strong stand. It’s especially impressive knowing that in the past people who’ve stood up against corporations and fought against things like lead in paint and other products, and cigarettes, etc, were harassed and in some cases were destroyed both professionally and personally, leaving their lives in ruin. Thank you.

    1. Part of the way to fight the food industry and to force them to make more healthy foods is through our wallet. As organic foods become more popular and stores like TJ and Sprout are more popular around the country, the food industry is forced to change. I notice that a store like Walmart that sells mostly junk foods now sells organic food too although I don’t trust their source.

      1. Ah, the old “vote with your forks” stance. A lot debate around that. As to “non GMO, organic”, I wouldn’t trust those labels, although I too will buy them. I read a recent study that 2 out every 3 products labeled “non GMO” actually had GMO substances in them. That was an isolated study though on one product. All of the big agra-corps are farming at least some organic, non GMO. Its a small step in the right direction, but who’s really checking? Distributors don’t have to. Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, they just put them on the shelves. As Michael Pollen put it, “factory farming is factory farming…”

        1. Without going to the farms to buy the food directly, I can only do my best to buy at places like TJ and WF. When they say organic, non GMO or so, I have to trust them. If they cheat, I hope that some of their employees will blow the whistle.

          One thing I notice is that organic produce I buy let say at TJ, is smaller and has irregular size and spoils quicker. So I have the “hunch” that they are truly organic.

          1. You can’t eliminate every health risk, nor should you stress on those out of your control. My point is we need to demand more effective oversight. No, I don’t mean more government. I mean the government that’s already here, do its job. The employees wouldn’t know, nor do the distributors. They aren’t the ones responsible.

            1. It is easy said than done. You cannot legislate what people eat. Even between 2 persons who eat healthy, they often miles apart in opinion on what is considered healthy.

              So the only way is to educate people so that they can make the right choice.

              I am interested to know what plan Dr Greger has in mind to spread his message of eating WFPB foods. I see in today’s blog that he mentioned the following:

              “This is part of a series of “political” blogs which includes my video, Why don’t I just “stick to the science”? When there are billions of dollars at stake, the body of evidence can be skewed and manipulated. ”

              I don’t think De Greger is running for President :)

              Hope that Dr Greger will concentrate his message to eat WFPB and not polarize between vegan and meat eater. I don’t think he will as I saw him over Dr Mercola website last year.

              1. “Even between 2 persons who eat healthy, they often miles apart in opinion on what is considered healthy.” – Let us not mix terms here. Like opinions and objectivity. You cannot have 2 individuals considering virtually opposite foods to be healthy while both objectively eat healthy. That doesn’t make sense. Thinking that you eat healthy doesn’t equal to be healthy.

                1. What I mean is that the truth is in each person eye, like I hold the absolute truth. Thea is always right. Just like politics. Or religion.

                  Now 2 foods can be both beneficial but a person can think they are virtually opposite.

                  I don’t want to get into religious discussion here or anywhere but just for the sake of discussion, all these people in the world who believe their own God, are they all wrong if it is not the same as yours?

                2. What I mean is that the truth is in each person eye, like I hold the absolute truth. Just like politics. Or religion.

                  Now 2 foods can be both beneficial but a person can think they are virtually opposite.
                  I don’t want to get into religious discussion here or anywhere but just for the sake of discussion, all these people in the world who believe their own God, are they all wrong if it is not the same as yours?

              2. OK, I was referring to the retailers. They’re not responsible for any mislabeling, unless they of course produce the product themselves.

                1. Dr Greger can say what he wants and I am not “asking” him to say anything. But just to get to a larger audience then I suggest that the message concentrates in eating WFPB first before talking about not eating animal foods. I guarantee you that the moment that Dr Greger talks about not eating animal foods, a lot of people will turn away before the WFPB message gets to them. So it’s like a politician, if you want to do anything for the country then try to get elected first. Or compromise with Congress to get some other major policies to get through.

                  What do you think why did Dr Greger appear on Dr Mercola website where there are a lot of meat eaters. I speculate that Dr Greger is trying to reach the other audience.

