How the Government Made You Fat


Here’s a riddle: How is it that ever since the government began
telling us what to eat, we have gotten fatter and sicker? In 1977, when the government first set dietary
guidelines, the average American male weighed 170 pounds. He now weighs 197. It’s not any better for women —145 to
170. And you don’t need an academic study to
know the same thing is happening to kids. Just look around. The weight gain has real-life consequences:
the percentage of Americans diagnosed with type 2 diabetes—a condition that can lead
to severe medical issues—has risen from 2% in 1977 to over 9% in 2015. In hard numbers, that’s five million people
to over 30 million people. How did this happen? It all started innocently enough in the 1950s,
when President Dwight Eisenhower had a heart attack while in office. Suddenly, the issue of heart health became
a national obsession. Keep in mind this was an era when scientists
had harnessed the power of the atom, unlocked the secrets of DNA, and cured once incurable
diseases like polio. Surely, there had to be a scientific solution
to heart disease. There was. And a charismatic medical researcher from
the University of Minnesota named Ancel Keyes had it. Cholesterol, Keyes claimed, was the villain
of the heart disease story. His now famous “seven countries study”
determined conclusively—in his mind, at least— that people who consumed high amounts
of fat—specifically, saturated fat— had higher cholesterol levels and thus, higher
rates of heart attacks. Lower your fat intake, and you would lower
heart disease risk. The ever-confident Keyes spread the gospel. As an influential member of the American Heart
Association, he was in a very strong position to do so. There was only one problem: Keyes’s study
was bad science. The sample size was so small, the data collection
integrity so shoddy, and the life-style variables between the countries he studied so great,
that his research had no scientific validity. In other words, he asserted a conclusion he
couldn’t prove. When other scientists questioned Keyes’s
conclusions, they were invariably met with stern responses like: “people are dying
while you’re quibbling over data points.” And, “there are great benefits and no risks”
to adopting this new way of eating. In 1973, the American Heart Association set
the dietary limit on saturated fat at 10%, and in 1977, the US government followed suit. Where did the 10% value come from? It didn’t come from any scientific data. It was merely a government committee’s best
guess. This was despite contrary evidence like the
1957 Western Electric Company employee study showing no difference in heart attacks in
those who ate more or less saturated fat. A longer-term study of the same Western Electric
subjects in 1981 reached the same conclusion. But again, no one wanted to hear it. To make this all easier to understand and
to spread the message to schools, “the food pyramid” was created. That’s the chart you first saw in third
or fourth grade with all the supposedly good foods at the bottom—meaning, “eat a lot
of those,” and the bad foods at the top— “eat those ones sparingly.” What our kids are fed in school, what our
military troops are fed on bases, what sick people are fed in hospitals; what crops we
plant and how we raise our cattle, are all predicated on this deceptive nutritional concept. As Americans ate less saturated fat—margarine
instead of butter, processed oils like corn oil instead of olive oil, low fat milk, low
fat yogurt and so on— they also started to eat more “heart healthy” grains—exactly
what the food pyramid, and the updated version called MyPlate, advise you to do. As the consumption of saturated fat decreased
by almost 40%, the consumption of refined grains—carbohydrates that convert to sugar
in the body—increased substantially. Total intake of calories also began to increase. This happened, in no small part, because food
companies took advantage of the low-fat craze. They lowered fat and increased sugar. Suddenly, supermarkets were full of supposedly
healthy low fat, high sugar foods. It remains that way today. Foods that are high in sugar stimulate reward
centers in the brain and leave us wanting more. Thus, the famous line about potato chips:
“Betcha can’t eat just one!” The end result is a fatter population with
greater and greater health issues—like type 2 diabetes, a problem that’s getting worse,
not better. How do we get ourselves out of this spiral? There are many answers: for some, it’s a
low-carb, high fat diet; for others, it’s a Mediterranean diet; for some, it’s vegetarianism;
for others, it might be something else. You need to find the best solution for you. And that’s really the point: we need to
take responsibility for our own health. If the food pyramid has taught us one thing,
it’s this: Don’t rely on the government to take care
of you. I’m Dr. Bret Scher, cardiologist, for Prager
University.

100 Replies to “How the Government Made You Fat”

  1. Wow. What projection. Prager is fat. I taught my daughter how to eat and you dont eat 3 large meals a day when you are basically sedentary. I do intermittant fasting.

  2. Fat shaming is a thing and should be a thing. People should be disgusted about being fat. Now don't get me wrong if you have a sucked that causes you to get fat like a thyroid problem. Not getting suck because of being fat that isn't ok. I weigh 320 lbs and I am disgusted with my self. Never should obesity be celebrated. Yes having some day is ok 10 lbs 20lbs ok thats ok but if you are like me you should be disgusted with weighing over 50lbs over weight. You don't believe me that I weigh a lot just watch my videos on when I was doing mechanic work, one of them shows me being overweight.

