Good Calories, Bad Calories: The Mythology of Obesity, or The Mythology of Gary Taubes?

In my last post on Gary Taubes and his book Good Calories, Bad Calories, I stated that I would do a chapter-by-chapter critique of the book, starting with Chapter 14, "The Mythology of Obesity".  In this chapter, Taubes begins to create a mystery that doesn't actually exist.  He does this through a combination of logical fallacies, selective quotation of out-dated scientific data, and leaving out existing data that conflicts with his statements.

Taubes opens the chapter with this sentence: 

"Critical to the success of any scientific enterprise is the ability to make accurate and unbiased observations."

He then goes on to say:

"...if the initial observations are incorrect or incomplete, then we will distort what it is we're trying to explain."

Taubes is correct in these statements.  Unfortunately he doesn't follow his own advice.  He notes the hypothesis that obesity is due to excess calorie consumption and/or inadequate physical activity, and then says that this hypothesis fails to explain the evidence and observations. 

However, what Taubes fails to realize is that it only fails to explain the evidence and observations when you leave out important information regarding that evidence or those observations.

Taubes's First Big Boo Boo

Taubes makes his first big mistake on the very first page of this chapter.  He writes:

Lean people will often insist that the secret to their success is eating in moderation, but many fat people insist that they eat no more than the lean - surprising as it seems, the evidence backs this up - and yet are fat nonetheless.  As the National Academy of Sciences report Diet and Health phrased it, "Most studies comparing normal and overweight people suggest that those who are overweight eat fewer calories than those of normal weight."  Researchers and public-health officials nonetheless insist that obesity is caused by overeating, without attempting to explain how these two notions can be reconciled.

The last statement in that paragraph is blatantly false.  These two notions have been reconciled over and over again in numerous studies.  It is well established that overweight people underreport their food intake on average.  In fact, there is a huge volume of literature of on this...so huge that it is surprising that Taubes missed it all.  The underreporting is quite severe.  One study comparing obese twins to their non-obese twin counterparts indicated underreporting of 764 calories per day.  Another study indicated obese subjects to be underreporting their calorie intake by over a thousand calories per day.  This is just a fraction of the data that is out there.  Yet, Taubes selectively quotes out-dated research that relied on self-report of food intake.  Taubes's reliance on out-dated and low quality data will be a consistent theme through the remainder of his book.

The phenomena of underreporting is verified when you supply overweight people with the amount of calories they claim to be eating.  In one study, women who claimed to be eating 1200 calories per day were supplied with that actual amount of food intake.  What happened?  They lost 1.7 pounds per week.  George Bray reported on a similar clinical experience.

My own clinical experience also verifies this.  For example, we had one individual who was not losing weight.  She swore to the dietitian that she was following the program.  One day, her husband came into the dietitian session with her.  He ratted her out and said she was eating 8 tablespoons of peanut butter per day and wasn't recording it in her food log.  That's over 800 calories per day of food intake that she wasn't reporting.  It is no wonder why she was not losing weight.  This is not to say that everyone who underreports food intake is blatantly lying about it.  Many people simply do a poor job of estimating their food intake.  But the fact is, people underreport their food intake.

Taubes, through selective cherry-picking, tries to create a mystery where there is no mystery.  He calls the idea of energy imbalance a "hypothesis", yet fails to consider not only the data mentioned above, but all of the controlled studies that demonstrate experimental overfeeding to create weight gain.  Researchers insist that overeating causes obesity because that's exactly what the data shows, despite Taubes's attempts to spin it otherwise.

The "Carbohydrate or Calorie" False Dichotomy

Taubes moves on to discuss data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination (NHANES) survey.  From 1971 to 2000, this data showed an increase in calorie and carbohydrate intake (as a percentage of calories) in the U.S. population, while fat intake decreased.  Taubes then states:

This increase in energy intake...was "attributable primarily to an increase in carbohydrate intake."...The NHANES data suggest that either calorie or carbohydrates could account for the increase in weight...

Taubes creates a false dichotomy here by asserting that either the increased calorie intake, or the increased carbohydrate intake, was responsible for the weight gain.  However, it's not "either/or" because the two are not independent of each other.  The increased carbohydrate intake IS the increased calorie intake, so you cannot separate the two.  Taubes creates a dichotomy where none exists.

Anecdotes and Newspaper Articles are Not Scientific Evidence

Taubes goes on to discuss physical activity.  He talks about the "exercise explosion" of the 1970's and 80's, implying that Americans were more active than ever.  However, what does he cite to support this?  Some anecdotes and newspaper articles from the New York Times and the Washington Post.  He also cites statistics on the revenues of health clubs.