                  And if you read at the comments after the video then you see a lot of people on Mercola site speaks favorably and nice things about Dr Greger.

                  1. Jimmy: There are several flaws with your argument. For starters, note that WFPB = no animal products, or WFPB = such tiny amounts of animal products as to feel like nothing to the typical carnist. So, one can not talk about WFPB “before” talking about getting rid of the junk food like animal products. You keep trying redefine what WFPB means, but I don’t know of anyone else who would agree with your definition of a Whole Food Plant Based diet.
                    Another flaw of your argument is the belief that Dr. Greger is willing to reach a wider audience at the expense of explaining the science out without soft pedaling. There have been multiple videos on this site which talk about the importance of telling people what the science is without watering things down.
                    Another flaw of your argument is that Dr. Greger needs to hide the truth from people, because if you give them the truth, they will “turn away”. Just look at the end of your own post where you mention that people on a pro-meat site like Mercola’s site speak “favorable and [say] nice things about Dr. Greger.”

  2. Processed foods were created in the name of improving production, preserving the food longer and convenience. In doing so, the food industry adds dangerous chemical to keep the food from spoiling but also to change our taste bud so that we eat more. For instance sugar is addictive and so they add it to make us wanting more. Salt can disguise a lousy food into a good one. Chemicals that we cannot pronounce is to make the foods to be more (artificially) tasty and appealing to the look. Somehow in the process of making processed foods, they introduce trans fat that blocks your arteries more than anything.

    Having said all of the above, we need convenience. So for instance I buy my foods mostly at Trader Joe and Whole Food (no advertisement here) and all foods come prepackaged in bags or cans. But they are supposed to be healthy, no trans fat, no preservative, no chemicals. If I buy at regular supermarkets, I can buy fresh vegetables (may not be organic) but not prepackaged like Trader Joe. WF sells fresh vegetables not in bag too. OK, so I have to pay a higher price to shop at TJ or WF but not extremely high price that I or the average person cannot afford. So this can be done. But I notice that foods at TJ or WF have shorter shelf life and spoil quicker. Not everyone has access to farmer markets and I don’t even trust if the farmers don’t use any chemical while planting but a brand name like TJ or WF, if they do something fishy, I trust that someone will blow the whistle at some point.

    So we can have “semi processed” foods that are healthy and at the same time convenient to buy. I wonder if the government can somehow subsidize so that people of low income can afford to buy healthy foods too. Just like the government subsidizes the farmers to grow more GMO corn or soybean or pay them not to grow anything at all.

  3. Corporations are not the only ones that play this game. Without government’s involvement, none of these can be done. How can we trust the so call “science” these days (include those articles quoted by this site)? Much of the sceince is funded by government these days and the scientists have to comply with the official views in order to get funded (and therefore don’t lose their jobs). Do you really think FDA is so honest a standard bearer? NIH? I’m willing to bet that at least 50% of the scientist articles nowadays are biased in some way. Eat seaonal, organic, most plant-based food like our poor ancestry ate, we will be all right. Reading and dissecting more “scienctific” articles and finger pointing will not help — a passtime hobby perhaps.

    1. “How can we trust the so call “science” these days (include those articles quoted by this site)? ”

      You risk getting arrested by the mod police.

    2. Your right! Strong Lobbyists influence the science that gets pushed to the forefront of media attention. For example the food pyramid or four food groups published by our government on how to eat healthy is a bunch of nonsense. However, the government allows it to read that way to avoid the backlash of lobbyists for organizations that they would have to deal with everyday. The evidence that our foods are leading to disease and poor overall health is all around us. Just as strong as the tobacco industry did not want us to stop smoking, the food industry does not want anyone pushing back against them and the government will not do anything about it until there is enough public outcry like what happened with big tobacco. The outcry will never happen because people don’t to change their food habits. It is easier to be addicted to the products and certainly more convenient to eat in our “want it now” busy lives!

