The Women's Health Initiative (1991)
The old Framingham Study, had been very useful, but it was producing all sorts of strange mixed results. The results the researchers expected were not usually in the data. Something better was needed.
The WHI was the most expensive trial of low-fat diets ever attempted. Almost 49,000 post-menopausal women were enrolled. The trial cost $400 million. Dietary intervention group; n=19541. Control group; n=29294.
The dietary intervention group was offered training, group meetings, and consultation. They were encouraged to eat a low-fat diet, (Fat about 20% of total calories.) with increased consumption of fruits, vegetables and grains. This was achieved quite well. In the beginning fat intake was reduced by 10.7% and later in the study by 8.2%. There was a small improvement if blood risk factors associated with cardio vascular disease, but no reduction in incidence.
Results After Eight Years - Low-fat Group
No reduction in heart disease
No reduction in strokes
No reduction in breast cancer
No reduction in colon cancer
In addition, there was no significant weight loss either. ( Av. 1 pound another source says.)
This is a very important study. Here is the full paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2006.
Therefore: a diet high in carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables, with low fat, does NOT improve health.
Framingham was producing results, that nobody believed, but did often agree with these surprising WHI results.
WHI, carefully constructed, also produces results the researchers didn't expect. Embarrassing.
The study stopped just over eight years after it began.
Attempts were made to get behind the data and make it come out "right" but it won't.
The final result was published in 2006.
The NIH Refuses to Accept the WHI Result
Dr Elizabeth Nabel, director of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the NIH appeared on television to confirm that people should strive to eat the recommended diet, low-fat and high-carbohydrate. She laid emphasis on the need to reduce the saturated fat in the diet.
Dr Elizabeth Nabel, does not yet know what livestock farmers know. We have to go to Europe, to find experts less invested in the status quo, who can read the confusing data with less bias.
The 2010 Dietary Guidelines
By now, least two-dozen long term studies had demonstrated that the low-fat high-carbohydrate diet was not a healthy diet.
The most important of these were:
The Framingham Study
The Women's Health Initiative
The Oslo Heart Study
and the Western Electric Study.
Even so, the 2010 Dietary Guidelines do not change the recommendation of 30 years.