Bad What?: Science? -- Reporting? -- Blogging/Sharing?

Confession time.  I found out about that recent LC v. LF diet study from Andreas Eenfeldt's blog.  Andreas seems woefully misguided into thinking that obese Americans got that way listening to US Government guidelines and eating a low fat diet.  Any and every study that shows some advantage for LC is rapidly added to his list demonstrating that LCHF is superior and LF diets are nothing short of criminal at this point.  I'll have some personal things to say about all of this at the end of the post.  Gossip Mongers can skip to there if you like ;-) (scroll down to line, or browser search on "And so now")

In any case, in a blog post entitled New Study: High Fat Food is Good for Diabetics, Andreas cites this "news" article:  High-fat diet lowered blood sugar and improved blood lipids in diabetics.  Another low carb advocate, Dr. Eades, also tweeted the following:  RCT shows better glycemic control & improved lipid labs seen in diabetics on #lowcarb as compared to lowfat diets.  The tweet links to this report:  Questioning Carbohydrate Restriction in Diabetes Management.

Now this was an RCT = Randomized Controlled Trial.  The type of study generally considered to be the gold standard of trials, but we've discussed here before how not all RCT's are created equal, and as serendipity would have it, Andreas was one I called out in:  A Matter of Control.  In his short blog post, Andreas calls the current study at hand "a new high-quality Swedish study".  Does the study itself deserve that label?  After looking at it more closely the past few days, no.  If for no other reason, because the study participants didn't report eating the diets as prescribed.  The intended control is also limited to caloric intake.  I contend that when one is comparing diets of different macronutrient composition, one of the three must be controlled for -- e.g. held constant -- varying the other two, or the results will forever be tainted.  

In any case, both of the "news" reports contain the same following statement:
In the low-carbohydrate diet, 50% of the energy came from fat, 20% from carbohydrates, and 30% from protein. For the low-fat group the distribution was 30% from fat, 55-60% from carbohydrates, and 10-15% from protein, which corresponds to the diet recommended by the Swedish National Food Agency.
What we know from looking at the study itself, C / F / P
    Low Fat          Target:  55-60 /30/10-15      Range:  47-49/29-31/20-21    2 yr. Actual:  47/31/20
    Low Carb        Target:  20/50/ 30                Range:  25-31/44-49/              2 yr. Actual:  31/44/24

The Diabetes In Control article contains this rather ridiculous quote from one of the researchers:
All 61 participants remained in the study for the follow-up.  Dr. Hans Guldbrand who was also part of the study says, "In contrast to most other studies of this type, we lost no patients at all, which vouches for the good quality of our data." 
First off, that's a bit of a misrepresentation because:
  • three in the LFD group and four in the LCD group expressed that they had severe difficulty following the prescribed diets and were not willing to participate in the group meetings. Data on the main outcomes from these seven patients were used in statistical analyses according to intention-to-treat analysis , and
  • At 24 months, 14 individuals (four in the LFD group and ten in the LCD group) did not provide diet records, but data on the main outcomes were used in calculations.
So they had data from all 61 patients, but data incomplete enough (I think missing dietary intake records for one third of one group is rather incomplete) as to draw into question the quality of their data, eh? For the macro they appear to be looking at -- e.g. fat content -- number of compliant LF'ers at 24 months (<35% fat) was 20, and the number of compliant LC'ers (>45% fat) was only 12.  When one looks at the "quality data" from this subgroup of the subjects, it's all a wash on the HbA1c front but LF is noted to demonstrate statistically significant reductions in blood pressure that were not seen for the LC group.  Why was this analysis -- the one that truly compared the diets intended to be tested -- relegated to online supplementary material status and not included in the text of the main article?  After all, they included the calorie compliant (17LF/18LC) analysis -- and, although they attempted to control for calories, that wasn't the main intervention now, was it?

