1825 - French lawyer and gourmand Brillant-Savarin publishes The Physiology of Taste, in which he says he has identified the cure for obesity: "More or less rigid abstinence from everything that is starchy or floury."
1830 - Sugar consumption in the US: 15 pounds per capita, much of it molasses. Today: 150 pounds per capita, much of it high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
1863 - William Banting published Letter On Corpulence, Addressed to the Public. Banting had lost 85 pounds on a high fat, carbohydrate-restricted diet. The British Medical Journal and Lancet reported that Banting's diet could be dangerous: "We advise Mr Banting, and everyone of his kind, not to meddle with medical literature again, but be content to mind his own business."
1880-1910 - U.S. population doubled from 37 to 75 million. One out of three people lived on a farm - and ate from the farm. The U.S. population today is over 300 million and about 1 percent live on a farm.
1906 - Upton Sinclair's novel The Jungle exposed unsanitary and inhumane conditions in Chicago area slaughterhouses. Reported meat sales fell 50 percent and took years to recover. As is true today, the highest quality safest meat to eat was grown on the small mixed farms that dotted much of the American landscape.
1910 - Lifetime risk of type II diabetes: 1 in 30. The lifetime risk today is 1 in 3 according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta.
1910 - Butter consumption = 18 pounds per capita. In the year 2000 butter consumption went below 4 pounds. When we were using high quality butter lavishly, mortality from heart disease was below 10 percent. (Infections killed a majority of people; a high percentage of infants and women of child-bearing age died during the birthing process.) Today as we consume our “Country Croak,” the mortality from heart disease is 40 to 45 percent. Both Dr. Andrew Weil and the late Dr. Robert C. Atkins agree: "Eat butter; not margarine, regardless of the claims the manufacturer is making for it!"
1910 - Lard, the rendered fat from pigs raised outdoors, was the #1 cooking fat - enjoying 70 percent of the market. Lard was the best source of Vitamin D and a good source of palmitoleic acid, a monounsaturated anti-microbial fatty acid that kills bacteria and viruses. Today highly processed soybean oil has 70 percent of the market; zero vitamin D. Now the same experts who told us not to eat lard are telling us we are deficient in Vitamin D!
1911 - Proctor & Gamble introduce Crisco, the first shortening made from hydrogenated vegetable fat. P & G bought the patent for hydrogenating vegetable fat from an English company that was attempting to make candles out of the artifically hardened fat. When rural electrification wiped out the candle market, P & G saved the day by providing the world with Crisco, a cheap alternative to lard. Crisco featured a much longer shelf life and, over the decades, gave unsuspecting Americans hundreds of millions of pounds of trans fatty acids.
1918 - The electrocardiogram was introduced helping to launch cardiology.
1920 - Sugar consumption in the US reaches 100 pounds per capita – and climbing.
1921 - The hormone insulin is discovered.
1924 - Four cardiologists found the American Heart Association (AHA).
1930 - Margarine consumption reaches 2.6 pounds per capita. By 1957, margarine consumption increased to about 9 pounds - surpassing butter for the first time.
1934 - Blood test for cholesterol developed. (Because cholesterol could be measured, it wasn’t long before it got the blame!)
1937 - Columbia University biochemists David Rittenberg & Rudolph Schoenheimer demonstrated that dietary cholesterol had very little effect on blood cholesterol. Although never refuted, for thirty years, the federal Dietary Guidelines have restricted dietary cholesterol to less than 300 milligrams a day.
1945 - American Heart Association donations total $100,000.
1948 - Vegetable fat consumption: 28 pounds per capita. By 1976: 55 pounds. As obesity and diabetes became public health problems, our consumption of highly processed vegetable fat, including trans fatty acids, climbed sreadily and our consumption of fat from animals declined.
1948 - National Heart Act created the National Heart Institute and the National Heart Council.
aha 1948 American Heart Association re-invented itself as a volunteer fundraising organization and hired a former bible salesman (Mr. Betts) and a PR agency to do fundraising. "Heart Night at the Copacabana" was attended by movie stars and Hollywood celebrities.
1949 - American Heart Association raises $3 million dollars.
1949 - Arterioslcerosis is added to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), causing a sharp increase in reported deaths from heart disease - creating at least the appearance of a heart disease epidemic.
1949 - Pasteurized milk is mandatory. During World War II, tainted milk produced by inexperienced replacement creamery workers killed a number of people. The government blamed raw milk; not the replacement workers (and not the dislocations of war). Pasteurization kills the enzymes that make it easier to absorb the proteins in milk and destroys many other key nutrients, including Vitamin B-12.
1950 - Using a newly invented one-of-a-kind centrifuge, University of California medical scientist John Gofman discovered several fat-like substances circulating in the blood, including LDL and VLDL. At this time - 60 years ago - he reported that total cholesterol (TC) was a "dangerously poor predictor" of heart disease.
1951 - Ancel Keys, professor, University of Minnesota, attends a conference in Rome on nutrition and disease and learns that heart disease was rare in some Mediterranean populations who consumed a lower fat diet. He noted, too, that the Japanese had low fat diets and low rates of heart disease. He hypothesized from these observations that fat was the cause of heart disease.
1951 - The Practise of Endocrinology, a textbook published by seven prominent British clinicians. The weight loss recommendations were almost identical to Banting's. Foods to be avoided: Bread and everything else made with flour; cereals, including breakfast cereals and milk puddings; potatoes and all other root vegetables; foods containing sugar and all sweets.
1953 - Ancel Keys, convinced that dietary fat is the cause of heart disease, published his Six Country Analysis, suggesting an association between dietary fat and mortality from heart disease. Critics pointed out that Keys had data for 22 countries, but selected data from just 6. (As an example, Keys excluded France, a country with a high fat diet and low rates of heart disease.) Keys cheated!
1955 - President Eisenhower suffers a first heart attack at age 64. He was put on a highly publicized low fat, low cholesterol diet. Over the next six weeks, twice daily press conferences were held on the president's condition. His total cholesterol at the time of the attack was 165 ml/dl. Eisenhower was ordered to eat dry toast and Sanka for breakfast and eat only 1 egg per week. His cholesterol continued to climb on a low fat, low cholesterol diet until it reached 259 the day he left office. Eisenhower had several more heart attacks and eventually died of heart disease.