      1. In addition to what you say, I’ve finally come to realize that most people THINK THEY ARE HEALTHY until suddenly they have heart disease, cancer, diabetes or another lifestyle disease. At that point they are deer in the headlights and just do what their doctors tell them. They don’t think there is any alternative. They may go online but find so much conflicting information they don’t know what to believe, or they find a website that tells them their unhealthy habits are actually healthy, like the Paleo folks, and that makes them feel good about what they’re already doing, with just a few little modifications. Finally many really don’t care to learn how their bodies work. It makes their eyes glaze over of they find it kind of icky to think and talk about body functions.

        1. Yeah, but “protein” is not a food. In my opinion, this plate is dumb. Why is dairy outside the plate? And what food group is protein? Is it meat, fish, pork, beans, quinoa, what?

          1. It is fairly obvious that you can replace protein with the foods that contain protein such as if you are a vegan/vegetarian then it is bean, seed, spinach, etc. and if you are a meat eater then beef, pork, fish, insect, etc. The idea is to not polarize between vegans and meat eaters as you often see in this forum. The objective is to eat healthy, period.

            Note also that the portions are not of the same size. It implies that you can eat let say more vegetables than protein for instance.

            Of course this plate is not the perfect solution but it is simpler than the Daily Dozen and if the average American eat this kind of meal plate rather than the SAD meal plate then this country will be in much better shape for health.

            Milk is outside the plate for the obvious reason that you cannot pour milk into the plate and drink but it also can mean it is optional so that we don’t polarize between vegans and meat eaters.

            1. Most all foods contain some protein. You wouldn’t put spinach in the protein category, but it has protein. Same for quinoa, which BTW is a seed, so it wouldn’t get into the plate. What about nuts? Where do beans go? Vegetable or protein? The point is the other four are food groups, and one is a macronutrient. Then you say dairy is milk. What about eggs, cheese & yogurt?

              I stand by what I said. It’s misleading/ misinforming, and frankly dumb. The goal is to educate. I don’t know who’s working at USDA, but my formal education is in engineering, pretty far removed from nutrition, and even I know better. Face it, they failed big time on this one.

              1. baggman744: I’m with you. I think some history might help it make more sense. I heard a talk once from Dr. Barnard who said that when the group asked for general recommendations on what the next “food pyramid” should look like, PCRM submitted the Power Plate:
                I *love* the Power Plate for it’s simplicity and yet still being so helpful. It really is ingenious. Anyone could look at the Power Plate and figure out instantly (the big picture) what a healthy diet looks like. Now, compare the Power Plate to the government’s plate. Deja vu?
                My thoughts are: Of course, the committee could not actually use PCRM’s Plate and still meet their conflicts of interest. So, they took a real food category and changed it into something meaningless, but which would not get them in trouble. And of course, meat/flesh are only half of their conflicts of interest. So, they had to add the cup of milk too.
                Knowing that history does not make the government’s plate any less dumb. It is an interesting bit of history, though. And if you think about it, the government’s plate is way better than anything they had before. Now if we can only get rid of the conflicts of interest, I think we could get some recommendations out of them that would actually improve the general population’s health!

              2. Your points are well taken. But spinach has more protein per 100 calories than steak, as Dr. Greger has pointed out. I recently went to a a kids health fair and they were having the kids put plastic food shapes into the plate spaces. Of course, they had a piece of steak that fit into the protein space. I had my daughter put the peas there and bit my tongue as much as I could.

                1. True, many plants have more protein/calorie, but that’s because meat is far more calorie dense. BTW, that’s a cute story about your daughter and the peas.

        2. I thought that the food pyramid graphics was bad with the explicit message that a good diet had to have flesh foods, but the MyPlate graphic is even worse. At least the pyramid included beans along with meats in its “protein” section. The MyPlate might seem like a major setback for the animal industry since it doesn’t specifically call out “meat” as a necessary part of the diet, thus opening up to interpretation of what foods you should be eating to “get your protein”. But in actuality it is an enormous victory for Big Animal. There is no loss in messaging that a healthy diet has to include meat since the common understanding is that protein = meat and meat = protein. Notice now when you go to build-your-own burrito, stir-fry bowl, sandwich places that the person behind the counter now asks you what protein you want instead of what meat and when you tell them that your bowl already contains rice and beans and so already has all the protein you need, they just look at you funny. Protein = meat and meat = protein.

