Welcome all seeking refuge from low carb dogma!

“To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact”
~ Charles Darwin (it's evolutionary baybeee!)

Monday, May 15, 2017

Hypothalamic Damage and Its Role in Obesity ~ Part I: Background and Hypothalamic Obesity


It's no secret that my blogging has fallen off. There are a number of reasons for this, but one of them has been that I start some train of thought or down some research rabbit hole, and just never get around to finishing a post to my liking ... then things move on. This post is such a one. Unfortunately Blogger doesn't date drafts (or I didn't note it before I opened the draft with edit), but the original introduction referenced events that would indicate sometime in October 2015! 

It was also around that time that Robert Lustig came out with a study on NAFLD in children. Lustig has made a comeback in my comments section here of late. He has parlayed a career as a pediatric endocrinologist into a bizarre career as a celebrity doctor/researcher who blames obesity and all evils on one molecule: fructose. I say bizarre because he makes unfounded claim after unfounded claim after unfounded claim as regards fructose. Many of his offerings are backed by the University of California academic "credibility" where seemingly nobody in the sciences he mangles seems willing to vet or speak out against such misinformation. How he transitioned from a hypothalamic-model of obesity to fructose being the singular dietary bad guy is beyond me. But this post was the first in a series looking at such a model to explain "essential" or "ordinary" obesity of the modern day epidemic variety.

Lustig has been a go-to expert for a variety of more or less popular schlockumentaries, the most prominent of which might be Fed Up. So now we will be treated to Lustig on film in Tom Fat Head Naughton's latest assault on nutritional science: Fat Head Kids. I can think of nothing more despicable than to lie to children in furtherance of some bizarre agenda. Way to go Tom, you should be ashamed. More on that in a followup to Tom FatHead Naughton's Kooky thermodenyiK Katastrophe.

So I'm publishing up this incomplete post in advance of a somewhat detailed discussion of one of the studies.  

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Tom FatHead Naughton's Kooky thermodenyiK Katastrophe

It appears that Tom Naughton is making the podcast rounds promoting his new nutrition book for kids.  PLEASE, leave the kids out of it!  That goes for the zealots of all extreme camps including vegans and paleo and WAPF and whatever other diet cult imaginable.   Do not indoctrinate children into your eating disordered behaviors.

There are rare instances where ketogenic diets are therapeutic in children, and most of them -- epilepsy -- stay on the diet for the shortest time possible where therapeutic efficacy is achieved, and then wean from the diet.

You absolutely cannot make a case for children traditionally being raised on any sort of low carbohydrate diet, not even Zone/Ludwig/Hymanesque 40% levels.  In virtually every culture, the children of both genders consume a diet similar to their mother's ... the gardeners and gatherers.  Children of Tom's generation were raised on mixed diets that included processed foods.  Obesity existed but was not common.  Besides, cup-holders in cars are CLEARLY the cause of the obesity epidemic :-) [< /snarkasm> inside Asylum joke if you haven't read through any of my mega comments sections! ]

Now Naughton of course went on his friend Jimmy Moore's Livin la Vida Low Carb podcast.  Yawn.  Comments on his blog for that appearance were simply mind boggling.  Here is Jimmy Moore at a recent Ketokademy "performance".  I've been outspoken for years about this man's fraudulent "health blogging" and podcasting career.  At this point any ADULT who goes to him for advice gets what they deserve.  Any medical professional who affiliates with him -- including but not limited to Drs. Westman, Nally and Fung -- should be rightly criticized and exposed.  All others who affiliate with him, be it going on his podcast to sell their latest book/product/etc., inviting (and paying?!) him to speak at conferences, sharing the speaker stage with him, are simply compromised by doing so.  Shame on all of them.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Calories ...


One would think that the calorie or energy-balance denialists would have gotten a clue by now, but apparently this post needs bumping.  

If you make it through this post and still believe calories are some non-entity, that somehow insulin or any hormone can trump energy balance, I don't know what to say.

Original Post Date July 1, 2013    Calories ...

... or joules or ergs or foot·lbs or BTUs or eV or ...

These are all the same thing folks.  They are all units of energy. That we use different terms in different contexts doesn't mean we are talking about different things.  It's like different languages, be it vida or leben or liv or อายุการใช้งาน ... they all mean life.

