Response to Dr. Hefland

[Added note, Dec 14, 2016]  For reporters or anyone else focusing on Dr. Mark Hefland’s comments. It’s important to put his comments in the larger context, which is that overall, The BMJ came out strongly in favor of the article, as reflected not only in the journal’s press release but also, quite powerfully, in comments by Editor-in-Chief Fiona Godlee. …

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Concern About the Science of the DGAs

There has been broad concern about the Dietary Guidelines and whether they are based on good science and/or have promoted good health: “Despite concerns for the lack of high-quality scientific evidence, the government and all the major professional nutrition associations had by the 1990s recommended that everyone beyond infancy eat a high-carbohydrate/low-fat diet. Americans were …

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Critique of Dean Ornish Op-Ed

Dean Ornish Giving A Presentation

The following is a review of the Dean Ornish Diet and Dr. Dean Ornish’s statements published in The New York Times. The Opinion Pages | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR The Myth of High-Protein Diets Title is misleading and uninformed. The low-carb diet is not high-protein. It is high-fat. I’m not aware of anyone in the low-carb community …

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For Reporters

Photo of author and science journalist Nina Teicholz

Hello reporters, Because there’s so much misinformation out there about me/my book, I thought I’d just put together a quick fact sheet: The Big Fat Surprise is not a diet book. It contains no recipes and does not recommend any particular diet. It is a serious book of non-fiction, on the science, politics, and history of …

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Overview of BMJ Retraction Request

The BMJ Logo

In late September, The BMJ published a critical feature article I wrote on the 2015 expert report for the Dietary Guidelines. This article was not an opinion piece but a critical examination of the science that underpins the Dietary Guidelines for America. Its main findings were: That the 2015 DGA expert committee (“DGAC”) did not follow the …

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Response to New York Times Letters

My response to the letters that appeared in the New York Times on March 2nd. These letters were, in turn, responding to my op-ed in the Times. I will add to this blog post, to respond to one more letter, so check back if you’re interested. Letter by Willett and Stampfer: They present one clinical …

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What Are The Most Popular Cheeses In Every State?

Map of the most popular cheeses by state

The Cheese-lover’s Tragedy is illustrated by the words of a French woman I met, who lamented to me, “I love cheese so much, but I don’t eat it much, because I fear orphaning my children!” Her dread, specifically, was heart disease.

While my work as a journalist is mainly serious, devoted to a rigorous understanding of science, it’s nice to remember the surprising pleasures that come from realizing that many foods which have been demonized for decades are actually healthy. Cheese is one of those foods. 

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My Cholesterol Test for Nightline vs One from 1998

The story on Nightline shows me getting my cholesterol tested.  The actual results are shown below. As I explain in my book, neither total cholesterol nor LDL-C turn out not to be very reliable predictors of heart-attack risk in the great majority of people. More reliable biomarkers are a combination of HDL-C, triglycerides, LDL particle …

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