          But the biggest victory for Big Animal is that the MyPlate graphic says something that has never been said so explicitly before, and that it is that grains, vegetables and fruit don’t contain protein. Foods that actually contain all the protein required for a healthy diet labeled as not being a source of protein. What a coup!

          Oh, and dairy has their own little victory with the glass of dairy. Fluid milk, at least in adults, has been on the decline for years. But here is an explicit message that you need dairy in a glass to be the healthiest you, you can be. Not to worry, Big Cow knows that people will still pour cheese sauce all over their plates, especially those yukky vegetables, so no worries about people switching from cheese to milk.

    3. Correct! Most people are guilty of making a distinction between government and private corporations. I’ll continue to argue they’re essentially one in the same. In 2008, President Obama was not just the first black president, he was the first billion dollar president. Should we really expect that money had no strings attached? Here’s a recent example of the commingling of the two:

      Fox, Meet Hen house: FDA Says Food Makers Can Decide Which Food Additives Are Safe

      FDA, USDA, EPA, FTC, FCC, take your pick, these are all essentially publicly funded bureaucracies, run by industry insiders, and have been since inception. The number lesson in civics and politics is if want to comprehend what a government agency is all about, simply follow the money. Follow the money folks, that’s all you need to do.

      1. EXACTLY. FDA, Big Food, Big Pharma, DEA, USDA, etc do not have public interest and health in mind. Period. Change starts with each individual doing their part to take care of his/her body naturally and from inception.

    4. How to know which study results to believe, easy, follow the money. If industry funds it or endows the chair held by the professor who did the research, then the results are not science they are marketing. If the USDA funds it, the result is almost the same as if industry funded it directly. After that you have to look for the “tell” of a biased study. Was the difference in diet between groups in the study significant enough to see any difference in outcome. Were there enough subjects in the study to eliminate chance (especially if the difference in diet was small). Do the subjects represent the general population. Does the study use labels, such as “low-fat” for a diet that is anything but low fat. Did the study last long enough for differences observed to be due to more than short term transient improvements. Does the study make claims about diet far beyond what the study can support, which is not supported by the data, or where the actual cause is other than claimed by the study.

      And the picture painted by the independent science is very simple, the closer to a completely whole fool, plant based diet without animal derived foods and nutritionally denuded plant foods (sugar, refined grains, liquid oil), the healthier it is. However, the choice isn’t binary. Including a small amount of these unhealthy foods is likely to only result in a small increase in chronic disease risks. And since we try to follow where the science lead, and as importantly don’t extrapolate beyond the data, we can’t say for absolutely certain that a pure WFPB diet is healthy than a diet with less than 10% of calories from these foods.

      After all the healthiest populations, such as those in rural Africa and Asia, that give the clearest evidence of the healthfulness of a WFPB diet are not 100% plant based. In his study in China Dr. T. Colin Campbell said that the correlation between disease rates and percentage of calories from animal foods closely followed a positive linear trend. However, the group with the least consumption still got about 10% of their calories from animal products. He did note the trend line was such that extrapolated to zero animal calories the chronic disease rates was also zero. But without a large population that followed a pure WFPB diet for their entire lives, we can’t know if that extrapolation would hold true. And we won’t know until some successor to Dr. Greger decades from now reports on a study of the disease rates of people that have followed a pure WFPB diet since birth. Hopefully she reports by saying, “we didn’t know if following a pure WFPB diet really did result in zero chronic disease rate … until now!”.

      1. Here is a great example of a study that fails all the criteria of a good study. A 2014 study Effects-of-Low-Carbohydrate-and-Low-Fat-Diet by Bazzano at Tulane University purported to show that a high fat diet was healthier than a “low-fat” diet. It failed by every measure.