  3. It's not the food pyramid, it's people eating out instead of cooking from raw ingredients. Since 1970, Americans rate of eating out is up almost 20x. 1/3 of all Americans eat fast food every day. McDonald's and Little Ceasars makes cheap food that tastes good, and cheap food is full of sugar and fat.

  4. I agree with basically everything in the video, but i feel the title is misleading. All of the evidence used to support the presented origin of the obesity epidemic are well researched, but there is lacking evidence why specifically it is the government's fault. I'm not well read enough to say yes or no either way, but the conclusions put forth by this video do not prove that it is "How the Government Made You Fat"

  5. The "low-fat" diet is one of the cleverest misnomers ever exploited in scientific language. There are so many factors that make high-sugar foods easier to sell and eat, making you sleepier and heavier.

  6. Nobody tells me how to eat, I just trust my appetite. I go through different seasons, there's either more of me or less. The last time I saw my doctor, she said I lost 15 pounds.

  7. propaganda. the type of diet restrictions imposed actually encourage people to eat little bits here and there called "healthy snacks".
    they end up getting cravings as a result and end up eating a huge burger or something down the line to quickly gain back some energy.
    its gotten to a point where a burger costs $2 and a salad $10 due to the difference in demand, which is why you see more fat people today.
    the healthiest of all diets is veganism done properly (hard to do imo but its the only one that significantly increases longevity of your body)

  8. The government made us fat so we can be eaten like cattle if we die. They want to put our bodies in McDonald's food! That's why!

  9. I don't agree with the opinion in this video that the government is to blame for the failure of the food pyramid. As this video pointed out, it is actually the scientists that got it wrong. If there is a message to be thought from this video, it is that we should do more rigorous scrutiny of scientific claims before implementing any harsh recomendations. We should recognise that scientific consensus is a work in progress and inform the public about this to teach them to be sceptical. But most of all, I believe it is the responsibility of the scientific community to communicate this effectively.

  10. The food pyramid and switching to hydrogenated fats had more to economics than health. Sugar, grains and hydrogenated oils are cheap and plentiful here in the US. Companies like ADM can never find enough products to make out of corn and soy beans.

  11. I think we are also part of the problem, not just our government. We need to use our brain and learn, research these things for ourselves and not just trust the government wholeheartedly. Government is good for other things but not when it comes to what we should be eating to keep healthy.

  12. It blew my mind when at the end of this video, the narrator identified himself as a doctor. I thought it was the actor who played Spiderman in the Avengers movies !!!

  13. The video cites error from conclusions from small samples. Then concludes from one example of failed government intervention that we should avoid government intervention. Apparently Prager thinks we should have ignored govt advice that smoking is bad for health. Apparently Prager thinks parents should ignore govt advice about the wisdom of childhood vaccinations. Conclusions from small samples is a bad idea unless it fits Prager’s ideological bias against government action. Government action, Medicare, passed when the senior poverty rate was 47%. Now its 15%. After the clean water act the number of lakes, rivers, streams fit to drink doubled. After govt created OSHA the number of workplace illnesses and injuries fell by 50%. After car safety rules were mandated, based on the book Unsafe at any Speed,nThe death rate per mile driven fell in half. States which adopted more gun control laws have a dramatically lower gun death rate. We will never see such facts in any Prager video because Prager opposes govt action.

  14. This is one of the best informational videos by Prager Univ. yet. I suffer from psoriasis and most of my life have suffered from poor eating from my parents who pushed unhealthy eating habits. This is the reason I eat more of a paleo/Mediterranean/carnivore diet/high protein and fat and low carbs or zero carbs.

  15. Actually you people are deliberaly forgetting the role of big money in this soup. Free market apologists allways do this, but this time you guys really pushed too far. The sugar (high maltose) industry are literally the best exemple of how today capitalism work.

  16. The first part literally doesn’t make sense. Fast food has evolved over the years, and has become readily available. It’s not because of whether or not the government regulates food consumption.

  17. I love the channel. But I got fat because I ate everything I wanted and spoiled myself for years. A lot of people didn't, so they didn't get fat.

  18. If you really want to lose weight, just count calories. You can google virtually any food item and it will give you the calories. You can also use a bit of intuition for a home cooked meal by googling for example a chicken dinner with vegetables, the calories of chicken. veg. potato, etc.

    Also by turning in to a 'game' it becomes a lot easier and almost enjoyable/makes it less difficult. Setting yourself a number and trying to get your meals to match to that number.

  19. Avoid low or non fat anything. Avoid sugar free. Sit down at a table for meals, and consume small to moderate portions of well-prepared fare slowly. And maybe savor a sweet every few hours. And on top of that, learn ballroom dancing. You will get a more complete workout and develop socially at the same time.

