18 comments

  1. LisaW
    Excellent video - thanks for posting it!
  2. David Lyness
    Very good video. You might also be interested in the work of Dr. John Ioannidis who performs statistical investigations into "bad" science. He believes that more than half of all published scientific studies are worthless. Here's an excellent article that I read about his work:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/11/lies-damned-lies-...

  3. Patrik Hägglund
    David,

    FYI: That article was mentioned on the Swedish blog last year.
    http://www.kostdoktorn.se/problemen-med-medicinsk-forskning

  4. kost
    Hi,
    talking about bad science:

    Could you perhaps comment from a neighbour's and scientist's point of view on the fat tax Denmark has just introduced ?

  5. kost,
    In one word, from both perspectives:

    Embarrassing.

  6. kost
    Undoubtedly :)

    What I thought about was that you're both closer to the country/scientific community that came up with this than most Paleo folks, and involved in the field.
    A lot of articles have been written commenting on the decision, but they're either in support or ugly cases of the "fair and balanced" approach.
    I think we need some serious dissent here :)

  7. moreporkplease
    Living in a Danish household, let me note that dissent isn't the Danish way. They are consensus-oriented people. Polite disagreement is one thing, but dissent crashes the cozy-ness and breaks the social cohesion. Dissent doesn't work in a Danish context. Even those who agree with you will be annoyed.

    The fat tax arose under the previous business-oriented, nationalist government. Now of course the Danes have a new government.

    The previous government was extremely interested in turning Denmark into America as much as was possible in a Danish context. It initiated many programs to nudge Denmark in that direction, such as severe reductions in health care spending and tightened cost controls along with reductions in patient care.

    Concern about costs in the health care system as people might became overweight drove this government to support the tax until it could further increase the role of American-style private insurance in Denmark. This is ironic as the rate of obesity in Denmark isn't so high, compared to other countries.

    Also, more doctors, particularly cardiologists, were sent to America to study. A cardiologist friend of mine was sent to Vanderbilt, where he was taught the cholesterol hypothesis. When he returned, he immediately told his girlfriend to stop eating butter and meat, to avoid the traditional Nordic diet and adopt an American-style "healthy grain" diet.

    This is also ironic as recent large studies have shown the traditional Nordic diet to be healthier than the American one. But now his girlfriend has gained 20 pounds despite jogging everyday and riding her bicycle everywhere - eating her whole wheat! Traditional Danish dark heavy sourdough rye, which is usually served in very small pieces, would probably be far better for her instead of these American-style fluffy large whole-wheat breads.

    Now the Danes have a new government - but it will likely retain the new tax. The best way to change the attitude in Denmark is simple - start calmly remarking that this American-style approach is "un-Danish." Extol the traditional Nordic diet of fish, pork, lard, snaps, cheese, cream, butter, kale, berries and very small portions of real sourdough rye bread.

    Danes are very sensitive to Danishness. This is the best avenue of counter-attack. :)

  8. kost
    Thank you; those are some valuable insights.
    I've never been to Denmark, even though our countries have a common border.
    Indeed the only time in recent years Denmark really made the headlines was when that "American Way" lead to a full-blown army scandal. And I'd rather like to watch those in a season of Forbrydelsen :)

    Of course, your big neighbour can't help you out either, because low carb eating is buried under a huge pile of "Heidi Klum doesn't eat pasta ... and ground beef." and the advice to the obese to simply become "healthy fat" people, with 40mins of excercise per week... just heard that from a doctor actually (who's overweight himself).

  9. moreporkplease
    Ty kost. We are fortunate that the restaurant Noma is now fashionable, serving very Nordic-oriented foods. This makes it easier to talk about a reversion to a traditional Nordic diet as well.

    I did wonder why Andreas' book wasn't being translated into Danish. But after seeing recently some Danes on a blog talking about how they will stop eating herring(!) because it is "too high in fat," and advocating the government mandate a vegan lifestyle, bringing Andreas' message to Copenhagen might be tough. :)

  10. kost
    Okay: You do the translation into Danish, I'll take care of the German one :)
    And yes, of course that Matjes is too high in fat - it's soaked in cheap vegetable oil !
  11. Haha, you are right, he cannot stand still for a minute! Interesting comments about the Danish.
  12. Raclette
    @kost: yes please, translate! There has recently been talk about a fat tax in Switzerland. I would love to somehow get LCHF going here to make them see reason.
    P.S. our grocer has started selling "healthy" ground beef with plant protein mixed in.
  13. olit
    You can always direct them to http://www.paleosophie.de; the site is still young, but it's a start.

    The fact that most information is in English won't be your biggest problem - there IS a such a thing as sloth after all :)

  14. Raclette
    olit, you are so right about sloth. Thank you for the link!
  15. Peggy Holloway
    I read in my local newspaper today that Denmark has instituted a tax on "unhealthy high fat foods" such as butter and anything containing saturated fats." Is that true? How could that possibly have happened? I'm so surprised, since Sweden appears to have turned the tide on the fat fallacy. This frightens me because if Denmark has gone this direction, how many other countries will do the same? Is there anyone to get a campaign started to stop this sort of insanity?
  16. Giedrius
    Diet revoliution in Sweden, and another kind of revoliution in Denmark (not so far from Sweden) http://www.sott.net/articles/show/235817-Fat-Tax-For-Denmark-More-Cou... Sad...
  17. eddie watts
    that video is great, posted onto my facebook too :D
  18. Mike Ellwood
    The trouble is that the "geniuses" in charge of health policy in the UK will take the Danish fat tax as a green-light to do the same here. Since they haven't a clue about what to do about the obesity epidemic, this is just the sort of stupid thing they might grasp hold of.

    And even if the Danes very sensibly rescind the tax later on, we probably wouldn't.

    Although Ben Goldacre might be good on "Bad Science" in general, I thought he was pretty mainstream on diet and health (let's face it - most doctors are).

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