Indeed the numbers of the Fat Energy compliant throw the quality of the data presented in this study into grave question.  The data for all who completed surveys is shown again here (you can click to enlarge).  There were only 12 LC'ers (out of 20 because that's how many filled out the intake logs at 24 months) eating the "high fat" diet (over 45% fat), while there were 20 LF'ers (out of the 27 submitters of intake logs) eating "low fat" (under 35%).  A more accurate description of the real retention rates from which quality analysis can be done would be:

LF:  65%      LC:  40%

How about the numbers for true compliance?  As in how many LF'ers were <30 (or 31, or 32 for a little leeway) and how many LC'ers were >50 (or 49, or 48 for a little leeway)?  I'm just guessing here that the 5% fudge factor was used to include as many LC'ers as they could , given that the average of the 20 loggers was 44% (6% shy of target) while the average of the 27 LF loggers was 31% (only 1% over target).  And in doing so, they are also then including people eating diets that do not qualify as LF diets.  We'll get the usual poo pooing (as I received in comments) over how the LC diet was not really LC.  Well, I submit that the LF diet is not really LF either, especially if you're talking 35% fat, which is the usual content of most Western diets.  If LC'ers can claim the effects of carb restriction can only be correctly studied in <10% ketogenic contexts, then is it too much to ask to represent LF with a true fat restricted diet?  25% at most, generally 20%?!  More from the DIC article:
Dr. Fredrik Nyström, who was part of the study, said, "You could ask yourself if it really is good to recommend a low-fat diet to patients with diabetes, if despite their weight loss they get neither better lipoproteins nor blood glucose levels.
But there wasn't any significant weight loss in this study for anybody!  I suppose one could conclude that if you prescribe a diet too high in calories to elicit substantial weight loss it doesn't matter how much fat or carbs someone eats.  That's really what this study ended up demonstrating.  Because at the end of the day, neither diet was effective as consumed.   Oddly enough, the word *transient* is in the title of the journal article, and yet this study is still being touted.  Andreas gushes:
  • Diabetes patients randomized to a high fat (20% carb) diet improved their blood sugar, cholesterol and could reduce their diabetes medications.
  • Patients randomized to conventional (obsolete) low fat advice did not improve anything
Had he read the study rather than relying on a second hand report, he would realize this is not really true.  The HbA1c "gains" were short-lived and rather insignificant when measured as %.  The difference was negligible in the real "completers" in the oh-nevermind supplemental analysis.  As for low fat not improving anything?  Well it did improve blood pressure in the compliant.  The study sure as heck didn't show that "high fat food is even good for diabetics". 

So very often well-designed and conducted scientific studies are mangled hopelessly by the media hype over the supposed result.  I think this blog post highlights a good example of this:  How Fatty Diets Cause Diabetes.  Science Daily used that title for a study that demonstrated that NEFA disrupted glucose transport in beta cells.  The LC blogosphere jumped on this to say it was horrible, no good, very bad science -- mostly, I might add, without benefit of access to the full text of the paper if they even bothered to look there. When, in fact, the study itself was quite solid, it was the reporting that was horrendous.  Chris Masterjohn agreed: Fat and Diabetes: Bad Press, Good Paper, and the Reemergence of Our Good Friend Glutathione.

And then you get well-designed and conducted scientific studies that are pretty well covered by the media, yet low carbers see fit to trounce on it anyway.  Two of many examples would be Jimmy Moore's Australian Researchers Conclude That A High-Fat, Low-Carb Diet Puts You In A Permanent Bad Mood! Grrrrrr! (where that study was actually an extension of the work of the same research group who put out a study Jimmy claims they ignored!), and Fat Head's Low-Carb Brain Damage? (where he guffaws over cognitive/motor skills related brain damage having nothing to do with possible hypothalamic damage).  

And then you get studies with such serious design and/or implementation flaws as to render them moot.  These are my "favorites" because you can be dang sure the media will farkle them beyond recognition.  But you can be even more sure that the die-hard advocates will jump on the "look at this latest great study" bandwagon and share the "important" information with their readers who gobble it up with nary a whiff of skepticism.  This is good science to these ideologues folks!!  They'll try and try and pick apart studies that don't show what they want until they are blue in the face, but they can't be bothered to look past the headlines when they play to their downtrodden martyr complex.   At this point it would appear that this study fits that bill.

