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  #1   ^
Old Sat, Apr-23-11, 22:03
aj_cohn's Avatar
aj_cohn aj_cohn is offline
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Posts: 3,948
Plan: Protein Power
Stats: 213/167/165 Male 65 in.
Progress: 96%
Location: United States
Default ♫ Ding, Dong, the Witch is dead...♫♪

D. Mark Hegsted, 95, Harvard Nutritionist, Is Dead
Published: July 8, 2009

D. Mark Hegsted, a Harvard nutritionist whose studies of fats and their role in promoting heart disease led federal officials in the 1970s to issue influential guidelines intended to improve the food choices of average Americans, died on June 16 in Westwood, Mass. He was 95.
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George Tames/The New York Times

D. Mark Hegsted in 1979.

In the early 1960s, Dr. Hegsted experimented with dietary changes and their effects on levels of harmful cholesterol in the bloodstream. He and others investigated the role of saturated fats derived from meat, eggs and other sources, polyunsaturated fats, monounsaturated fats and dietary cholesterol. The researchers developed a mathematical model, known as the Hegsted equation, to predict the effect of fats consumed in food on an individual’s serum cholesterol.

The equation showed that saturated fats and dietary cholesterol raised the levels of harmful cholesterol; that polyunsaturated fats found in foods like seeds and nuts actually lowered the total cholesterol level; and that monounsaturated fats were probably not a factor in either direction. The results were published to acclaim in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 1965.

After an independent line of research, another scientist, Ancel B. Keys, made much the same finding and went on to advocate a change of dietary standards that would markedly reduce consumption of saturated fats.

Alice H. Lichtenstein, a professor of nutrition science and policy at Tufts University, said the Hegsted equation was still used and remained a “very reliable index, and an elegant and not overly complicated approach” to the study of serum cholesterol.

In the 1970s, Dr. Hegsted used his research when he was appointed to lead an effort within the Department of Agriculture to prepare a general food advisory for the public. In 1977, he helped draft “Dietary Goals for the United States,” a report issued by the Senate after it held hearings on the national diet. The report, also known as the McGovern report after George McGovern, the South Dakota Democrat who was chairman of the Senate committee, recommended a lighter diet rich in fruits, grains and vegetables as a way to reduce the risk of diabetes, heart attacks and other chronic diseases. It is considered a precursor of the more detailed “Dietary Guidelines for Americans,” a federal review of nutrition and health that is published every five years.

From 1978 to 1982, Dr. Hegsted was administrator of the human nutrition unit at the Department of Agriculture and opened the department’s Human Nutrition Center.

David Mark Hegsted was born in Rexburg, Idaho. He earned his doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin in 1940.

Dr. Hegsted joined Harvard as an instructor in nutrition in 1942. He was named a professor of nutrition there in 1962 and remained until moving to the Agriculture Department. In 1982, he returned to Harvard as associate director for research of the New England Regional Primate Research Center.

Dr. Hegsted lived in Westwood and is survived by a son, Eric, of Whitehorse, Yukon; two sisters, Beth Parkinson of Ogden, Utah, and Helen Pratt of St. George, Utah; three grandchildren; and a great-grandchild.

Dr. Hegsted said Americans faced as large a problem from the volume of meals they ate as from the foods themselves.

“Certainly, being hungry is worse than being fat,” he said in 1979. “Although there are many ways to criticize our diet, we are very fortunate people, compared to most, and that ought to be emphasized.”
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  #2   ^
Old Sun, Apr-24-11, 14:22
Zei Zei is offline
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Posts: 1,463
Plan: Carb reduction in general
Stats: 230/213/180 Female 5 ft 9 in
Progress: 34%
Location: Texas

His formula may be very good at predicting effects of the various fats on serum cholesterol, but the problem as I understand it is serum cholesterol itself is not a good predictor of heart attack risk. Total serum cholesterol doesn't take into account not only the amount of "good" HDL (which researchers now realize is important) but worse does not differentiate between less harmful "fluffy" larger LDL particles and the truly dangerous complact little LDL particles that are currently believed to be the little bad guys. My LDL cholesterol and therefore total cholesterol measure high due to eating plentiful saturated fats, but my VLDL and triglycerides were quite low, which I consider a good thing. I'm sure he was a very bright researcher, but the problem is most people were (and a lot still are) implicating fats rather than sugar, especially fructose, and carbs in general as the guilty culprit of bad health.
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  #3   ^
Old Mon, Apr-25-11, 08:18
chad1 chad1 is offline
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Posts: 11
Plan: Paleo
Stats: 202/178/175 Male 72 inches
Progress: 89%

He lived to be 95 and Ancel Keys lived to be 100, not bad if they both followed their own advice. I bet they also ate very low refined sugar diets.
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  #4   ^
Old Mon, Apr-25-11, 10:41
jclements jclements is offline
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Posts: 72
Plan: Low Carb IF
Stats: 200/188/175 Male 70.5 in
Progress: 48%
Location: PDX

Hegsted was not someone of Hitler's ilk, and doesn't deserve a public celebration of his death.
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  #5   ^
Old Mon, Apr-25-11, 18:29
karatepig karatepig is offline
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Posts: 231
Plan: My own
Stats: 100/100/100 Male approx 5 ft 4 inches

I have to concur with the previous poster. To "dance on a man's grave" is not a frivolous matter, and to do so, no matter how much he may have misguided the ignorant, is wrong. I know that it does not change the end result, but he made his advisories with the best of intentions (so I presume, unless someone has compelling evidence to the contrary).
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  #6   ^
Old Mon, Apr-25-11, 18:35
Nancy LC's Avatar
Nancy LC Nancy LC is offline
Posts: 45,392
Plan: Paleo 99.5%
Stats: 210/170/160 Female 67.5"
Progress: 80%
Location: San Diego, CA

Oh, there are a few graves I would dance on... but they're pretty evil people.
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  #7   ^
Old Mon, Apr-25-11, 18:57
violinist violinist is offline
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Posts: 63
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 283/188.8/155 Female 5'2"
Progress: 74%

I agree with jclements and karatepig. Why would you be excited (and publicly celebrating) someone's death? If you justify celebrating the death of someone because his opinions on eating were the opposite of your opinions on eating, then you're a little pathetic. Its really wrong. Have a little class and respect for the dead and the person's surviving family. Really gross.
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  #8   ^
Old Wed, Apr-27-11, 01:19
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Equinox Equinox is offline
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Posts: 1,918
Plan: BP Diet/Wahls Paleo
Stats: 265/215/165 Female 175 centimeters
Progress: 50%
Location: Oslo, Norway

Agreed, while the facts are fine, good to know in a neutral sort of way, the title of the post is FOUL.
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  #9   ^
Old Wed, Apr-27-11, 14:45
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eshapard eshapard is offline
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Posts: 37
Plan: Ketogenic
Stats: 220/195/185 Male 6 feet 2 inches
Progress: 71%
Location: San Diego, Ca. USA

"...a new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it." - Max Planck (1949)
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