Historical Events

Keys vs Pickering - Keys is embarrassed by lack of evidence for his diet-heart hypothesis.

A notable early example of this enduring controversy was “Keys versus Pickering”. The venue was the World Health Organization, and the year was 1955. There and then, Ancel Keys put forward his ideas expecting to be accepted on the spot, but he was challenged by Sir George Pickering, who according to witnesses said, “Yes, and Professor Keys would you be kind enough to cite for us the principle piece of evidence that you think supports this diet-heart theory of yours?” Keys’s evidence, at that time, was not convincing and his hypothesis was not accepted, which drove him to build the evidence that would allow him to prove his point.

Health revolutionary: the life and work of Ancel Keys, (Documenting Public Health Leadership project of the Associations of Schools of Public Health and the Health Resources and Services Administration), DVD. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Schoool of Public Health, 2002

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"The pivotal moment in Keys life -- Keys got up from being knocked around and said 'I'll show those guys'...and he designed the Seven Countries study." - Nina Teicholz - TBFS - Page 36

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