It is absurd to imply that physical activity is high based on some newspaper articles and gym revenues.  For example, many people join gyms but don't go, or go infrequently.  And no matter how many Americans were supposedly partaking in the "fitness revolution", it is not statistical evidence of how truly active Americans were.   Also, formal exercise only represents a small portion of total daily energy expenditure.  When it comes to physical activity, we are concerned with all physical activity throughout the day, not just formal exercise.  Gym memberships and the "fitness revolution" are not indicative of 24-hour energy expenditure.

If you look at the science rather than anecdote, you get a different picture.  While there isn't good survey data regarding physical activity from the 1970's and early 1980's, the CDC does have data on leisure-time physical activity trends from 1988 to 2008:

Now, this is just leisure time physical activity, and not 24-hour activity.  However, you can see that the trend was mostly flat, with a slight downtrend in this decade.  This data indicates that 1/3 of Americans participate in no leisure time physical activity at all.  Taubes's numbers on gym memberships are meaningless, and his claims of a "fitness revolution" do not hold when you look at the data.

There is also data out of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area between 1980 and 2000.  The percentage of individuals engaging in physical activity for 30 or more minutes, at least 5 times per week, was only 8-12%.  Only 1% participated in 60 minutes daily.  While this is not national data, the results were similar to what has been observed on a national level, and contradict Taubes's implication of an "exercise or sports epidemic" in America.

There is also data estimating the cost of mechanization (dishwashers, elevators, cars, etc.) to our daily energy expenditure.  It is estimated that we expend an average of 111 calories per day less, which, if not compensated by lower food intake, would result in substantial weight gain over many years.

In the usual fashion, Taubes creates a physical activity paradox where none exists.

The Poverty/Obesity Relationship:  Not A Contradiction After All

Taubes moves on to address another apparent contradiction...that obesity rates tend to be higher among the poorest members of society.  Taubes considers this a contradiction for two reasons.  First, he presumes that the poorest members of society are also the hardest-working, have less access to labor-saving devices, and thus are the most physically active.  Second, he presumes that they are undernourished and do not eat very much.

Of course, these are both assumptions.  Interestingly, Taubes criticizes advocates of the thrifty-gene hypothesis for making assumptions.  Perhaps Taubes should take a look at his own assumptions.

When you actually investigate the scientific data, you will find that Taubes's assumptions do not hold.  First, let's look at the presumption of low calorie intake.  There is a wealth of data that shows that the calorie intake of people living in poverty is not low.  In fact, people in poverty are more likely to consume energy-dense foods, because energy-dense foods are much lower in price.  There is an inverse relationship between the energy density of foods and price.  Here is a chart showing food prices from Seattle supermarkets in 2006:

 

You can see that the least expensive foods are both the fats and the refined carbohydrate foods, so one cannot simply point a finger at carbohydrates here.  In fact, there is a several thousand percent difference between the cost of vegetable oils and sugars compared to fresh produce.  It is very easy to overconsume calories when eating energy dense foods.  In fact, the energy density of foods plays a role in regulation of food intake, and high energy-density foods lead to passive overconsumption (meaning you consume more calories without noticing it, or without adequate feelings of fullness).  For a given volume of food, the greater the energy density of your diet, the more calories you will eat.  Thus, you can actually spend less and eat more.

People in poverty are more likely to underreport their food intake.  They are also  more likely to skip breakfast, which can result in appetite dysregulation and greater daily energy intakes (interestingly, adolescent breakfast skippers also have lower carbohydrate intakes).  Also, low-income urban neighborhoods have a high density of small food stores, which carry mostly energy-dense foods.

Let's also look at the presumption of high activity.  This does not hold when one looks at the data.  According to NHANES, leisure time physical inactivity is higher in people below the poverty line compared to people above the line.  This is particularly true among women, where obesity rates also tend to be higher.

On top of all that, Taubes fails to consider that obesity rates for higher socioeconomic classes increased at a higher rate than lower socioeconomic classes from 1976 to 2008.

The bottom line is that poverty does not mean chronic energy deficiency or high physical activity.  In fact, impoverished populations with true chronic energy deficiency have almost no obesity.

