ANOTHER given in the health field came under scrutiny yesterday as
an expert challenged the notion that a diet consisting of 30 percent
fat, a widely promoted goal, would reduce the incidence of heart
The notion has only the flimsiest scientific
grounding, the expert, a British cardiologist, said after reviewing the
world's medical literature.
First International Conference on Fats and Oils and Human Disease,
held at Rockefeller University in New York, he concluded that studies
of people whose diets achieve the 30 percent goal show that the diets
had virtually no effect on cholesterol levels. More restrictive diets
are effective, but few healthy people comply with them for very long,
Dr. Oliver, a heart disease researcher, said.
In addition, Dr.
Oliver said, large clinical trials conducted over the last two decades
have failed to demonstrate that the national goal of a 30 percent fat
diet has any effect on heart disease rates.