A recent review has reportedly identified several flaws in the widely cited
1970s study which found that diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids could help
fight coronary artery disease (CAD). George J. Fodor et al., “‘Fishing’ for the
origins of the ‘Eskimos and heart disease’ story. Facts or wishful thinking?
A review,” Canadian Journal of Cardiology, April 2014. In the original study,
Danish researchers examined the diet of Greenland Eskimos and linked the
high amount of fish oil to the purportedly low incidence of CAD. A team of
researchers has reexamined the original study as well as more recent studies
on the Eskimo population and found that Eskimos actually suffer CAD at the
same rate as Caucasians. The 2014 study identifies several reasons why the
original study’s source for CAD rates in the Greenland Eskimos—the annual
reports produced by the Chief Medical Officer of Greenland—were likely
insufficient, including poor reporting rates, inaccessibility of doctors and
inaccurate records. The researchers also found that Eskimos have very high
rates of mortality due to strokes. “Considering the dismal health status of
Eskimos,” said lead researcher George Fodor, “it is remarkable that instead of
labeling their diet as dangerous to health, a hypothesis has been construed
that dietary intake of marine fats prevents CAD and reduces atherosclerotic
burden.” See Elsevier, May 1, 2014.


Issue 523

About The Author

For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.

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