"In the past 30 years in the U.S. the proportion of energy from consumed fat has fallen from 40% to 30% (although absolute fat consumption has remained the same), yet obesity has rocketed."
The author of the commentary, Dr. Malhotra, adds the “yet” at the end of this line as if to indicate this is a surprise outcome. We cut dietary fat, but got fatter! But in implying this, he also seems to be implying that he failed to read what he just wrote. Re-read his line.
If the percent of calories from fat went down, but total fat intake did not (this is exactly what he is saying, and yes, it is true)- it leads inexorably to only one conclusion: total calorie intake went up, diluting down the percent of calories coming from fat. Can you imagine not rolling your eyes at a statement, pretending to be provocative, that read: “our calorie intake went up and yet we got fatter!” The only reasonable reaction to that assertion is: duh!
It seems pretty clear that most journalists covering this story ignored the implications of this line. But more surprisingly, the author himself ignored the implications of what he wrote. We never really cut our fat intake-we simply diluted it as a percent of total calories by eating more sugar and starch. So we kept the saturated fat, replaced some of it in time with trans fat, and applied a generous icing of starch and high-fructose corn syrup. And yet, amazingly, we didn’t wind up healthier. Well then, yes, clearly saturated fat must be good for us! Or not.