Pima Problems

Taubes continues to get it wrong when he moves to discuss the Pima Indians, again relying on old data from the 1800's and eary 1900's, including journals and anecdotes rather than rigorous scientific research.  He discusses how the Pimas went from food abundance to poverty when placed on reservations, along with a corresponding rise in obesity.  He implies that it could not have been due to an increase in energy intake or a decrease in physical activity.  His support for that?  Anecdotes from anthropologists.  Taubes relies heavily on anecdotes from anthropologists Frank Russell and Ales Hrdlicka.  Taubes comments how obesity was most prevalent among the Pima women, who also (supposedly) "worked considerably harder than the men", and mentions how Russell was not particularly confident that the Pima were no longer active (I'm not sure how Taubes can infer Russell's level of confidence from written words).    He mentions the low fat intake of the Pima (24% of calories, according to data from the physician Frank Hesse), and the high intakes of refined flour, sugar, and canned fruits.  The implication, of course, is that it's the carbohydrates causing the obesity, not elevated energy intake and/or reduced energy expenditure.

When one looks at more modern, higher quality scientific data, we get a different story.  There is a group of Pima Indians living in a remote region of the Sierra Madre Mountains in an area only recently accessible by road.  These Pima have experienced little change in environmental conditions, and continue to lead the traditional lifestyle of the Pimas of the 1800's.  A number of studies have compared these Pima Indians to the U.S. Pima Indians living on reservations.  Rates of obesity are dramatically lower among the Mexican Pimas compared to the U.S. Pimas, while physical activity levels are 2.5-7 times higher.  Direct measurements of energy expenditure using doubly-labeled water have shown the energy expenditure of the Mexican Pimas to be 600 calories per day higher than U.S. Pimas.  The Mexican Pima Indians have a diet of over 60% carbohydrate, and around 26% fat.  Estimates of the traditional Pima diet before the influx of the white man place the carbohydrate intake even higher at 70-80% carbohydrate.  So much for carbohydrate causing obesity!

Chapter 14:  Nothing But Mythology

The bottom line is that the vast majority of the information in chapter 14 is misleading and based on very selective reporting of mostly old, low quality data.  Unfortunately this journalistic style of Taubes continues through the rest of the book.  Supposedly Taubes did 6 years of research for this book, yet it took me only a few days of PubMed searches to find better research.  Chapter 14 is more an exercise in confirmation bias than true scientific inquiry.

I will discuss Chapter 15, "Hunger", in a future blog post.


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Fred Hahn
9 years ago

And for all of you who don’t know this, GCBC could easily have been 3 times as long or longer if Gary’s editor would have allowed it. And understand this – it is absolutely OK to purposefully omit data that appears to counter your argument or hypothesis if you deem and can support the fact that such data is misinterpreted, meaning worthless. Why take up the space? Just because James feels that some of the data left out of GCBC for reasons of publishing were valid and should have been included, doesn’t mean it should have been included. James isn’t… Read more »

Schmoe
Schmoe
9 years ago
Reply to  Fred Hahn

James isn’t even a scientist let alone a professional journalist.

What do you think is necessary to be considered a “scientist”?

Fred Hahn
9 years ago
Reply to  Schmoe

Employed as one, usually if not always with a PhD in the sciences.

Schmoe
Schmoe
9 years ago
Reply to  Fred Hahn

Where did you get that definition?

Fred Hahn
9 years ago
Reply to  Schmoe

What’s yours?

Schmoe
Schmoe
9 years ago
Reply to  Fred Hahn

What’s yours?  

I’m not familiar with What’s Yours? Who publishes that?

CarbSane
CarbSane
9 years ago
Reply to  Fred Hahn

And understand this – it is absolutely OK to purposefully omit data that appears to counter your argument or hypothesis if you deem and can support the fact that such data is misinterpreted, meaning worthless. What if the data is in a study cited in the bibliography, yet three years post publication someone continues to ignore the information? Mister Taubes has never deemed, nor can he support the fact there’s a carb load of data out there that blows his G3P hypothesis out of the water. A “hypothesis” he presents as if it is fact, and his followers regurgitate dutifully.

CarbSane
CarbSane
9 years ago
Reply to  CarbSane

{crickets chirping}

Fred Hahn
9 years ago

James said:

“The Okinawans eat extremely high carbohydrate diets and are among the longest-living people in the world. Perhaps you should re-examine your assumptions.”

Please cite the evidence to support this claim and define “extreme” please.

Fred Hahn
9 years ago
Reply to  James Krieger

This paper proves nothing.

“…particularly the traditional diet, which is low in calories yet nutritionally dense,…”

There you have it.

