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Here are the absolute values in kilocalories, showing that our fat intake never declined in the US. Today, we eat similar amounts of fat and carbohydrate, whereas a century ago we ate nearly twice as much carbohydrate as fat.
78 replies and sub-replies as of Nov 08 2018

Separating added fats from total fats would show an increase?
Any data that show the source/type of fats?
Animal fat morphed into seed oil.
Does it make sense to lump all CHO together? I'd imagine most of the popular CHO foods available in 2018 would be in a form barely recognisable to the average shopper from 1918.
I'm confused Dr. Guyenet. You CAN or you CANNOT make a credible inference about individual behaviors using population availability data?
What's clear from this is that the obesity/diabetes epidemic has correlated to an increase in BOTH carbs and fat since the 70s, accelerating in the 80s when carb intake increased and fat intake was flat.
Same thing in Asia. Drop in % carbs increase in dietary fat and obesity sky rockets.
I have to laugh at people like you and the people that do "scientific" "peer reviewed papers", who confuse a diet that contains 46% carbs & 40% fat (*more calories from carbs than fat*) with a High Fat, Low Carb diet. 🤪 "lower carb" ≠ low carb
I lost 40 lbs. on "lower carb"...over 3 years. And then I stabilized on 400 lbs., for another 4 years. And was still hungry all the time. About all I can say for it is that a) I didn't die, and b) it was better than continuing to gain weight.
A bit of a false dilemma fallacy there isn't it. Isn't a healthy weight better?
Sorry for being obtuse, but I don't follow. Yes, a healthy weight is better.
Saying that it's better than gaining weight is just an extremely low bar in my eyes.
That was exactly my point. A moderately low carb diet didn't really work for me because it didn't solve my hunger. 90 days of #keto/#vlchf & I've lost 30# w/ improvement in blood pressure, blood glucose, triglycerides, etc. But it was better than my previous yo-yo dieting.
But you don't know at which weight you'll plateau next, correct?
That is freaky in terms of symmetry and duration of blip. Source?
Not at all. Carb and fat %s add to a constant. Protein is pretty constant, so isn't shown. So the math requires symmetry.
You don't find it odd that in a very short period people were able to substitute one food for another that had same protein content and perfectly swapped calories between carbs and fat? What foods enable that?
If people eat constant % protein, then they HAVE TO perfectly swap % fat for % carb.
If protein were constant. What would enable that? FWIW, it looks like protein % dropped during that period, but these graphs are obviously scaled very differently.…
I don't find constant per capita protein availability odd at all.
This is not availability data. It's consumption. Guess it's just me. :)
That is one proteinophobic population.
Let's see animal fats vs seed oil fats.
Changes in type of carbohydrate and type of fat may be more important.
Not to mention if half of people only ate meat and the other half only ate plants, you wouldn't be able to tell who is doing what with these broad data points of macronutrients.
We call this 👆 the high everything diet—HED. Today, food is more abundant—and more flavorful—than ever. Excess is the rule, not the exception, and society has given up norms of self-control and austerity. It's not surprising this creates problems for our health.
Finally a simple and logical explanation for the increasing rates of obesity. No fad diet required, just some self restraint.
If you read his book Hungry Brain, you'll see he isn't saying that.
And protein intake has been stable for a century!
Is that intake or availability? CDC shows differently, at least in % terms.…
Except that between about 85 and 97 fat consumption did in fact go down and there was a marked increase in carbohydrate comsumption
We can quibble over exact % carb or fat and trends up and down, but in 85, 97, or 2018, US ate a higher % fat that just about any other country. I would argue that any change in % is a minor factor compared to just eating more calories.
Yes certainly a major factor and probably the most important. However, this is not a laboratory experiment. There are hundreds of variables, not least gut microbiology so there does at least seem to be some evidence for quality of calories as well as quantity.
Aren't ERS data based on nutrient availability (and not adjusted for the food that doesn't get eaten)?
Dude. You about to break the internet!
Protein figures make more sense now. But average almost 4000 kcal per person per day in total, excluding alcohol ? Hard to believe the fat+carb numbers could be accurate for average person.
I think I read something where the total increase in calories is coming from veg oils, not natural fats. Wondering if the increase in fat is sneaking in with carb snacks like chips etc that didn't exist before.
There is more to it than that graph suggests. Is anyone suggesting that LFHC is "not really" the explanation for the amount of obesity? Hope not. Here are some additional facts about the last 40 years:
How America's diet has changed over time
We're eating more chicken, cheese and yogurt, but less beef, margarine and ice cream.
Biggest change is: 'diets include (50%) less sugar than in prior decades but a lot more corn-derived sweeteners.' The elephant not in the room is non-nutritive artificial sweeteners. In a class of its own.
What's rarely measured is HOW OFTEN we eat. One or Two meals a day vs. 6 or more definitely has an effect on weight gain.
What is really shows is that obesity is a complex phenomenon and looking at it using 3 pixel resolution of macronutrients is nonsense
What is the definition (what constitutes a) of fat and carb in this chart?
Stephan would you say right after WW2 we were closest to optimal diet ? obviously we could have used more protein and vitamins but it seems like it was relatively the golden age.
John Komlos shows BMI increasing rapidly in the early years after WW2
we can't rule out factors like stress / anxiety / depression as affecting bodyweight during the war ... BMI does not equal health
According to Komlos’ data set, BMI was in decline during 1930s. Had risen in 1920s.
The U.S. experienced an economic boom during 1940s relative to depression of 1930s.
According to some Paleo anthropologists we were at our physical peak right before advent of agriculture. After that our bones became shorter & brains smaller. On a population level of course.
you're talking about genetic differences not effects of diet ...
No. I’m talking about shift of eating predominantly wild game (pre-agriculture) to consuming grains (agriculture).
you need to read Baker less and think harder ...
i'm not questioning your data but your logic. you seem to think the changes are direct consequence of diet. i'm saying the diet shift caused the species to adopt through natural selection which in turn resulted in smaller brains etc. it wouldn't take more than a few centuries.
pound for pound the brain consumes more energy than any other organ in the body thus there is constant evolutionary pressure to keep the brain as small as possible - otherwise every species would have large brains like humans ( cont )
as soon as having large brain was no longer necessary for navigating and hunting humans immediately dumped excess brain capacity ...
use it or lose it ...
being tall also is an advantage during hunting but disadvantage in agriculture thus becoming shorter would be another adaptation to the new lifestyle ...
Definitely possible, yes
Sigh. Nutritional epidemiology. The most flawed science there is.
Bugger, you got in before me 😄
But.... But... Muh guidelines
I guess FAT increase is mostly Extra Virgin Olive Oil😂
Note - the century-ago carbs were probably healthier carbs too..
What type of carbs now compared to 100 years ago ? Now we eat shit carbs mostly.
For a scientist, why are you being so simplistic? You know this does not represent the facts which is a switch towards vegetable oils away from animal fats.
I have to agree the words Carbs and Fat are almost meaningless to me now. Because there are good carbs bad carbs and horrible carbs. Same with fats. Man made of either very dangerous.
We were told cut Animal Products specifically. That leaves the poison of man made fat.
It’s almost as if they’re deliberately trying to obscure that fact...
Seems like the carbs from grains were replaced with seed oils and sugar ... 🤔
My grandparents bread and butter is today's 'processed out of recognition' crap.
something to look at....
Increase in vegetable and seed oils during that time, as well as the invention and push of hydrogenated trans fats/margarine. The current shift back to butter is most welcome.