Dietary fats are a vital component of the regular diets of nearly all mammals. They collectively comprise one of the three macronutrient food sources — along with protein and carbohydrates — that are eligible for consumption. However, for several decades of the 20th century, millions of human beings fell prey to advertising campaigns and misinformation suggesting that we’d all be better off without fats.
The first true conflation of body fat and dietary fat appears to have been born out of the aggressive promotion of skim milk by the dairy industry. Newspaper ads began to surface that hawked fat-free milk as the requisite tool for a svelte appearance.
Something not mentioned in the article, though, is that as the fat is removed from food, the taste tends to go with it, so manufacturers often added sugar or artificial sweeteners to compensate. Today still you'll see fat-free yoghurt will usually state they are sweetened, whilst the unsweetened yoghurt will be the double-cream variety.
See The Big Fat Lie of the Fat-Free Food Movement
For decades, consumers were duped into believing that a fat-free food label would put them on the fast track to weight loss, when the complete opposite was true. Here’s the real skinny behind the marketing campaigns that defied the core tenets of nutrition