Records Found in Dusty Basement Undermine Decades of Dietary Advice


Christopher Ramsden specializes in excavating lost studies. In an excavation made possible by the sons of deceased scientist Ivan Frantz (principal investigator alongside Ancel Keys on the Minnesota Coronary Experiment) and technicians, who turned magnetic tape into formats readable with modern technology, raw data was unearthed from a 40-year-old study which found a shocking result, the Diet Heart Hypothesis was wrong.

Ramsden sought out the sons of the experiment’s principal scientist, Dr. Ivan Frantz of the University of Minnesota, who died in 2009. “I told him I recalled lots and lots of records, whole chests full of records—IBM [computer] tapes—back in Minnesota,” said Dr. Ivan Frantz III, a neonatologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

Dr. Robert Frantz, a physician at the Mayo Clinic, drove 90 minutes to his childhood home, to search file cabinets. On his third trip he spied mouldy boxes in the far corner of the basement. Inside were ancient magnetic computer tapes and reams of yellowed documents. It was a Eureka moment.

In the audio link above, Malcolm Gladwell,  author of six New York Times bestsellers, talks with Dr. Robert Frantz about his father’s obsession with hoarding data and how this discovery lifted the lid on decades of lost dietary findings which brings government guidelines around the world on dietary fat into question. So, sit back and absorb this fascinating account by sons who wanted the world to know the truth and highlight their fathers work and integrity. 

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