  20. I hate it when PragerU uses progressive titles and reasoning for their "conservative" videos. The government doesn't make any one fat…we do that to ourselves. The government have dietary recommendations…not dietary laws. We all have a choice and many of us have access to nutritionists and doctors. Other than progressives crying for their local governments to overtax sodas (which have turned out to be a failed policy), no one is proposing that the government dictate what we eat. That is one of the dumbest assumptions I've ever heard from PragerU. Furthermore, our poverty stricken American citizens are actually "middle-class" compared to the impoverished people of other nations. Poor Americans on welfare are fed extremely well, and the brick public housing complexes are far superior to the shanties of the Philippines. We are all privileged to live in such a wonderful nation, and we often take that for granted.

  21. omg i weighed 145#when i joined the army in 1982 when i got out in 1986 i weighed 182#, in just over 6weeks i dropped to 160# and have felt great ever since, went back to the diet i ate as a kid on a farm oh and 6-17 hours a day of hard work, cant do that anymore but my diet still keeps me right between 158# and 165# and the only real health problem i got is a result of heavy smoking, i have to take "personal" responsibility for that

  22. Speaking as a fat guy, I completely disagree with this doctor. The food pyramid is not a requirement, it's a guideline. This is why it's called "recommended daily allowances". The issue isn't what we eat per se(it is to a degree but I'm speaking of the food pyramid). The issue is we've become a sedentary society. Worse yet, we've moved out of the kitchen almost entirely. For instance, Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans eat a whole lot of rice. Not simple Uncle Bens but sticky, starchy rice. How many obese Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans do you see? Our issue is that we stopped cooking and are opting more and more on processed foods, quick to prepare foods, and fast food. It's easy, tastes good, and gives us more time to plop in front of our computers or TV's to veg. The misleading cartoon in the video of the fat kids in the playground was idiotic too. If kids played outside more, regardless of eating junk, they wouldn't be so fat.

  23. 2:00 also remember he had 29 countries to choose from and he chose the 7 that gave him a rigid line that made sense, but when you include all the countries for which there was data there isn't much of a correlation.

  24. Electronics is a problem too before a got a phone in 8th grade I had ambition to go outside and play and stuff like that I’m just sayin.
    And people back in those days were much healthier, they just didn’t have the technology for sickness.
    People actually went outside instead of sitting on the couch playing video games
    They ate a healthy amount of meat, dairy, veggies, fruits and grains, now we don’t

  25. That video is a bit ingenuous. Fat and stupid people should be held accountable for their own actions. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out the cause. PragerU trying to blame others is the exact same thing Democrat liberals do.

  26. Food intake recommendations have nothing to do with people's health, just with big food corporations lobbing. And none of those want to tell you to eat less. We have lost our compass when it comes to eating habits.
    We complain about toddlers not eating enough, but they are too young to be brainwashed yet, they still instinctively listen to their bodies and maybe eating much less some days+eating more others is the natural way to go, not the routine we try to impose on them.

  27. Even after decades of government propaganda, the majority still runs back and forth, falling over themselves, to do as they’re told. Inexplicable.

  28. People are suffering, people are dying, entire eco systems are collapsing. You've stolen my dreams. Oh wait wrong video. Love prageru. Keep up the content

  29. I was very happy to see an ad for "Free the People." Surprised YouTube even allowed this. Probably because this site is banned. If it wasn't, they would be like the NBA. Taking there greedy side with China.

  30. Government and sugar industry is to blame. They wanted to blame fats so they could sell sugary drinks. Personal responsibility is important but let's not forget we were taught as kids sugar is good and fats is bad. Intuitively it made sense fat causes fat right. But in reality calories from any source could turn into fat

  31. We in the rest of the world like the Prager University videos. Therefore we expect you to tell every weight in KILOGRAMS too and MILES in kilometers. Whats so hard to do this? Ok we leave this video after 0:20 because of this. Sorry…. 😒

  32. While I understand what you’re trying to say – there is also something called freewill. We choose to eat like shit. We chose to eat properly.
    Other hand – food is full of garbage and allowed to include ingredients that were never in that same food when we were kids.

  33. Amen brother, the keto deal really works well! More fat and increase protein with no sugar and no complex carbs! No weigh gain at all!

  34. My husband and I both noticed a marked weight gain in the children walking to school in our subdivision starting in 1981 and by 2000 they were fat. I kid you not. We lived in the same house for 30 years and it was damned fast and amazing. Our 3 grew up eating normally, no carbonated drinks or junk food in house, tons of fruits and lemon water. They ate crap with buds but not much. On tbe run doing stuff.

  35. I didn't realize the US government encouraged people to eat sugar rich foods.

    I also didn't realize that all these fat Americans listen obsessively to what the government tells them to do.

  36. Ok, so now take everything the government says is supposed to make/keep you healthy and do the opposite. How many times do govt sponsored health policies have to be tragically wrong before we stop listening?

  37. There seem to be different fads that pop up every few years, and it's surprising how much the entities try to push them on people. I don't have room to list them all here. The latest one seems to be everything "plant-based".

  38. Sugar and processed carbs including bread are poison. Eat fat and protein ad a piece of fruit if you want. There are only a couple veggies out there that aren’t laced with lectins, oxalates and pesticides. Veggies do not want you to eat them. Steak and eggs will save you from type 2 diabetes. Eat lard, tallow, coconut oil, bacon grease. Cholesterol is part of every cell in you body. Your brain is 50% cholesterol so any cholesterol med will destroy your brain. Cholesterol is a precursor to many hormones including testosterone. You need it. Calcification is the best precursor to inflammation and heart disease.

  39. True Story:
    Doc to type 2 diabetic: “Lose weight and you will get better.”
    Follow up visit, patient to Doc: “Doc I lost 30 pounds!”
    Doc to patient: “You lost the wrong kind of weight, so you are no better.”
    Lesson: If the patient follows your advice, but is no better, it’s not your fault; blame the sick patient.

    True story, different doc, different patient:
    Patient: “Doc I implemented a low carbohydrate diet with fasting & now my A1C went from 7.9 to 4.8. I’m no longer diabetic!”
    Doc: “Reversal of type 2 diabetes is an internet rumor.”
    Lesson: If the patient gets better without your treatment, deny it occurred.

    Your government is corrupted. Your sick care system is driven by profits, not making you healthy.
    Do your own research; verify everything; cautiously test different approaches; find what works for you. Do not put your faith in government or the sick care system.

  40. Eat what you desire in moderation; drink water; exercise 3x/wk for 30 mins; don't eat after 6 except fruit; eat a good, moderate breakfast.

  41. The number of those overweight in America is increasing yes, but by the numbers we are still healthier and living longer because of medical advances and the availability of information because of the internet which allows us to decide what is healthy for us as individuals. People becoming fat isn’t the fault of government or corporations- it’s the fault of the individual being irresponsible with their diet and exercise.

  42. Worth mentioning that many people drink sugary drinks, and often think they are hungry when they really just need some water.

  43. Then we had Micheal Bloomberg making laws about how much soda New Yorkers were allowed to drink and how much junk food they could eat.

  44. If the government is telling you what to eat then you probably don't know how to think for yourself. Stop crying victim and take charge of your life and quit blaming others. The government standards are the minimal standards.

  45. Really? You want to say that scientists unlocked the secrets of DNA in one video then post another that denies evolution? You guys are so full of shit.

  46. 3:57 "processed oil like corn oil INSTEAD of olive oil" if his point was that people changed from olive oil to corn oil to avoid cholesterol it is an invalid point as olive oil has no cholesterol. I bring up this point because margarine is a saturated fat, (but has no cholesterol as it is a vegetable product) and he says people changed from butter to margarine to avoid cholesterol. The 1957 and 1981 studies were on saturated fats, not cholesterol. His points go from cholesterol causing said heart attack (particularly saturated fats) to fats in general, so I think HIS POINTS ARE NON-CONSISTANT.
    Cholesterol is a mammalian molecule that helps the body regulate hormones and process fat. Cholesterol affects artery elasticity. High cholesterol hardens the arteries which increases blood pressure which puts strain on the heart which puts a person more at risk of hearth disease and heart attack. He tries to discredit the study on cholesterol while citing studies on saturated fats.
    He makes the point that sugar was added to increase flavor after fat was removed. It was PRIVEATE COMPANEIS that marketed the "low fat" foods as a "healthy" alternative to regular fatty foods, NOT THE GOVERNMENT (this was a response to the average American weight gain and people going on fat free diets that their private doctor recommended to lose weight). The food pyramid puts sugars at the top of the tier with fats, so consumers should be watching their sugar intake as well as their fat intake.
    Its hard to take this channel seriously when misinformation is presented and subliminal messages are present.

  47. It’s not fat, it’s sugar.

    Also, if companies were the ones responsible for adding more sugar, then the blame isn’t solely on the gov’t.

  48. How did you get Tom Holland to do VO for your video? 🤣 … oh, Bret Scher sounds eerily like Tom Holland.

  49. Avoid added sugar. Avoid fried food. Eat more whole foods. Learn how to cook. Move more.

    Boom, crisis solved.

  50. Fast food and processed foods are the worst foods you can eat.even after you eat and your body still feels hungry your body's telling you that you didn't get the right vitamins minerals or nutrients from the food you just ate and it wants more food.

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