The bastardizing of basic science in the Paleo and LLVLC realms is both ubiquitous and unrelenting.  This is what prompted me to start this blog.  I could really care less about the diet fads that come along that are obvious quackery, but this community is built on "our science is better" or "we understand the science", so wouldn't it be nice if that science is correct?

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Who Should Fund "Science"? Who Should Publish It?

Bump Again!

I've bumped this before.  I'm still alive and working on blogging, finishing off an installment about the Sugar Slammers.

I think this post is worth a read or re-read.  The Laura and John Arnold Foundation funds several non-profits all engaging in targeting sugar as the ultimate cause of everything.

Such funds are obscured as donations to universities.  Additionally other non-profits with clear agendas present themselves as taking no industry funding.  It's a dense mess.


I'm working on another post regarding conflicts of interest and such, and this came up on the background gathering.  A number of journals are adopting "noble" policies of no longer accepting industry funded studies.

Mind you, many of these same journals appear to have no qualms publishing the works of individuals with clear biases and conflicts.

I think this hard line on industry funding is wrong-headed.  Not that I'm a huge fan of many industry funded studies per se, but please read on.

If "industry" is not funding, then who is?  The government via NIH, NIDDK, etc.?   Some states have research funding initiatives.   Is any presumption of objectivity in funding disbursal even possible here??   I don't think so.  Indeed in many areas of science, government funding carries with it as much baggage as a dollar from Big Food, Big Pharma and Big Agra combined.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Testing Scientific Hypotheses v. Statistical Hypothesis Testing

Six plus years on.  Today's airing of Part III of Gary Taubes on LLVLC  led me to bump this post.

Original Post Date:  December 10, 2010.

"One of my goals here is to get the research community to understand that there is an alternative hypothesis that should actually be the null hypothesis — the hypothesis that requires remarkable evidence to reject. "                                             
~ Gary Taubes

"Many scientists consider Popper’s idea of falsification to be the only major improvement to the scientific method since Francis Bacon came up with the idea.
Although more complex mathematically than it appears on the surface what Popper’s falsification theory does is describes a way in which hypotheses can be stated with accuracy. Remember, an hypothesis is merely a guess or an assertion that requires testing before it can be said to be viable. Hypotheses can be stated in ways that, although they seem reasonable, can never really be tested. Popper wrote that the only way an hypothesis can be considered a valid hypothesis is if it can be falsified.
What does this mean exactly?

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Top Five Worst People in Nutrition/Obesity Research & Treatment

5.  Dr. Mark Hyman -- Because of his pop culture appeal coupled with the gravitas of "Cleaveland Clinic".   This man will stop at no mangling of the facts for personal enrichment.

4.  Gary Taubes -- Despite his own funded study (and countless before that), he continues to cling to his deliberately misrepresented hodge podge of facts supporting TWICHOO.  Still given legitimate ink in the press.  Sigh.

3.  Dr. Arya Sharma -- Big on the Canadian and international obesity stages.  Torch-carrier for obesity as an incurable disease that needs to be managed medically through useless pharmaceuticals.  Wears that darned red sweater too much (grin).

2.  Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian -- Heads up Tufts' nutrition research, big into sustainability and other things, huge pusher of veggie oils as "healthy fats", seemingly funded by anyone and everyone at some time that explains some of his more absurd commentary.  This high on the list as he is a frequent "expert" cited in reporting.  Teams up with #1 writing ludicrous editorials and going against everything smart they wrote back in 2010 about nutritionism.

1.  Dr. David Ludwig -- He's #1 because he is seemingly *the* go to "expert" these days.  Despite his own study demonstrating his circulating energy ideas to be wrong, he wrote a diet book on the concept.  Can be seen on the obesity stages championing the failed ideas of #4 and doggedly clings to another failed idea -- that being the glycemic index.  Hater of the lowly white potato.

Honorable Mentions too long to list.  Feel free to discuss/add in comments.  

Monday, November 28, 2016

Are the Super-Obese the Ones Who Are Metabolically Adapted?