And so now that non-science, personal, gossipy stuff and whatnot.

One of the common comments I keep hearing in the fall-out over this whole Kruse Missile Strike is that:
  • All I ever do here at the Asylum is tear people down.  I do nothing productive or that adds to the community or anyone's knowledge base or anything of the sort
I also get the distinct impression that:
  • Everyone else is so damned afraid of being seen as just tearing people down they stood totally or selectively silent whilst the Kruse Missiles were designed, built and finally launched.
Since the inception of this blog, I have been prolific putting out detailed analyses of various studies.  That I focused on Taubes somehow was a product of the fact that since I first heard of him and his theories, they just didn't mesh with what I learned in biochemistry and physiology classes.   For merely disagreeing with him and putting forth the scientific case, long before I started blogging, on Jimmy's forum, I was vilified, laughed at and far worse.  I just didn't *get* it, you see.  It was probably what I came across in this thread over on LLVLC forum (I'm Low Carb Cheater, some may recognize Griff as one of Mark Sisson's interim success stories, and  wolfstriked ) that this blog was born.  The byte-mountain of PDF's on my HD and attempts to keep the links straight led me to start the blog just to organize (somewhat!) all this stuff with labels.  

Taubes can deny all he wants, but the whole G3P was central to his hypothesis, even in GCBC.  It unleashed legions of low carbers who parroted the meme.  Which is why, I think, my like 200 page hit post on this obscure little talking-to-myself blog touched the nerve that changed the history of the Asylum.  I have laid out the case -- using his own references -- for what can only be described as journalistic malfeasance.  I've never poked fun at his looks or engaged in ad hominem attacks, and frankly neither did his critics like James Krieger before me.  My goal was not to tear Gary Taubes down, it was to get the science right!  I was interested in whether or not remaining mostly VLC for the long term, with the changes in my body fat distribution and still weighing too much was healthy.  I was NOT interested then, nor am I now, in dogmatic non-science based arguments for how LC is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius and cures all ills and whatnot.  I wanted to be able to share my diet with my physician and be confident it was healthy.  If there were all these ex-obese low carbers out there in stellar health shouting me down, I suppose I'd be more open to their arguments, but I cannot ever set aside my common sense and knowledge to buy into nonsense.  I blindly bought into Atkins' first premise -- which was based on peeing out enormous amounts of calories as ketones, it's right there in his first book and that's that.  Almost everyone knows that not to be true, but now we have the promotion of ketogenic diets on other equally ill-substantiated theories.

When I read garbage science, I'm going to blog on it.  I don't care who writes it.  If they are nice, mean, pretty, pretty ugly, fat, skinny, whatever.  This has NEVER been about the messenger for me, always the message.  And if folks can relate to the frustration of obese people who are angry because they've "tried everything" and can't lose the weight and keep it off, I don't understand why they accept as their fate the frustration that LC does not work any better in the long run for the vast majority.  Pictures from the LC cruise have been landing in my Inbox and posted around the web.  As Andreas pokes fun once again at obese Americans, I wonder if he noticed whether his audience/organizers at his presentation looked any different than the "body constitution of [all of the rest of the] ordinary Americans on the cruise", while trying to convince you that Asians stay slim because they really eat brown rice.  

If you think all I do here is tear people down, you have not read my blog.  Period.   I don't know of anyone else who's looked into these LoBAG diets, one of which was a study that looked the very same diets the current study purported (but failed) to be testing.  I think it is important to get the message out that carbohydrates do NOT cause insulin resistance.  I think it is important to get the message out that we don't "poop out" our pancreas eating carbs ... that beta cells are far more resilient than we think ... that calories count ... that circulating free fatty acids and lipotoxicity are at least as important as glucose and glycation but probably moreso ... that 1500 cal/day is nowhere near starvation ... that low fat diets are satiating when high in protein ... and I could go on, but you get my point.  A Chronological List of All Posts.  I may not have thousands of people worshiping me for helping them, but that's not my goal here.  Still, I have helped many escape the throes of carbohydrate and insulin obsessions and break through long time plateaus, and saved a few from getting sucked in in the first place.

So when I hear that ALL I do here is tear PEOPLE down I must admit it upsets me.  First, I dispel and debunk IDEAS, not people.  I don't know how many times, despite him being pretty much an asshat in our direct communications,  I've said I basically like Jack and if I met him under other circumstances might well be friends with him or at least enjoy a right party with him.  Yes, I have some fun with names and Leptin Man, but every time I've addressed him it was to discuss his whack theories and why his science is simply wrong.  I did it with Taubes.  I've done it with Wheat Belly's over the top hyperbole (hey ... for a relatively thin guy, anyone notice the moobs on him? ... just sayin' of course since he likes to poke fun at men in the lingerie department), and the list goes on ... and unfortunately on and on because there is just so much garbage BS being passed off as "real" science-based nutrition these days.  

I'm sure most of these people are nice, upstanding citizens and all that.  I'm even willing to believe that most  fully believe in their own dogma (as opposed to hawking something they don't really believe in/practice/etc  just to make a buck).  I bet most are loving husbands/wives/mothers/fathers/sisters/brothers/friends-of-all-sorts/etc.  I'm sure many give a lot to help others -- just like quite a few fat people eating whole grains I might add.  This is where it is just so frustrating to be part of this community -- although mostly I blog about here on the fringe.   If I criticize Nora Gedgaudas' absolutely absurd contention that all body fat comes from glucose, I'm a hater?  I have attacked her personally?  Or Cate Shanahan's rationale for not snacking because it diverts liters of fluid from circulation to your intestines?  For that she called me a hater.  I'd say writing and disseminating utter nonsense under the initials MD is far more egregious behavior.  LDL made from carbs makes us fat ... sheesh!

I've been doing the Mat Lalonde here since long before his speech to this effect.  By that I mean that if you're going to put forth a scientific argument, it better well be accurate because somebody's going to call you on it and that will ultimately undermine your message.  I believed it back when I started this blog, and I believe that all the more strongly today.  Which is not to say we'll ever know even a small percent of all the answers, but more that we need to be honest about what it is we do know and the certainty with which we know it.  If the Jack Kruse phenomenon had occurred in 2007-9, I would have understood how it happened.  Those were the heady days of TWICHOO and Jack would have just added a charismatic kooky twist.  But no.  This happened starting in mid 2011 and snowballed as TWICHOO was suffering smackdown after well-deserved smackdown.  And many at PH and a few on their blogs tried to sound the alarm.  And others remained silent.  And it kept rolling and gathering and those who tried to stop it were called haters and just too stupid to understand the brilliant mind that is Jack, pee pee enlargement model (grin).  And still they remained silent.  

And then we get the cruise debacle.  No doubt it did NOT go down as Jack tells it.  The man has been officially sanctioned by his professional society for lying in a court deposition.  His science from leptin receptors not being able to handle electrons from carbs vs. fats to polar bears with shredded abs just doesn't hold water at any temperature ... not to mention the tales of MRSA injection and hours long ice baths.  I must thank all of my regular readers for their support during that whole time.  While I had nothing to worry over, it's still not fun listening to a mad man on a news program fingering you, and lives have been ruined by far less serious accusations getting out of hand.  And I also must thank the many people who reached out behind the scenes with support.  It is so very much appreciated, although I hope you won't be too disappointed when I say I wish you would all speak more publicly when this sort of thing happens.  Doesn't have to be in support of me, but just speaking out on your own stance.  I DO understand why so many don't -- I'm bound far less by law, professional/economic interests, and frankly time than most -- but maybe?    

I cannot express enough how disgusted I was when Andreas Eenfeldt posted this about Kruisegate:  
Rumor says that the offending tweet came from a long time stalker of prominent low carb people such as Gary Taubes and Jimmy Moore. Perhaps she will not laugh as hard when questioned by police about false terror warnings, apparently a felony that could result in 20 years of jail time…
I plan to address the stalking BS very soon.  But it is clear Andreas is fingering me here.  On rumor ...  Would it be too much to ask that Andreas walk that one back given current knowledge?  Eh ... he had a post on Jack's fake pic, but took that one down.  Wonder why?   You see Andreas apparently can't think for himself and relies too much on his own gossip network.  Amid the fallout of AHS11, I wrote Guyenet v. Taubes: Is There a Working Hypothesis for Obesity?
With his English language blog, appearances at various conferences and LLVLC events/cruises, and the apparent rise in popularity of low carbing in Sweden, Andreas Eenfeldt is a rising star promoting low carb diets.  Therefore, I think his comments on Stephan's recent debunking of Taubes Wrong Insulin Carbohydrate Hypothesis Of Obesity, TWICHOO, and the post on his blog about same deserve some attention.
which elicited the following response:  Diet Doctor: rising star or fraud?.  He ended that with 
"PS:  Regarding the title of this post: I have not been called a fraud by CarbSane yet. But judging from earlier events that may just be a question of time."   
Call someone a rising star and take on their "science" and yep, you're gonna call fraud next thing, eh?  I've yet to see fraud from this guy, but irresponsible behavior.  Yeah.  So to wrap this up, I don't know how many witnessed the short Twitter exchange between Andeas and I (hay, at least he's capable of communicating which is more than can be said for so many others ... kudos for that!), I copy it here:
 72+ hours since LC Cruise sailed. No FBI at my door Andreas. Rumor has it anyway.

Somewhere there was a reply that he was glad to hear it.  Can't find that.  Then
  Building something yourself is better than focusing on tearing others down. That never gets old, right? ;)
 What have you built yourself Andreas?
This is the new meme.  The stalker thing can't hold up much longer because it's just too ridiculous.  So now folks will try to silence me by implying all I do is tear things down and add nothing positive to the discussion.  Just because I add nothing to your version of science doesn't mean I add nothing.  But if folks want to call it tearing down, you know what?  I'm damn proud of that which I do!  Few others have had the guts to take on fakes, phonies and frauds, and just plain profiteering at the expense of desperate obese people.  Dick Nikoley sought to advise me on how better to use my talents ... presumably to expose the real problems??  I dunno, he's too hard to decipher.  If we've learned anything, albeit in almost caricature "bad guy" style, from this Jack Kruse debacle it's that you cannot let those "little" things go unquestioned.  "The Cause", whatever that is, will be better for some inner skepticism, debate and disagreement, because we can all see where going along to get along has gotten things.  I'm all in to work towards science-based nutrition and lifestyle recommendations. Perhaps we can agree that so long as the "science-based" part is on solid ground, we don't all have to agree on everything and let the facts sort themselves out.  It seems, however, more like folks have decided what science they deem right and therefore any dissent must be stifled or it will bring down the cause.

You know, over a decade ago my husband made a career switch from working for himself in his own business to working for supervisors and a company.  I know this was hard for him, and I'm not sure I could have done it.  But one of his first bosses told him once that it was more important to "have your ducks in a row" than meet every goal and expectation the company/he had for him.  In other words, so long as he was putting in the time, dedication, diligence, etc.etc., everything would be OK.  But if you're slacking off or taking long lunches so that's why you didn't finish the job expected of you, it won't fly.  You might get away with it once or twice, but there will come the time you're caught and that's when things fall apart for you.  It's sort of similar to the it's not the crime it's the cover-up thing we see so often in the news.  I think this is the problem with too many in this community.  They have hitched their cart to a one-trick pony and have to keep going with that and hope it survives.  I think some of these folks truly believe that pony is the bestest pedigree, but I also think many of them know it's riddled with cancer.  I think this is why folks like me are threatening to them.  If your ducks are in a row, your science solid, then what can little-old-me do to you?  Nothing.  You respond with a sound, solid, science based smackdown of my "nonsense" ... right?   But they don't do that, because they apparently can't, and their ducks are swimming about willy nilly in all directions.  It is telling.  

From Andreas Eenfeldt you get uncritical praise of a rather unremarkable study in furtherance of dogma -- Bad Science, Bad Media, Bad Blogging.  From me you get the sort of scrutiny and analysis praised when directed at the George Brays of this world.  Sometimes you need to tear things down to build up knowledge.  