        [Difference in diet] The difference in the diet of the two groups at baseline and during the study was minimal. Neither group ate anything that could be called a healthy diet at baseline or during the course of the study. At baseline both ate a high fat/low fiber diet (34% fat/17 g fiber). During the study both groups continued to eat slightly different reduced calorie versions of their original diet during the study. The low-fat group only reduced fat consumption to 30% of calories, while the low-carb/high-fat group went up to 42% of calories from fat. Neither group added any whole plant food to their crappy baseline diets as evidences by the fact that fiber stayed at completely constitpating 15 g/day, with barely enough vitamin C to avoid scurvy. And folate levels started out at a 1/3 of the RDA and actually fell during the study, so green leafy vegetables seldom cross the plate of either group. The only single important difference in fact between the two groups is that the high fat group averaging 152 fewer calories a day.

        Sufficient number of participants: There was only 139 participants.

        Representative of general population: All were obese with a BMI between 30 and 45, so no the subjects were not representative of the general population (or at least not quite yet). The subjects are representative for a weight loss study, but with this population, the study is not going to be able to say anything about the health impacts of a high-fat diet in the general population eating sufficient calories to maintain weight.

        Sufficient length: They were followed for 12 months. This too short given the relatively small differences between diets.

        Misleading labels: The label “low-fat” label was used to describe a diet at 30% of calories. 30% of calories from fat is more accurately labeled a high-fat diet and the 42% of calories from fat in the low-carb group is a dangerously high fat diet. An actual low-fat diet of 10%-15% of calories from fat was never tested.

        Claims beyond the data/not supported by the data/ignored significant results: The high-fat group lost more weight, but the high-fat group also averaged 150 calories less a day. 150 calories/day over 12 months is sufficient to yield 7 kg of weight loss (150 x 365 calories / 3500 calories/lb) all by itself. This is more than enough to account for the 3.5 kg difference in weight loss between the two groups. The fact that one group ate significantly fewer calories per day was never mentioned at all in a study whose purpose was to evaluate the effectiveness two different diets on weight loss strikes be as very odd. Was it due to the greater satiety effect of the higher fat diet? Don’t know, doesn’t say.

        As far as other biomarkers for cardiovascular health, cholesterol and BP, they were largely unchanged in both groups, another indicator that they were just eating less of the same crappy food they started out eating. But no discussion of what this might mean.

        One fact that lept off the page was that the fasting serum insulin levels, the most significant indicator of metabolic disorder, dropped considerably in both groups. Both groups started with an average fasting serum insulin of 104 pmol/L (17.3 uIU/ml), which is given as in the “normal” range. But there is data to indicated that the 20 pmol/L (3 uIU/ml) is the level of people with no insulin intolerance. So all of these folks are showing significant insulin intolerance. The low-fat group fasting insulin levels dropped 23% compared to a 14% reduction for the high-fat group. None of the subjects were diabetic at the start of the study, but on average they were close to being so with a blood glucose level at the top end of the normal range. The greater improvement in insulin sensitivity of the low-fat group would seem to me represents a significant reduction in the risk of developing diabetes. All of this was brushed off with the statement “Although serum levels of insulin and creatinine decreased significantly in each group, the decreases did not differ significantly between groups” Oh, and the insulin resistance in the high-fat group likely improved because, despite increasing percentage fat, the total calories dropped so much that the total number of grams of fat a day dropped from 76 g/day at baseline to an average of 66 g/day during the study. So perhaps insulin sensitivity is more of a function of total fat intake rather than the percent of calories from fat.

        Also given passing mention is that C-reactive protein (a measure of systemic inflammation) actually decreased in the high-fat group by 14% while it increase 18% in the low-fat group. Changes that go in opposite directions would seem to me to merit some discussion not to mention that this was in contrast to the way insulin levels changed, but it was only noted in passing.

