Heart foundations globally keep beating to the tune of billions of dollars funding from product endorsement. I wouldn’t have such a problem with that were it not for heart foundations endorsing products that are anything but heart-healthy. The Heart Foundation of Australia even endorsed McDonalds products as healthy, for heaven’s sake. It very sensibly cut ties with the fast food chain in 2011. That was always likely to be a vain attempt to reclaim any vestige of credibility, given other unhealthy products it endorses. Another example is the Heart and Stroke Foundation of South Africa that still endorses margarine, although CEO Dr Vash Munghal-Singh tells me that’s under revision.
The Heart Foundation of Australia recently retired it’s endorsement ‘tick’, following the Canadian lead. It can look like one step forwards – but also two steps backwards. The foundation favours a new star rating system that is highly flawed, says Australian physician Dr Joe Kosterich. And like its opposite numbers worldwide, the foundation is fat-phobic. It still promotes low-fat, fat-free foods and a high-carbohydrate intake. It recently recommended people eat up to 14 servings of carbohydrate foods a day. That’s not just nuts; evidence suggests it can be a killer for both heart and diabetes patients. Here Kosterich looks at why heart foundations get it so wrong so often. – Marika Sboros
Dr Joe Kosterich
Here is something you are likely to have missed. The Heart Foundation of Australia, following Canada’s lead, is retiring its tick: