11 Feb 2015

Debate over fat consumption claims

8:28 pm on 11 February 2015

An Otago University professor of medicine and human nutrition is dismissing claims by British researchers that guidelines on fat consumption should never have been introduced.

A selection of different types of oils.

Photo: 123RF

Dietary advice since the late 1970s has been that fat consumption should be limited to reduce to the risk of heart disease and death.

Scientists writing in online journal Open Heart said the recommendations were not backed up by scientific evidence.

But Professor Jim Mann said the paper was flawed in three ways.

"Number one, it's been totally misquoted. Number two, they cherry-picked even the evidence that they used - there are more trials that could have been quoted," he said.

"Number three, in 1983 and 1977, the level of evidence that was requried to make recommendations is very different to the level of evidence that is required now."

Professor Mann said the amount of media attention the paper had received was unfortunate.

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