In 1985, the National Cholesterol Education Panel delivered its Adult Treatment Panel guidelines to Americans, advice to cut cholesterol intake, reduce saturated fat, and increase “healthy whole grains” to reduce the incidence of heart attack and other cardiovascular events.
Per capita wheat consumption increased accordingly. Wheat consumption today is 26 lbs per year greater than in 1970 and now totals 133 lbs per person per year. (Because infants and children are lumped together with adults, average adult consumption is likely greater than 200 lbs per year, or the equivalent of approximately 300 loaves of bread per year.) Another twist: The mid- and late-1980s also marks the widespread adoption of the genetically-altered dwarf variants of wheat to replace standard-height wheat.
In 1985, the Centers for Disease Control also began to track multiple health conditions, including diabetes. Here is the curve for diabetes:
Note that, from 1958 until 1985, the curve was climbing slowly. After 1985, the curve shifted sharply upward. (Not shown is the data point for 2010, an even steeper upward ascent.) Now diabetes is skyrocketing, projected to afflict 1 in 3 adults in the coming decades.
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