Dieting and Health

November 26, 1958

Report Outline
Relation of Food Elements to Disease
Obesity Problem and Reducing Diets
Fads and Frauds in Field of Nutrition

Relation of Food Elements to Disease

Diet-Conscious americans are caught in the middle of a medical dilemma—whether to go on consuming more fat than probably is good for them or whether to take risks to health that may be involved in not getting enough fat. Because new medical knowledge shows a connection between consumption of fats and certain forms of heart disease, the idea is gaining popular credence that reducing the fat content of the daily diet may make heart attacks less likely. But nutritionists are concerned lest medically unauthorized tinkering with basic eating habits lead to harmful physical deficiencies.

This is not the first time that scientific advances in the field of nutrition have threatened to encourage irrational dietary practices. Discovery of the role of vitamins in the diet resulted in widespread over-use of vitamin pills. Many food faddists cite respected authorities for theories they propound, without realizing that they are making improper application of valid findings. And public interest in diet, especially in reducing diets, has created a rich market for food quacks who fleece the gullible of millions of dollars every year.

Research on Role of Fats in Heart Disease

The high incidence of coronary heart disease in the United States, brought home to the public by President Eisenhower's heart attack in September 1955, stimulated medical research in this field. One of the questions given increased attention was whether diet contributed to the prevalence of heart trouble. Evidence piling up for years seemed to implicate the relatively high level of fat in the American diet.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Nutrition and Health
Jul. 07, 2017  Hunger in America
Oct. 30, 2015  Dietary Supplements
Aug. 08, 2014  Global Hunger
Oct. 01, 2010  Preventing Obesity
Apr. 07, 2006  Rising Health Costs
Feb. 10, 2006  Eating Disorders Updated
Sep. 03, 2004  Dietary Supplements
Jan. 31, 2003  Obesity Epidemic
Feb. 23, 2001  Diet and Health
Jan. 15, 1999  Obesity and Health
Sep. 26, 1997  Youth Fitness
Apr. 14, 1995  Dieting and Health
Jul. 08, 1994  Dietary Supplements
Dec. 18, 1992  Eating Disorders
Nov. 06, 1992  Physical Fitness
Jul. 31, 1992  Infant Mortality
Oct. 25, 1991  World Hunger
Mar. 16, 1990  Public-Health Campaigns: Do They Go Too Far?
Apr. 29, 1988  How America Eats
Sep. 06, 1985  Anorexia and Other Eating Disorders
May 18, 1984  Dining in America
Aug. 26, 1983  Staying Healthy
Nov. 19, 1982  Weight Control: A National Obsession
Oct. 17, 1980  Caffeine Controversy
Apr. 14, 1978  Physical Fitness Boom
Jun. 17, 1977  Obesity and Health
Feb. 22, 1974  Heart Research
Aug. 01, 1973  Nutrition in America
Dec. 02, 1970  Infant Health
Nov. 15, 1967  Overweight and Health
Aug. 10, 1966  Dental Health
Jul. 13, 1966  Prolongation of Life
May 09, 1962  Outdoor Recreation
Nov. 26, 1958  Dieting and Health
Jul. 13, 1949  Recreation for Millions
May 13, 1941  Nutrition and National Health
Obesity and Weight Control