        Instead of this, what the authors concentrated on the fact that the high-fat group lost 5.3 kg over 12 months while the low-fat group lost only 1.8 kg. This appears to be significant, until you realize that the high-fat group was eating a diet that had 657 fewer calories per day or 4600 fewer per week or 239,000 calories for the entire 12 month study than their regular diet. That calorie reduction should have resulted in closer to 30 kg of weight loss over the 12 months. The authors also chose to focus on the tiny 2.5% increase in the HDL of the high-fat group, which was deemed to be a significant difference even though total and LDL cholesterol values for both groups were unchanged from the baseline, and the reduction in the 10-year Framingham CHD risk score which went down for the high-fat group by 1% (from 3.2%), but up by 0.4% (from 4.2%).

        But what can this study really say? Not much really. Basically that a small (and most likely statistically insignificant) number of of obese participants started out eating a very crappy standard diet [35% (very high-fat)/moderate-carb (but only 17 g/d of fiber, so likely all refined grains and little fresh fruits or vegetables)/high-protein (17.5%)] and modified it to cut out a whole bunch of the calories while either increasing fat and protein consumption to a stupidly high-fat [(42%)/dangerously high protein (25%)] levels or slight decrease fat to just a high-fat [(30%)/higher-protein (19%)] levels all while making sure that all carbohydrates are nearly fiber free with the end result that they lose a little weight and in one group some of the biomarkers for health got better and in the other group another set of biomarkers got better. What does the press coverage say. Low-fat eating is dead, long live fat!

  4. Am I missing something here. During the smoking years, we didn’t have the science to show the negative effects to the body. As is still the case in so many arena’s, vacc.’s, all types of environmental toxins, the aluminum in chem trails, etc., we have to wait for people to get sick over and over again before enough notice is taken to try and stop the insanity. Now we have the science and we are showing the negative effects, but the science is not being implemented into the system.

    1. easyout: re: “During the smoking years, we didn’t have the science to show the negative effects to the body.”
      In at least one of Dr. Greger’s videos (one or two summary videos and maybe a video-of-the-day), Dr. Greger explains that it took something like 7,000 studies showing smoking’s harm before authorities started speaking out. We *had* the science, *years* before anyone said anything. And that’s the point.

      1. easyout: Sorry, my previous reply got sent long before I finished it. I’ll repeat here just so you can see it.
        easyout: you wrote : “During the smoking years, we didn’t have the science to show the negative effects to the body.”
        In at least one of Dr. Greger’s videos (one or two summary videos and maybe a video-of-the-day), Dr. Greger explains that it took something like 7,000 studies showing smoking’s harm before authorities started speaking out. We *had* the science, *years* before anyone said anything. Don’t you think we knew something pretty concrete after say the first 6,000 studies? 5,000?
        And that’s the point. We had the science. Just like we have the science on food too. Not that we can’t learn more, but the science we do have is being deliberately obscured.
        In other words, there are various reasons that authorities took so long to speak out about the hazards of smoking. One of the reasons, which Dr. Greger is highlighting in today’s blog post, is that there was a concerted effort by the smoking industry to confuse the situation by getting biased studies published in peer reviewed scientific journals.
        The reason this matters to us today is because the food industry is following the playbook of big tobacco. People are *so* confused about food, partly because big food is misleading us with their own “white coat project”.
        Does that help clarify anything?

        1. Thanks Thea – I just assumed we didn’t have the science as the pattern seems to be to wait til someone dies before you move. Media now represses science, as denying it just doesn’t work, so the majority of people assume that if the science was there, we would hear about it, and too many don’t see the link of media to repression. Now that the computer age is well established, the truth is growing as a consciousness, so any white coating is now is slowly being turned around by self education. It’s just a matter of time and courage, and loosing the lethargic process of surrendering to our misunderstood surroundings and misconceptions.

  5. Hallelujah! Thank you Dr. Greger for initiating this series!!! I have my own folder started a couple of years ago for putting evidence of Industry Bias and science manipulation into, in an effort to prove my point in discussion with clients and those opposing the positive evidence for a WFPB diet. Now I can add your blog and video links as further evidence.

