Gary Taubes (GT) has been in London, over the weekend of 17-18 March 2018, doing a marathon six hour presentation spread across two days. A panel of invited guests joined GT for the Q&A session at the end of both days. Guests on day one’s panel were Ivor Cummins, Dr Malcolm Kendrick, Dr Campbell Murdoch and Dr David Unwin. I moderated the day one debate. I joined the panel on day two and Campbell moderated. Fellow panel members on day two were Ivor again, Dave Feldman and Dr Aseem Malhotra.
The topic for day one was the obesity epidemic and day two was the diet heart hypothesis. I don’t plan to (and nor could I) cover six hour’s worth of presentations. However, for those unable to attend the session, today’s note picks out some of my favourite points from day one. Day two was a comprehensive tour through dietary trials – randomised controlled trials and epidemiological studies – examining dietary fat reduction or modification (i.e. less saturated and more unsaturated fat). GT very kindly and generously mentioned that I did my PhD in this area and thus he was aware that someone in the audience might know more than he does. I wish and I blushed! I have covered these trials in previous blog posts (Ref 1), not least the marathon newsletter on US dietary guidelines last week (Ref 2), which is another reason for focusing on day one. My posts about the dietary trials miss the ‘gossip’ that GT was able to share on day two, because he interviewed many of the key players who were still alive while he was researching. For that, you’ll need to read his books.
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