About 3 months ago I attended a heart attack rehab meeting. there was about 40 people there and two speakers. I interjected with questions like
1. How can one find a UK test for LDL particle size (They had no idea that LDL had particle sizes)
2. Why is the T break we have just had in the canteen 70% full of heart unfriendly food
3. What do you think of the new Swedish guidelines (they had no idea what I was talking about)
These questions started to wrangle the audience a little, there was a feeling of shut up and listen to the experts. One woman who was with her husband shouted up to point 2, ‘You dont have to buy it, its your free choice as an individual’. The fact that the hospital endorse poor dietary choices by stocking them seemed lost on her.
However things went really off the rails and the audience turned on me big time when the inevitable food pyramid diagram went up. It was the usual out of date bollocks with lots of Carb’s advocated. There was pictures of potatoes and corn flakes amongst the heavily promoted carb’s. I put my hand up once again and stated that the diagram was wrong to which the roof went off the room as the audience hooted laughed and hollowed. One guy shouting ‘are you a doctor then ?’ to which I perhaps churlishly replied ‘No but then again thst means I am not tied or influenced by drug or food companies’, that really caused a furorer. I finished by saying ‘Look that diagram will have to be completely rewritten particularly with simple carb’s being relegated to the top (eat less) section, unlike Sweden, it may take another 5 years but it will happen’.
There was a feeling amongst many members of the audience that heart disease was hereditary and not really due to the diet we have been cajoled on to by food companies. This argument does not really stand up when there is plenty of evidence showing when heart healthy Japanese populations migrate to heart disastrous USA they develop heart disease as readily as your average coke guzzling, overweight American. Their magical genes offer little protection. Of course this has not stopped my local Cardio heading a gene based study attempting to drill down and perhaps find gene profiles that suggest high risk of heart disease. Call me cynical but this smacks of drug companies funding a project that if baring fruit will enable them to promote a gene heart busting drug at a much earlier age than they prescribe a statin. There is a whole lot of money to be made out of prescribing such a drug to 18 year old’s as opposed to waiting for cholesterol levels to rise in mid age.