Rural Issue

A visit with Nina Teicholz, author of The Big Fat Surprise

The main thesis of science journalist Nina Teicholz’s 2014 best selling book, The Big Fat Surprise, was that saturated fat and cholesterol do not cause heart disease.

“That’s never been supported by good science and it’s since been thoroughly disproven–and gradually, the evidence behind my conclusions has only gotten stronger over the past few years,” Teicholz says. “We now see, really, a sea change amongst scientists at the highest levels actually saying, ‘We’ve gotten it wrong. Our dietary guidelines do need to be changed. They really do not reflect the best and most current science’.”

Teicholz also blames the federal government for creating dietary confusion.

“The federal government has a huge responsibility for basically provoking the obesity and diabetes epedemics,” she says. “Because since the USDA dietary guidelines were launched in 1980, they told Americans to eat less meat, butter, dairy, eggs and cheese–based on no good science–and then they told people to shift over to eat massively more grains. Well, what did that do? That fueled the obesity and diabetes epidemics–and, as of yet, the government has not reversed out of that bad dietary advice, due not to the lack of science, but really politics.”

We visited with Teicholz at last week’s Animal Agriculture Alliance Stakeholders Summit in Kansas City.  In our interview, she also commented on some current topics such as recent changes to the federal school lunch guidelines and efforts to ban processed meats in the Los Angeles school district.

AUDIO: Nina Teicholz

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