In yet another health debate that is likely to confuse us even more about our diets, the UK's chief nutritionist has slammed new advice to eat more fat as "irresponsible" and flying in the face of available evidence.
Dr Alison Tedstone, the chief nutritionist at Public Health England, was responding to a report by the National Obesity Forum and Public Health Collaboration, which has suggested eating fat could help cut obesity and type 2 diabetes.
The charity's report said official promotions of low-fat food had had "disastrous health consequences" and should be reversed, while it also claimed eating fat was not the source of someone becoming fat. The charity argues the emphasis on low-fat diets is failing to tackle the obesity epidemic.
Low-fat, lite and low-cholesterol processed foods were attacked in the report, which said they should be avoided at all costs. It also recommended that people with type 2 diabetes should eat a fat-rich diet, instead of one based on carbohydrates.
It also called for a return to "whole foods", including meat, fish and dairy, and high-fat, healthy foods including avocados.
"In the face of all the evidence, calling for people to eat more fat, cut out carbs and ignore calories is irresponsible," Dr Tedstone said in response to the report.
The public health debate about whether fat or sugar is a bigger threat to public health has ratcheted up since George Osborne announced a surprise sugar tax on sugary drinks in the March Budget.
A public consultation has also been launched to determine whether new broadcast rules should be introduced on how food and soft drink products are advertised to children.
Processed foods have also been in the firing line from food companies. Dolmio and Uncle Ben's parent company Mars Food warned consumers in April that many of its own products, including pasta sauces, should only be eaten "occasionally" because of high sugar, salt and fat contents.