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Ann F. This article examines how faith in science led physicians and patients to embrace the low-fat diet for heart disease prevention and weight loss. Scientific studies dating from the late s showed a correlation between high-fat diets and high-cholesterol levels, suggesting that a low-fat diet might prevent heart disease in high-risk patients. By the s, the low-fat diet began to be touted not just for high-risk heart patients, but as good for the whole nation. After , the low-fat approach became an overarching ideology, promoted by physicians, the federal government, the food industry, and the popular health media. Many Americans subscribed to the ideology of low fat, even though there was no clear evidence that it prevented heart disease or promoted weight loss. Ironically, in the same decades that the low-fat approach assumed ideological status, Americans in the aggregate were getting fatter, leading to what many called an obesity epidemic.
Green tea. Many health insurance plans cover weight loss treatments. Am J Med. Following the findings of Willett and others, scientists were now claiming that it was not the total amount of fat but the kind of fat that mattered. So, by , the most recent research challenged the low-fat ideology that had held sway for so long, but at least some research affirmed Brody and Kolata’s position that what counted was calories consumed and energy expended.