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The Weston A. Price Foundation and Nutritional Myths

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JP Rushton

Richard Lynn

L:inda Gottfredson

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1350 words

There is a ‘foundation’ called the Weston A. Price Foundation. They push heavily questionable data, along with not updating their material when refuted or new studies come out. It was started in 1999 by Sally Fallon and nutritionist Mary Enig (Ph.D.). The Price Foundation advocates drinking raw milk, yet they have been criticized by the FDA for saying this.

Dr. Weston A. Price was a well-respected dentist from Cleveland. His son died from tooth decay which got him interested in the causes for tooth decay in modern populations. In 1939, he wrote Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. He and his wife traveled around the world and conducted various studies on modern populations living in isolated areas and compared them to those of the same country of origin in modern populations.

The countries he conducted studies  in include: isolated and modernized Swiss, isolated and modernized Gaelics, isolated and modernized Eskimos primitive and modernized North American Indians, isolated and modernized Melanesians isolated and modernized Polynesians, isolated and modernized African tribes, isolated and modernized Australian Aborigines, Isolated and modernized Torres Strait islanders, isolated and modernized New Zealand Maori, ancient civilizations of Peru, isolated and modernized Peruvian Indian. He found that despite having no forms of dental hygiene that they had better dental crests and a lower, almost non-existent case of cavities in their population. He states that primitive people lived longer, but, this is not the case.

In private, Dr. Price told his family to eat a vegetarian diet. That has its problems as well. Since the average American doesn’t know how to correctly supplement certain vitamins and minerals, this will lead to nutrient deficiencies and eventually, less ability to fight off disease.

Though, the type of ‘science’ that the Price Foundation pushes will lead you to sickness and even, maybe, eventual death. They tell people to consume raw milk (this site is affiliated with the Price Foundation). They recommend diets high in saturated fats and no fruits and vegetables for children. However, it’s been very well-established that lack of those aforementioned foods leads to an increase in cancer in adulthood.

The WAPF recommends people to eat high amounts of saturated fat, which is the type of fat found in animals. Using data taken from the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) study done in 38 countries from 1979-1981, Kestelhoot, Lessafire and Joossens (1991) discovered that per person supply of fat from dairy products and lard cancer mortality were significantly correlated with total, breast, prostate, colorectal and lung cancer. Their findings support the concept of the role of saturated fat in the elevation of cancer risk.

A prominent name for the WAPF is Dr. Joseph Mercola, doctor of osteopathic medicine. The FDA has issued an order to Dr. Mercola to stop his illegal claims. He’s a snake oil salesman, just like the rest of the WAPF and those affiliated with them. Back in 2009, Dr. Mercola made unsubstantiated scientific claims about the nature of the H1N1 (Swine Flu) virus. It’s clear that Mercola, though he does have actual information on his website, is just getting paid by the WAPF to be just a name and put forth false claims so people will believe him since he has the title of “Doctor”.

They even make claims with some serious implications for babies if parents follow their advice. They recommend that a baby be given a blend of cow’s milk with heavy cream and oil and another blend of cow’s liver, beef broth, whey protein and various other oils. However, this type of diet for a newborn infant is extremely dangerous. Infants deficient in iron can begin to have a whole slew of health problems including anemia and damage to intelligence, behavior and motor functioning. Putting a baby on this diet will lead to lifelong problems that will not reverse even with a correct amount of iron. Lack of iron is correlated with diminished intelligence in children, but in children aged 5 and up it is possible to reverse the effect with increased supplementation of iron. The cause for the irreversibility of intelligence in those younger than five years of age is due to that being one of the most critical time for brain development where the brain needs all of the right amount of vitamins and nutrients it can get.

The WAPF is about as unscientific as you can get. They push old and outdated studies which only conform to their agenda. However, they do have good intentions. What Dr. Price saw when he visited the isolated peoples was that they had good dental hygiene despite not taking care of their teeth. This then inspired the two women who then started the WAPF. The WAPF may have been started with good intentions based on Dr. Price’s data, but it’s archaic in comparison to the type of data we have today. The diet pushed by the WAPF will lead to health implications and eventual death due to heart attack, cancer or some other type of disease correlated with high saturated fat intake. Most people become blind and have tunnel vision with their beliefs. No matter how many times they’re shown that they’re wrong and here is why they still hold on to their beliefs. It leads to artery clogging, which then does not allow correct blood flow which leads to heart attack or stroke and eventual death. These claims need to be thrown in the trash as soon as they come out, because due to the lack of nutritional information on the average American, they will see the word “Organization” and “.org” and think it’s a reputable place for information, where if you listen to it you will suffer severe health consequences.

Most people become blind and have tunnel vision with their beliefs. No matter how many times they’re shown that they’re wrong and here is why they still hold on to their beliefs. People don’t like to hear that they are wrong. When people are presented with contrary information, they gather support for their beliefs with “paradoxical enthusiasm”.This is because people have become so invested in their worldview that when provided contradictory evidence they lack the self-esteem to admit they were wrong and change their view. There is also something called “the backfire effect“, in which correcting of a wrong perception actually increases misperceptions. 