    Just as an aside, did you all see the Howard Jacobson You Tube video debunking Dr. Hyman’s claims about fat being healthy and contributing to weight loss more than a low fat diet? It’s excellent. Hyman literally flipped the study results 180 degrees, falsely stating the exact opposite conclusions of that study. Did he really think that no one would ever go actually read the study for themselves? I wonder what Industry is paying him off….

        1. vegcoach: Wow, that’s awesome!! Thanks for sharing!

          FYI: I just checked Hyman’s site and it’s still linking to that same study just as Howard Jacobson shows.

    1. Maybe he is trying to sell his books! “Eat Fat Get Thin”. I can’t tell you how many people will say to me, “Dr Hyman said.” I tell them to disregard. What a charlatan.

      1. As Dr. McDougall says- “people love good news about their bad habits!” Hyman’s book may sell very well simply due to that fact – in spite of the truth coming out about it.

          1. Rox: Did you watch the link provided by vegcoach?

            Also note that saying, “your brain is made out of fat” is a pretty irrelevant point, don’t you think? It would be like me saying, “your muscles are made out of human flesh!” and then encouraging you to be a cannibal.

          2. Saying “YOUR BRAIN IS MADE OUT OF FAT”, is a true but useless fact that says nothing about what types of fats we should be eating, in what amounts, and how types and amounts vary depending on the different stages of brain development.

            So can you say how many grams of which kinds of fats are required by our brains each day? This would be separate from fat required by other parts of the body. And can you give how much fat is required by the developing brain of a child as opposed to that amount needed to maintain the fat in a developed adult brain?

            And can you say from which food source we should get those specific fats necessary for brain health and why?

      2. Actually Dr Hyman has a point but he goes too far like you have to eat fat to be healthy. But at the same time, what makes people fat is sugar and trans fat and not REAL fat. So his point is that basically the people who go on diet and starve are not losing weight but the people who eat a lot of healthy foods, even if they are fat, do lose weight.

        I would not call him or Dr Mercola charlatan like people call them over here. Yes they have different opinions but certainly not charlatan.

      3. WFPBRunner: It is so hard to educate people on nutrition and what the sciences say when people like that are making money off of confusing people. All we can do is keep trying.

    2. This isn’t true. Once again. For plenty of people, healthy fat intake has resulted in weight loss and improved overall health. Jury is still out. There are pros and cons to both vegan and paleo diets. We need to be fighting big food, not doctors who are making huge differences in their patients lives whether its paleo or vegan. Both work.

      1. Agree 101%. People who are promoting nutrition as medicine are too busy fighting among themselves over styles and methods, when the real enemies are the food industry and drug companies.

        Dr Greger may not think the same way. Last year he went over to Dr Mercola site to promote his book. People on Dr Mercola site are joking that a vegan and a meat eater are joining hands.

        Dr Mercola actually mentioned Dr Greger in several of his articles and videos.

      2. Where is the evidence that paleo “works” long term? Many diets work in the short term including the Twinkle diet. Sure paleo is better than the SAD and eating refined carbs but most people eating paleo are eating low carbs and high fat/protein. Even the ones who say they eat lots of vegetables mean lots of space on the plate not most of their calories. And we know that high fat and other low carb diets are associated with greater mortality.
        We also know that meat eating is associated with greater mortality, cancer etc. Pointing this out is not “polarizing” anybody or anything. It is being honest.

      3. No Rox, you’re wrong. The jury is not still out. A low to no fat WFPB diet is the only one proven to prevent and reverse heart disease. An example is that I told a friend last fall who was eating a Paleo diet, that it is dangerous. His “doctor” recommended it and so, he would not listen to me, even after mentioning that most Drs. get little to no training in Nutrition. He was trying and actually losing weight.

        What good is losing weight if your arteries are getting clogged and endothelial cells harmed? He had a stroke 2 months ago. I realize that this is anecdotal. There are many more stories like this. Research the data and science yourself and you will see it points away from the popularized fad “Paleo” diet for optimal health.

        Heck, even Kim Williams, the President of the American College of Cardiology, says that any Doctor who has actually read the data recommends, ( and probably eats himself/herself), a low fat, (10-20% of total caloric daily intake) Whole foods plant-based diet. You can’t really get a much better endorsement than that!

