NOTE TO READERS: When this project lost substantial funding at the end of 2018, I lost the ability to continue publishing criteria-driven news story reviews and PR news release reviews - once the bread-and-butter of the site going back to 2006. The 3,200 archived reviews, while still educational, are getting old and difficult for me to technically maintain on the back end of the website. So I am announcing that I plan to remove these reviews from the site by April 1, 2021. The blog and the toolkit - two of the most popular features on the site - will remain. If you wish to peruse the reviews before they disappear, please do so by the end of March 2021. After that date you may still be able to access them via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine -

ABC Nightline’s simplistic, book-promoting approach to saturated fat

Anchorman Dan Harris reads his lines:

Is it possible that everything we have long held as dietary gospel is backwards? Tonight you will meet a mom/investigative reporter who says all of those high-fat foods we have been told to avoid are actually good for us. Not only that, she says if you eat things like cheeseburgers, meatballs, and bacon, all my favorite foods, you may actually lose weight.

And with that, ABC’s Nightline was off and running last night/early this morning with another episode of “You write a diet book, we’ll give you lots of publicity.”

Nightline devoted more than 6 minutes to promoting the new book, “The Big Fat Surprise: Could Saturated Fat Be Good For You?”

First, the idea isn’t new. For example, for years Gary Taubes has raised such questions.  He has written several books on this topic, and now works on The Nutrition Science Initiative to research such questions. That work may have deserved the air time rather than the book promotion ABC delivered.

The anchor intro above smacks of the storyline from Woody Allen’s 1973 movie, “Sleeper,” forecasting a future in which deep fat, steak, cream pies and hot fudge become health foods.

Even the reporter’s first sentence was:  “It is an age-old debate: Low carbs? Or low fat?”

So, why, then, was this new book considered to be worthy of 6 minutes of network TV time?

For expertise, the segment featured dueling book authors, the personal doctor of one of them, and a restaurant waiter as the experts.  Period.  Those were the sound bites in the piece.

It was a diet of pure puffery – for 6 minutes.

Now go to bed, Nightline.


Follow us on Twitter:

and on Facebook.

You might also like


Please note, comments are no longer published through this website. All previously made comments are still archived and available for viewing through select posts.

Comments are closed.