To suggest that the Okinawans eat a high carb diet all the while knowing they eat very little calories and much of their carbs from vegetables and fruit in order to support your assertion that a high carb diet can be healthful is slippery.

And of the ten verified oldest people who ever lived, 4 were Americans and 3 were Japanese none from Okinawa. And Italy tops Japan for the oldest population.

Fred Hahn
9 years ago
Reply to  James Krieger

The traditional Okinawan diet has a composition of 85% carbohydrate, 9% protein, and 6% fat  

Similar papers have the Okinawan diets being assessed post WWII after their lifestyles were devastated. It seems reasonable to assume that using 1949 as a year to assess a typical Okinawan diet is a guess. We need to know what they ate before the war to more accurately judge their typical fare.

Fred Hahn
9 years ago

James you said: “Low-carbohydrate diets are certainly an effective strategy for some people intending to lose weight…but they are not the only strategy, nor are they the best strategy for everyone. And they do not work for the reasons that some people think they work.” 1. What sorts of people would a low carb diet NOT be an effective strategy for losing fat and improving internal health markers? Please give examples. Skip the rare cases like people who are missing their gall bladders. 2. In whom would raising carbohydrates be a better strategy for fat loss? We all realize that… Read more »

Jordan D.
9 years ago
Reply to  Fred Hahn

Fred: “2. In whom would raising carbohydrates be a better strategy for fat loss?” The people who would better adhere to a high carb diet. Adherence is key. What if one is miserable on a low carb diet, but enjoys a high carb diet? I assume adherence would be better for the latter. I ate a low carb diet years ago, and I’m on a low-cal diet now. I much prefer the low-cal approach. It’s so wonderful to not have to worry about carbs, to eat any type of food I want, from any food group or category, as long… Read more »

Fred Hahn
9 years ago
Reply to  Jordan D.

“The people who would better adhere to a high carb diet. Adherence is key. What if one is miserable on a low carb diet, but enjoys a high carb diet? I assume adherence would be better for the latter.” I am not talking adherence. I am talking physiologically. “I ate a low carb diet years ago, and I’m on a low-cal diet now. I much prefer the low-cal approach. It’s so wonderful to not have to worry about carbs, to eat any type of food I want, from any food group or category, as long as I’m in a deficit.… Read more »

Fred Hahn
9 years ago
Reply to  James Krieger

“Any proposed physiological superiority of a diet is irrelevant if someone doesn’t want to stick with the diet in the first place.” That’s a cop-out. If a doctor prescribes a drug for a condition, and it is the best drug for that condition, he still prescribes it even though the patient might not take it. If people were taught that the low carb approach was the most healthful, they just might stick to it seeing as how it is a very delicious and satiating way to eat. The fact is, a low carb diet a la Protein Power, Paleo Diet,… Read more »

Fred Hahn
9 years ago
Reply to  James Krieger

Wow. So let me get this straight Jim, lowering BP, increasing insulin sensitivity, lowering triglycerides, increasing HDL, altering LDL particle size, etc. all achieved in a superior fashion via a low carb diet is meaningless because we don’t know if any of these benefits are actually benefits in the long term. Is that your argument? And no – sometimes there is NOT more than one substance to treat a condition. Sometimes there is only one like insulin. The problem is that no one is teaching people that a low carb approach is the most healthful – for everyone. You evaded… Read more »

Fred Hahn
9 years ago
Reply to  James Krieger

Really? You need to look a bit closer James. ALL of the people in the CR (carb restricted) diet had lower TCG. Most in the CR group had improvements in HDL-C. A few of the individuals went down a bit in HDL-C BUT ALL of the CR subjects improved their overall TCG/HDL ratio which is more important than total HDL-C. BMI improved in ALL of the CR participants. LDL-C was a toss up. Half in both groups did better or worse so for LDL-C it’s a toss up which diet you choose. TC (total cholesterol) went up in some of… Read more »

Fred Hahn
9 years ago
Reply to  Fred Hahn

“If your total HDL goes up due to HDL going up this is good.”

I meant to say if your total cholesterol goes up…

Jordan D.
9 years ago
Reply to  Fred Hahn

Fred: “I am not talking adherence. I am talking physiologically.” You asked about a “strategy for weight loss.” I think adherence is an important element of any successful weight loss strategy. As James wrote, the diet doesn’t matter if someone can’t or won’t follow it. “First of all, you say it is so wonderful not to have to worry about carbs yet you now have to worry about calories.” Yes, but I can eat a variety of foods, and I can eat what I like to eat. For example, last night I had pizza. 🙂 “How long will you sustain… Read more »

Fred Hahn
9 years ago
Reply to  Jordan D.

