Speaking of Taubes and the Pima ...

I feel honored that James Krieger stopped by my little corner of the LC blogosphere recently!  He is a fellow critic of Gary Taubes and posted links to blog posts in comments here.  As he updates this series I'll link to them. 

Here was James' first installment:  Good Calories, Bad Calories: The Mythology of Obesity, or The Mythology of Gary Taubes?

In reading this I was reminded of a call-out I wanted to make on Mr. Taubes regarding the Pima Indians.  If one goes to ~7.5 minutes into this presentation, you will see a picture of the Pimas. 

EDIT 1/12/11:  The presentation appears to be broken.  I'm not sure if this is the same presentation, but it is available on You Tube (7 parts).  http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=gary+taubes+dartmouth&aq=f 
The slide in question appears around the 7 min mark.  I've posted the slide in question below.

Now the picture quality is poor, but the abundant food atop those heads seems to resemble that of carbohydrate extraction (looks like grains of some sort to me) more than anything else.  Certainly not a collection of rump roasts up there.  This is but one example of where Taubes shoots himself in the foot.   Right there on the screen (presumably much much larger in life) he depicts a society plentiful with carbohydrate-laden foods that is not obese.  This example does demonstrate that food availability on its own does not result in gluttony and obesity.  But at the same time it also demonstrates that carbs in and of themselves, even lots of 'em, don't necessarily lead to obesity.  Perhaps Mr. Taubes should be even more selective in his presentations of relatively obscure cultures.

I've also got to say that either Taubes has not a clue regarding "poverty" in America or he's practicing willful ignorance of why obesity is so prevalent amongst the poor in this country.  I suggest the man go to a lower class neighborhood and see how many eat and live.  There's no great mystery to obesity running rampant in these communities.


James Krieger said…
Thanks for linking to my site!

It's amazing how intellectually dishonest Taubes is. This stuff is just the tip of the iceberg.
CarbSane said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
benn686 said…

The presentation link appears dead.

I thought the Pima Indians had one of the highest obesity/diabetes rates because of either genetics or their high fiber, starchy, low fat diet (due to poverty). Is this what the slides are about?
CarbSane said…
Welcome benn686! I edited the post to link to what I think is a similar if not the same lecture on YouTube along with the slide. He describes the traditional relatively affluent Pima as "sprightly" ... the problem is the *abundant* foods depicted in the pic of these Pima is carbohydrate in nature.