The current theme of metabolic research seems to have settled on physiological changes, post-weight-loss in the obese, that set the person up for almost assured failure and regain.  It has been reported that the super-obese (usually a term for BMI>40) tend to have REEs that are higher than would be predicted by standard, generally accepted models such as Harris-Benedict or Mifflin-St.Jeor.  This is both what was seen in the Biggest Losers "before" weight loss, and was reported in comments on this blog by Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, who measures REE in the obese he treats.  

In order for a super-obese person to fully reverse their obesity, they will need to lose large amounts of weight -- 100, 200 or more pounds.   To do so, most will need to dramatically cut calories to lose at a rate that is motivating enough to sustain a fairly lengthy time period.  Even "fast" weight loss, reported by many, and especially gastric bypass patients, occurs over several months to a year ... or more.

It is well documented that REE will decline in most, and it will decline more precipitously in response to more drastic cuts in intake.  The individual variation in this response is often glossed over.  It has also been well documented that REE returns to normal levels once maintenance calories are consumed.  This is something that has now been replaced by the results after 6 years for 14 former contestants on The Biggest Loser.  The abysmal media reporting on that study has now placed a *fact* into the general discourse that the reason obesity is so difficult to reverse is a physiological one -- as the New York Times blared, "Their Bodies Fought to Regain Weight".  This was followed by an editorial by a neuroscientist, cautioning in the subtitle "The problem isn't willpower. It's neuroscience. Why you can't -- and shouldn't -- fight back. ".

In this blog, I will discuss how what Kevin Hall actually says about the Biggest Loser study clashes with interpretations, and where we agree.  I will then address where we disagree.   His bottom line appears to be that metabolic adaptation is defined as measuring REE when obese and then calculating what it should be at 100, 150, 200, etc. lbs lighter.  He focuses on change in REE being greater than would be predicted for the individual based on their super-obese metabolic starting point.  I disagree that this is an appropriate measure, and especially how this interpretation has been portrayed in the media.  As it turns out, the "after" subjects did not have depressed REEs when compared to others at that weight!  

I propose a "what if it's all been a big fat super-obese lie" question.  What if -- instead of the body fighting to maintain some re-set super-obese setpoint by "adapting" to calorie restriction and weight loss with a depressed metabolic rate  ... What if it is the super-obese who are exhibiting a metabolic adaptation to their chronically overfed state?

Friday, November 18, 2016

Is Metabolic Adaptation Real? Study 1 of ?

I am (STILL) working on a comprehensive post addressing "The Biggest Loser Regain" study and fallout.  But as I was going along the way, I'm finding some gems that really just need posts of their own.  This is one of them.  I'm also going to do my best to clean out the draft bin for the remainder of 2016!    [If you haven't seen the previous entry referencing this topic, here is a link.  If it is some time past the publish date of this current post, this link should be active for the TBLR post.]

Friday, October 28, 2016

The #LCHF Weight Loss Industry & Evangelizing Low Carb

I recently stumbled across this video.  It's a tough watch, but *this* epitomizes ALL that is wrong with the low carb weight loss industry.    For starters, diet really is religion for these folks as this get-together, marketing stunt for Dr. Eric Westman's HEAL Clinics/care, was held in a church.  There was prayer, there were references to God, and a collection, and paying it forward.   If you can't stomach too much of it (I don't blame you), I'll list a few time-stamps.  If anyone cares to give time stamps for various gems and ridiculous claims, please do so in comments!

11:35 Prayer ... 17:25 Melanie Miller takes the stage ... 17:33 Introduces Dr. Mark Cucuzzella ... 20:36 Dr. Mark speaks, thanks Jimmy Moore, talks about the movement, calls obese people in audience paradoxes! ... 23:30 Dr. Mark shares analogy that losing weight is like holding a beachball under water, don't try to hold it too far down!  ... 30:00 Success Story parade up on stage ... 43:37 Melanie introduces Jimmy Moore -- he's blessing us!  ... 44:23 Jimmy gets on stage to do his spiel ... 1:19:00 Melanie talks about HEAL (This is worth listening to if you can to get the full effect of an obese woman yelling at the audience to take control of their health and lives) ... 1:20:00 talks about sugar being the same as opioids for pain!!!!   ... 1:25:12  Melanie Miller "You gotta be honest with yourself".