The tunnel vision that people with huge misconceptions have, in this case nutrition, leads to them attempting to find anything they can to substantiate their claims, even if they’re objectively false. To take nutritional advice from one who is not a registered dietician (like Andrew Anglin and his pushing for the Paleo Diet, even when refuted on the clear false pretenses he makes in regards to his ‘articles’ like Europeans not evolving to eat tropical fruits and is therefore not natural [citation needed]. This also goes hand-in-hand with his look at the table showing the X/A ratio between Europeans, Africans, the Pan Ancestor and Bonobos, which he took to say that the African genome is closer to that of bonobos which is clearly untrue). Don’t follow what these ‘health gurus’ say because they are not up to date on the newest information and push shoddy and outdated ‘nutritional information’ to the average American who doesn’t know any better about nutrition.

This organization is dangerous to the health of those who give heed to their claims which are not based in science. It is dangerous to young infants whose parents believe their scientific double-talk. It is dangerous to those who drink raw milk and eat an excess of saturated fat which increases cancer rates. They have legitimate doctors who write in favor of them, yet one of the better-known names has been given statements by the FDA to stop illegal claims. The WAPF is full of snake oil salesman who want nothing more than to make a profit off of the nutritional ignorance of the average American. Get nutritional information from a verified source, not a place that denies science like the WAPF.

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7 Comments

  1. Good points. Most of these were red flags I noticed as well, such as the lack of connection between dr. Price and the foundations using his work. For example, I don’t remember raw milk being mentioned in Dr. Price’s book *at all.* He might have said something and I just missed it, but this is in stark contrast to the foundations, which practically exist to push the idea of drinking raw milk. (By contrast, Dr. Price was really into butter–it’s hard to miss all his work on butter nutrition.)

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    • RaceRealist says:

      The WAPF has good intentions, but is run by people who don’t nutrition science. I wholeheartedly agree with a low carb, high fat, moderate protein diet; but eating raw meat and giving all that to babies? No way. Even funnier is that the FDA gave a notice for Dr. Mercola to stop pushing his snakeoil. When I first got into nutrition and nutrition science a few years ago, Mercola’s website ranked highly in all searches I did. But knowing he’s on the WAPF payroll and how he got that notice from the FDA, it’s hard to take him seriously. People like him just shill for Big Food.

      I only glanced at Price’s book; do you recommend it? Is some of it still valid today? The foundation may have started with good intentions, but they just push pseudoscience to people. And with people jumping on any diet bandwagon that comes along, they’ll eventually find their way to this travesty.

      Butter is great. I’m a low-carber myself. The WAPF is full of shit and should not be trusted.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Butter is great. 🙂 My husband swears it is good for the teeth.
      I think Dr. Price is a good writer and I like his book, though I don’t know how much you would actually gain from reading it. It is rather long and probably costs a bit. It would be perfectly reasonable to borrow it from the library, read a few chapters, and see if you like it. I particularly liked the one on the Eskimo.
      I just try to eat reasonably and avoid sweets. I don’t weigh enough to restrict my diet.
      Thanks for all of the information.

      Like

    • RaceRealist says:

      I started reading Price’s book but couldn’t really get into it. Too dated. Interesting information though. Look up low-carb diets. Insulin drives obesity and weight gain, so to control insulin is to control weight. Check out Dr. Jason Fung and one of the best low carb sites around, dietdoctor.com for diet and great meal ideas.lw carb is the way to go (for the average non-gym going, non-strength training) American. Extremely good meals, and tasty. Its not really about BMI or weight as much as it is body fat, specifically muscle mass to fat mass. One can have a low BMI and still be unhealthy and have metabolic syndrome. There is the “skinny fat” epidemic as well.

      If your in to nutrition science read Good Calories, Bad Calories, Why Diets Make Us Fat, Why We Get Fat and What To Do About It, The Obesity Code, and Rethinking Thin. These books changed my mind on dieting for good.

      No problem for the information. If you have any questions on nutrition I’m more than happy to answer.

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  2. iffen says:

    “Most people become blind and have tunnel vision with their beliefs. No matter how many times they’re shown that they’re wrong and here is why they still hold on to their beliefs. People don’t like to hear that they are wrong. When people are presented with contrary information, they gather support for their beliefs with “paradoxical enthusiasm”.This is because people have become so invested in their worldview that when provided contradictory evidence they lack the self-esteem to admit they were wrong and change their view. There is also something called “the backfire effect“, in which correcting of a wrong perception actually increases misperceptions.”

    If you know this RR, why do you flirt with the Dark Side?

    Like

    • RaceRealist says:

      I’ve admitted I was wrong countless times. Whether with HBD or other areas. Knowing about these implicit biases will help you catch yourself if you’re being biased. I’ve extensively read into the egalitarian side of things, not convincing at all. A strong genetic component makes the most sense; this is what the data shows. Hell, if something came out tomorrow that showed, definitively, that we were all the same under the skin and that human inequalities stem directly from immediate environment inequalities and oppression, like if the data were 100 percent soundproof with no bias, I would denounce HBD and all that goes with it as it’s shown to be bunk.

      I’ve changed my mind countless times because I know about these effects. However it’s most prevalent with leftists. You can see that with how they do the above, “correcting a wrong perception increases misconceptions”, I’ve seen this countless times when I’ve blown up someone’s position.

      If I noticed myself doing this, I’d reevaluate the position I was defending. However I’m pretty convinced by the genetic explanation. Culture-only theory doesn’t explain a ton of things. Only the hereditarian hypothesis theory explains the differences between human inequalities the most.

      A perfect example of that is Jared Diamond actually.

      Like

  3. iffen says:

    I am not talking about your science. I am talking about when you leave your science and enter the political, when you construct your in-group/out-group.

    Like

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