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NewsBites December 2014 Issue

Poll: Most Americans Still Don’t “Get It” on Fats

Science may have debunked the low-fat fad, but most Americans still haven’t gotten the word. A Gallup poll reports that nearly twice as many of us are trying to avoid fat in our diets (56%) as those seeking to cut down on carbohydrates (29%). Among the 29% who say they are trying to lose weight, 73% are actively avoiding fats compared to 44% cutting down on carbs. That’s despite recent headlines reporting that low-carb diets are more effective than low-fat plans for weight loss (See Low-Carb vs. Low-Fat: Which Is Best?).

The number of people watching their carb intake has increased, however, with the largest change coming at the peak of the Atkins “revolution” in 2004. And blanket avoidance of all fats has declined slightly, possibly reflecting the scientific message that there’s a difference between healthy poly- and monounsaturated fats and unhealthy saturated and trans fats. (For more on the latest thinking on fats, see our November Special Supplement and also click on the video interview with Tufts expert Alice H. Lichtenstein, DSc.)

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