        1. I don’t follow Dr Hyman nor know what the Clintons eat, but I think the message that Dr Hyman may be taken wrong if that’s not what he meant to say. If I understand correctly, you don’t eat fat on purpose but when you feel out of energy, eat it and eat REAL fat, instead of eating sugar or processed food. I apply this philosophy to certain extend, I don’t eat fat like butter everyday on purpose but if I bake a cake, it has to contain butter or it will be tasteless. But I don’t put margarine in my cake because margarine is trans fat.

          So the bottom line is when you demonize fat, people end up eating something else much worse. I think that what Dr Hyman tried to say, i.e. eating (a little bit of) fat don’t make you fat. I don’t. Quite the contrary before I ate this kind of healthy diet – a lot of plant foods and fat and meat when necessary. In the old days, I used to avoid fat completely but I used to have a spare tire around my waist. I am not obese but now I am very slim and lose weight, much more than before, and I eat fat whenever the recipe calls for it.

          Now paleo diet is something else. You have to avoid carb and all kind of things and eat more of things that you are not supposed to eat a lot and eat less of something that you are supposed to eat a lot. I look at Paleo a few years ago and don’t care to look further. Now I don’t know if Dr Hyman advocates Paleo or not but I doubt it.

          But take for instance Dr Weil who is a vegan (except that he consumes fish oil because he doesn’t think that algae oil works). He also recommends that we eat more healthy fat, like coconut. So here is a vegan who talks about eating fat. You don’t want to lump him into the paleo camp.

          In summary, people like to polarize and categorize people in certain camp. Like if you eat one thing then you must be in that camp.

          P.S. I like this kind of discussion with people like you, It’s very civilized.

            1. Dr Weil is a kind of vegetarian. He eats all plant foods but eat fish and take fish oil out of necessity for the Omega-3. Now vegans take algae oil for this.

    1. Excellent article.

      This is the so-called “Food Science”.

      “I was totally surprised,” he said. “I spent time with the top
      scientists at the largest companies in this country and it’s amazing how
      much math and science and regression analysis and energy they put into
      finding the very perfect amount of salt, sugar and fat in their products
      that will send us over the moon, and will send their products flying
      off the shelves and have us buy more, eat more and …make more money for

    2. This is a good article . Thanks for that . Another way they make money is with seasoned meats , seasoned actually means injected meat with a brine salt solution . You can make 100 grand a day with a good injector . this is one reason you will see really small serving suggestions on seasoned meats products . A lot of cold meats and seasoned meats will have a huge salt load , like one serving provides you with 37% of your salt intake for the day. Meanwhile most people can eat at least 2 and I’ve seen people eat 4 servings in one meal . They will get diarrhea the next day and not know why.

  6. Big Pharma operates the SAME way. When are we going to rally together to promote natural medicine and natural whole food as the BASIS for prevention and disease reversal, where we exhaust all natural remedies before attempting pharmaceuticals, and outlawing gmo, industrial seed oils, and processed and fast foods (to name a few)?

    1. I understand that money talks, but where is the collective VOICE! Lifestyle and Functional Med doctors are a growing faction – when are the credentialed going to take a collective stand?

      1. They kind of start already. Last year, I saw Dr Greger appear on Dr Mercola site to promote his book “How not to die”. As you may already know, Dr Mercola is a meat eater but he also promotes eating plant food just like Dr Greger. Dr Greger also appeared at Dr McDougall seminar. All these doctors may have some difference in what foods to eat but they all promote nutrition as prevention of diseases and not drugs.

    1. Someone needs to limit the amount that one person (Jimmy) can post as he seems more of a troll than someone who is interested in genuine discussion and especially providing sources-data. They take up all the oxygen. It’s a troll tactic, well known. How can a person like him have a real job or time to do this? If you have that much to blather about on almost all these videos, get your own blog!!!

  7. Why do I think the Clinton Crime family has hired the same lawyers the Food and Tobacco industry had used? Enquiring minds need to know.

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