If you want to trace Americans' fear of fat, the place to start is the U.S. Senate, during the steamy days of July 1976.
That's when Sen. George McGovern called a hearing to raise attention to the links between diet and disease.
And what was the urgency? The economy was booming, and many Americans were living high on the hog. A 1954 Capitol Hill restaurant menu offers a glimpse of what lunch looked like then: steak with claret sauce, buttered succotash and pineapple cheesecake. But soon, that prosperity began to cast a dark shadow within the halls of Congress.
Americans who ate a diet rich in animal protein during middle age were significantly more likely to die from cancer and other causes, compared with people who reported going easy on foods such as red meat and cheese, fresh research suggests.
Moms-to-be are often reminded that they're eating for two. It's tempting to take this as an excuse to go for that extra scoop of the ice cream. (Believe me, I've been there.)
But a solid body of research suggests that expectant mothers should be walking away with the opposite message: Pregnancy should be a time to double-down on healthful eating if you want to avoid setting up your unborn child for a lifetime of wrestling with obesity.