FAT CHANCE

Dieters aiming to lower their total fat intake may be missing the mark, according to a $415 million, eight-year study of almost 50,000 middle-aged women. According to results published earlier this month, low-fat diets don't reduce the risk of chronic diseases and cancers. Sensing easy punchlines, dozens of news reports exhorted readers to put down the salad fork and pick up a cheeseburger: It's official,

Dieters aiming to lower their total fat intake may be missing the mark, according to a $415 million, eight-year study of almost 50,000 middle-aged women. According to results published earlier this month, low-fat diets don't reduce the risk of chronic diseases and cancers. Sensing easy punchlines, dozens of news reports exhorted readers to put down the salad fork and pick up a cheeseburger: It's official, fat no longer matters.

"The media has forever not been able to get the correct messages out about health and nutrition," Dr. Fred Pescatore, author of "The Hampton's Diet," told WH.

Criticism aside, Pescatore wasn't surprised by the study's results - most physicians now agree that certain fats, including monounsaturated fats and omega-3s, are actually vital to good health. Cutting these out of a diet along with heart-clogging saturated and trans fats is like throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Expect ongoing confusion from customers; another study is already on the way.