Chapter 6 – A systematic review and meta-analysis of the epidemiological evidence currently available to evaluate if the introduced dietary fat guidelines have been supported in retrospect


The systematic review in Chapter Five was the first to examine the epidemiological evidence available at the time of the introduction of national dietary guidelines [16 44].

This chapter reports on a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess if the published epidemiological studies available to the dietary committees and those published afterwards, supported the recommendations on dietary fat. With this in mind, the hypothesis is that epidemiological evidence currently available does not support the contention that reducing dietary fat intake, to 30% of total calories and saturated fat intake to 10% of total calories, would contribute to a reduction in CHD risk and/or related mortality. The guidelines have not been changed since they were announced; correspondingly, the validity of their evidence base remains relevant.


A systematic review was conducted in accordance with the Meta-analysis Of Observational Studies in Epidemiology methodology (MOOSE) [8]. MOOSE builds upon the Pre­ferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) methodology and uses parts of PRISMA as appropriate, for example the figure for presenting search methodology [3]. This chapter uses the TOPMOS methodology for extracting data from observational studies, as used in Chapter Five.


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