You probably didn’t measure it but I can guarantee you you’ve lost a good deal of lean mass going from 255 to 200. How long has it taken you do lose the 55 pounds?

The foods you list are good ones save for the pizza.

Jordan D.
9 years ago
Reply to  Fred Hahn

Fred: “You probably didn’t measure it but I can guarantee you you’ve lost a good deal of lean mass going from 255 to 200. ” Nope. Not happening. Your scaremongering won’t work on me. It may work on others, but not me. I put up with all that hysteria and scaremongering on the Internet for years. No more. I’m done with it. Sorry, Fred. I hate to break it to you, but I’m feeling good and healthy and losing weight and there’s not a damn thing you can do about! I’m also strength training, and that’s gone well. And no,… Read more »

Muata
9 years ago
Reply to  James Krieger

Of course Jordan has lost some lean mass going from 255 – 200, but that’s normal. The same lean mass that he gained along with fat going from 200 – 255 his body simply doesn’t need to move around a heavier load, so it uses it. This happens on ANY diet, regardless of composition. However, as James notes, following a LC diet can help you lose a bit less LBM; however, the same thing could be achieved by making sure that your eating enough protein that helps to offset your body form using it’s own tissues. Lyle McDonald does a… Read more »

Fred Hahn
9 years ago
Reply to  James Krieger

From the paper:

“These additional losses probably are associated with the 0.7 MJ/d lower energy intake with the LC diet than with the MC diet.”

They didn’t take in the same amount of calories. Had they, we might have seen no difference in lean mass loss in the LC group. The LC group ate 12 grams less protein per day.

Fred Hahn
9 years ago
Reply to  James Krieger

12 grams less protein per day is a miniscule amount and isn’t biologically significant, let alone statistically significant.It is absurd to suggest that this small difference played any role, particularly since this amount is well within the margin of error of dietary assessment.Even if energy intake had been equivalent and there had been no difference in FFM loss, it flies in the face of claims of superiority of a LC diet for maintaining muscle.It has also been found in other research that ketosis provides no advantage in improving protein retention during a fed state.   If I could find the link,… Read more »

Fred Hahn
9 years ago
Reply to  Muata

Why do you assume he had more lean mass at 255? How do you know. Often, though not always, obese people have less lean mass. I’ll dig up the papers on this – the research I am talking about was discussed at the Nutrition and Metabolism Society symposium in 2009. I believe Dr. Paddon-Jones presented it.

I am suggesting that simply eating less food will-nilly, eating whatever you like like pizza and pie and just eating less in total is NOT a healthy way to lose.

Muata
9 years ago
Reply to  Fred Hahn

Because to move around a 255 lb. man takes more FFM/LBM than it does to move around a 200lb man. How can obese people have less lean mass when they have a higher metabolism than their lean counterparts, especially when FFM/LBM is used as a major predictor of a person’s metabolic rate? Also, when you consider that FFM/LBM is basically anything that’s not fat, then it becomes clear that obese folks have more because their organs (part of their FFM) are larger than their lean or smaller counterparts. Also, when your throw in water, connective tissues, skeletal muscle, etc., it… Read more »

CarbSane
CarbSane
9 years ago
Reply to  Fred Hahn

Why do you assume he had more lean mass at 255?

Read this study that I blogged about because e results caught my eye because of my body composition, weight and size.

How someone in your position can even question this is surprising. Shocking really.

Fred Hahn
9 years ago
Reply to  James Krieger

“This is what is amazing about you, Fred. You are completely unable to accept that someone had a successful approach that does not involve low carbohydrate. This person is both happy and healthy using this approach” It’s not a matter of acceptance Jim. It’s a matter of whether or not he is losing fat in the healthiest and expeditious way possible – something you obviously could care less about. My acceptance is beside the point. When I talk to clients I try to give them the best choice possible and educate them as best as I can. If they choose… Read more »

Fred Hahn
9 years ago
Reply to  James Krieger

“People who don’t like low-carb diets. People who aren’t willing to adhere to a low-carb diet. People who feel miserable on low-carb diets. People who like to engage in high amounts of exercise where carbohydrate is a primary fuel source. People who want a more moderate approach.” Sorry I should have clarified. Physiologically speaking, who would do better? Some people find it better to smoke less than to quit. that doesn’t make light smoking healthy. “Tell that to the traditional Okinawans who don’t have any insulin resistance yet consume a diet of mostly carbohydrate.” They eat a low calorie diet… Read more »

Fred Hahn
9 years ago
Reply to  James Krieger

I cannot pull the full text of this:

http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/117986031/abstract

I’d like to read it. Would you mind sending it my way? Thanks.

