Even if these researchers do see the need to address the problem immediately, though they have obligations and legitimate interests elsewhere, including being funded for other research. With luck, the ideas discussed in Good Calories, Bad Calories may be rigorously tested in the next twenty years. If confirmed, it will be another decade or so after that, at least, before our public health authorities actively change their official explanation for why we get fat, how that leads to illness, and what we have to do to avoid or reverse those fates. As I was told by a professor of nutrition at New York University after on of my lectures, the kind of change I’m advocating could take a lifetime to be accepted.
What I tried to make clear in Good Calories, Bad Calories was that nutrition and obesity research lost its way after the Second World War with the evaporation of the European community of scientists and physicians that did pioneering work in those disciplines. It has since resisted all attempts to correct it. As a result, the individuals involved in this research have not only wasted decades of time, and effort, and money but have done incalculable damage along the way. Their beliefs have remained imperious to an ever-growing body of evidence that refutes them while being embraced by public-health authorities and translated into precisely the wrong advice about what to eat and, more important, what not to eat if we want to maintain a healthy weight and live a long and healthy life.