Paleo Science and the Paleo Diet II
Have a listen to just 30 seconds of Robb Wolf, Diplomat Extraordinaire for Paleo™ from his recent podcast on the Christina Warinner Debunking Paleo video ... transcript here.
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Alan Aragon, highly respected author of the popular and informative Alan Aragon's Research Review, spoke recently at a conference of the National Strength and Conditioning Association, NSCA. They recently put the slides from his presentation online HERE.
Please do expend some "skull sweat" as Robb calls it to inform yourself of the full content of Alan's presentation. Do especially take note of slide 53 which summarizes the paleo studies (some of which) Robb makes frequent reference to (and most of which I've discussed here). Also take note that
slides throughout are referenced "inline" -- in other words, if you want to check what Alan's references say against his representations of them, there's no guesswork involved. You won't need to "stalk" the study to find out something as simple as what the diet was that was tested or study design, etc. The references, all 9 slides and 51 of them are almost entirely to the peer review literature with nary a reference to YouTube videos and NYT Best Selling diet book authors. This is in stark contrast to such noted paleo/primal diet "leading nutritional experts" that like to pepper their books with laundry lists of unnumbered references which are almost impossible to decipher (I get the feeling that is the point) who get all bent out of shape when nobody has read their book. Worse yet if one has read the book and dares ask a question ....
So, have one more listen please ...
"But anyway at 55 seconds in, Prof. Warinner says this idea was originally started in 1970s. That is absolutely false and part of the frustration around this is that the people who cared to comment on this and whether it’s Alan Aragon of a variety of people they don’t do any goddamn homework on what the topic is. They come in portray this fairly airtight analysis of the topic and I need to actually circle back around on Alan’s stuff. Yeah, just as an aside putting a mental note on that." (faded lead in not in audio clip)
A few classic quotes from the podcast:
"But for this thing being a debunking of the paleo diet, when you debunk something, you need to start with the first principles of what the thing is talking about. Prof. Warinner absolutely did not do that. It’s frustrating considering her background, her education, her station. It’s kind of appalling and I tried not to be too big of a dick on the written piece that I did. Tried to be respectful but you know, as time has gone on, I’ve actually gotten more annoyed at the whole situation because the anthropology community should be spearheading the changes in our nutritional science scene that could literally turn the titanic around save our bacon and they’re not.
"It’s my observation that the anthropology community, people like Leslie Aiello. Aiello who interestingly, she did some of the really seminal early paleo diet work having aboriginals eat a traditional diet relative to the westernized diet and reverse type 2 diabetes. Yet she at the recent CARTA conference was really hammering on the paleo diet.
My sense with all this is that the orthodox or the professional anthropologists are kind of miffed that biochemists and doctors and exercise physiologists, everybody except anthropologists are talking about anthropology and taking about paleo diet much, much more and much more effectively than what the folks in the actual discipline are doing. I think these folks are kind of feeling like they’re losing control of their own discipline and maybe it’s been taken out of context or something like that.
I just searched for Aiello in Robb's book. Yeah, I know, stalking. Not there. This book was released in September of 2010. It's no GCBC multi-PhD-thesis masterpiece, so I'm going to generously put a January 2009 cut-off date on any "new information" that might not have made it into the book (despite the fact that if you're citing science, one does a thorough search before embarking on such a feat, and routinely monitors the current literature during the process). Here's the Amazon blurb:
Do you want to lose fat and stay young, all while avoiding cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and a host of other illnesses? The Paleo Solution incorporates the latest, cutting edge research from genetics, biochemistry and anthropology to help you look, feel and perform your best. Written by Robb Wolf, a research biochemist who traded in his lab coat and pocket protector for a whistle and a stopwatch to become one of the most sought after strength and conditioning coaches in the world. With Robb's unique perspective as both scientist and coach you will learn how simple nutrition, exercise and lifestyle changes can radically change your appearance and health for the better.
I would note that the title of the book (emphasis mine) is the Paleo Solution, subtitled The Original Human DIET(no s). You will be transformed in 30 days, lose weight, get fit and reverse disease. Of course nowadays many of you will need overpriced supplements (pictured in Alan's presentation) Robb (with Chris Kresser) sells to adapt to this miracle diet we evolved to consume. More annoying however is that for all the certitude with which TPS reads, and there's no getting away from the singular, Robb is now leading a chorus of "it's a starting point" chants (similar to "personalizing paleo", moving "beyond paleo", applying a "paleo template" or paleo being a "framework").
I'm going to leave this here for now, but just wanted to bring everyone's attention to the fact that Robb's bad boy of paleo behavior is not limited to those he can throw in with stalkers to trash.