Fred Hahn
9 years ago
Reply to  James Krieger

“The traditional Okinawan diet was estimated to be around 1,785 calories per day. At 85% carbohydrate, that’s 379 grams of carbohydrate per day. Wow, so you’re claiming that 379 grams of carbohydrate per day is a low carbohydrate diet? Apparently you have absolutely no standards regarding what is considered low.” From what I can tell, the diet data is from 1949 – a few years after the end of the war. I highly doubt that they were eating their usual and typical fare at this devastating period in their time. We need data from pre-war times to accurately assess what… Read more »

BaronSky
BaronSky
9 years ago

Shelly Smith – reading comprehension is not your strong suit apparently. James never said that the anecdote of the peanut butter eater was *evidence* of anything. He offered it as an *example* of what scientific research bears out – that the overweight under-report how much they eat. James posted hyperlinks to this scientific research; how could you miss it? The rest of your post sinks to the level of a straw man argument and therefore doesn’t even deserve a response.

It has begun…LMAO!

Shelly Smith
Shelly Smith
9 years ago

Anecdotes are not scientific evidence – unless they’re your anecdotes, and every single obese person sneaks spoonfuls of peanut butter, because your anecdote saying that one did.

When you advocate high-carb diets, you advocate sickness and death – and you profit from this, too. That’s horrible, and I don’t know how people like you can live with yourselves. But hey, keeping people fat and sick helps put more money in your pocket. I totally understand that.

Jean Paulo
Jean Paulo
9 years ago

I can’t stand all these nonsensical theories why carbs are evil blah blah, insulin causes fat storage regardless of calorie balance etc.

Keep up the great work Mr. Krieger

Jean Paulo
Jean Paulo
9 years ago
BaronSky
BaronSky
9 years ago

I’m looking forward to your future posts in this series! When you get a chance, please check out this blog post: http://tinyurl.com/2c5gm5m The blogger presents some fairly bullet-proof evidence that Taubes may have willfully disregarded scientific information that did not agree with his thesis. It has to do with the idea presented in GCBC that the glycerol portion of triglycerides can only be produced from glucose. She uses GCBC’s reference list to show that Taubes came across a review paper that discusses glyceroneogenesis (the creation of glycerol phosphate from non-carbohydrate precursors) in detail. The notion that glucose must be available… Read more »

David Boothman
David Boothman
9 years ago

Outdated means not written by your friends. This is how peer review now works. Facts expire with the cohort that produced them to be replaced by childish attempts at science by their replacements. It reminds of the barbarians camping in the remains of London after the Romans left and marveling at the sewers that once worked. Get used to it, the financial debacle and losing your house is just the start. The know-it-all syndrome is not isolated to finance.

Lucas Tafur
9 years ago

Good Critique. I am a low carbohydrate advocate, but dont share many Taubes’ ideas. From your article: “They are also more likely to skip breakfast, which can result in appetite dysregulation and greater daily energy intakes (interestingly, adolescent breakfast skippers also have lower carbohydrate intakes).” There is nothing wrong with skipping breakfast, on the contrary, it might be beneficial as it includes a fasting period. Most studies that show that eating breakfast is better than not is because a. The trial is made in such a short time that metabolic adaptations (regarding mostly the circadian rhythm) dont occur (actually, IF… Read more »

Fred Hahn
9 years ago
Reply to  James Krieger

There is little solid scientific evidence that a low carb approach is any better than moderate intakes regarding health.In fact, good health can occur across a broad spectrum of macronutrient intakes.  

We can start with this one:

http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/DietaryGuidelines/2010/Meeting2/CommentAttachments/Feinman-Volek2009-170.pdf

Fred Hahn
9 years ago
Reply to  James Krieger

“Why don’t you look at the individual responses to the diets and maybe you would realize that the “one-size-fits-all” approach doesn’t fit all. Like I’ve said before, I’m not against low-carb diets in any way. But the fact is they don’t work for everyone, which has been my consistent position this entire time.” I have looked at them and LC does work for everyone who follows the diet. They just work better for some, for reasons that should be painfully obvious. Conversely, high carb does not work better for anyone for improving health markers. For reversing the effects of classic… Read more »

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