Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Battle of the Diets

One that was doing the rounds last year and worth looking at again:


Beth@IDblog said...

Here is a link to slides from this study from a different presentation. Good stuff!!

Asclepius said...

Hi Beth - thanks for the link.

Also, well done for some good comments on DC's Improbable Science site. I was not going to get involved, but you could see the knee-jerk reaction from so many commentators on the whole issue of 'bodymass = calories in - calories out'.

I am thoroughly impressed by DC's comments. He is at least listening/reading and taking time to understand GT's position - which is good to see.

GT might be wrong (although I think he is largely correct), but if so, then we need to understand 'why', as the quality of his work deserves detailed criticism far beyond a simple 'eat less, do more' reaction.

Beth@IDblog said...

Thanks for the kind words. Re Taubes, I don't think he's wrong (I agree with DC on the usefulness of Taube's 10 summary points), but I think it's also fair to say that Taubes' hypothesis doesn't explain all the data either (e.g., cultures who seem to tolerate higher carb diets).

However, unlike the thermodynamics folks, I don't think that means that it's just calories in vs calories out. I think there's something else that's a trigger of some sort. Maybe, a la Lustig, it's fructose. But we'll never figure that out if we don't do what Taubes suggests and seriously investigate this, something the thermo folks seem unwilling to do.

BTW, just for fun, you may want check out Andrew Weil supporting Taubes on Larry King from 2007 if you haven't already seen it:

And check out Darya Pino's review from just this week:

Asclepius said...

Agree with you wholeheartedly.

You must have seen the discussion on Stephan's blog about the body fat set-point? It seems that elevated levels of insulin and reduced insulin sensitivity can set off a whole cascade of other problems that may not simply be readdressed by going paleo.

These 'downstream' consequences cloud the picture. That is one of the problems we now face. Not only is the basic research messed up with regards to diet and nutrition, but we have been obese for sooooo long that some of the grounds for obesity my actually be shifting (I am thinking leptin).

Thanks for the links.

All the best.