Swede said…
You can still tear people down. Some people are just plain idiots and deserve being called out for what they are. At this point, any low carb blogger is either dishonest (ignoring or intentionally misrepresenting science), oblivious, or some combination of both.

You do a great job of finding the weaknesses in a lot of the low carb stuff, so keep it up!
bentleyj74 said…
If your blog weren't a problem to the low carb financial empire you and your delivery would be "beneath their contempt" and no one would care.

The movie fat head openly uses caricatures of vegans as scrawny banana boobed whiners and no one cares but debunk some flawed science and make a play on someones name and suddenly the jedi code of conduct is offended.
James Krieger said…
Nice post, Evelyn. Keep exposing the bad science for what it is!
garymar said…
I like the way people these days talk about "haters", as if there were a large bolus of hate inside them, and the target of the hatred was merely incidental to the need to express the hatred.

Personally, I feel that the hatred of pseudo-science is merely the shadow cast by the bright love of real science! And in every garden, someone has to clear the weeds.
Sue said…
I don't like it either when they say they're just "haters".
Woodey said…
Calling someone a "hater" is grown-ups whining.
Woodey said…
I have no problem tearing into someone's character. I see someone like Gary Taubes deliberately lying and making a profit from it, at the expense of people's health. I have no problem calling someone like that a carpetbagger, liar, a**hole, or a bulls**tter.

When I saw Lars' pictures on his blog site being critical of people he doesn't know because they are overweight, the first thing I typed was "f**k you!". I then went after the skinny insecure people that where encouraging him and giving their two cents worth on how they feel about tubbies.

I do admire your tact and class. I think it helps you stay focused and write good blogs. I agree with you that some of these people if I met face-to-face I would get along with. On this site I told Richard that I didn't have anything personal with him, because he has not done anything to me. That being said when he acted like an *sshat I called him on it. When Lars called you a stalker I spoke up because it was a load of crap.

If people are going to act like jerks then I will call them jerks. If they don't like it, well, don't be a jerk.
Woodey said…
Best thing Tom did with Fat Head is demonstrate how calories count.
Muata said…
Exactly Woodey. As I believe I've mentioned here before, I like to show "Fat Head" and "Super Size Me" to my class because it makes for an excellent compare/contrast paper, but I always chuckle that he argues against counting calories when that's exactly what he did with his experiment! Oh, and then he "exposes" Spurlock because he gorged himself for 30 days. You simply can't have it both ways ;)
Jason Sandeman said…
I like your blog because it is a satirical taste of takedown when the science is flawed. You call it like you see it, and that's cool in my books. Better still, you back it up.
On other blogs I see lots of Koolaid, but no sign of the mix anywhere. That's what's telling - sure, it's a drink, but it ain't good for you. Just because a group of people say its so doesn't make it so.
LynMarie Daye said…
The ‘haters gonna hate’ meme is one of the newer thought-terminating clichés. It will probably make the official list soon if it hasn’t already. ;P

Best of Wikipedia entry: Thought-Terminating Cliche:

“A thought-terminating cliché is a commonly used phrase, sometimes passing as folk wisdom, used to quell cognitive dissonance. Though the phrase in and of itself may be valid in certain contexts, its application as a means of dismissing dissention or justifying fallacious logic is what makes it thought-terminating. Thought-terminating clichés are sometimes used during political discourse to enhance appeal or to shut down debate. In this setting, their usage can usually be classified as a logical fallacy.”

Now that I think of it, ‘Building something yourself is better than focusing on tearing others down’ has a bit of a thought-terminating quality to it too, at least in the context of the particular twitter exchange under discussion. JMHO of course.
Nigel Kinbrum said…
Since James Krieger stopped doing his bullshit detective work and made his site a pay site, the world needs people like you.

Pure science is a dry subject, so lubricate your blog any way you see fit.

Plus, what they ^^^^ said!
Tonus said…

There are two ways that people will take offense at what you are saying. One is that when you criticize their science and statements, they will take it personally. That is their problem; if they didn't want to be called out on bad science or statements, they should avoid peddling either.

The other is statements like "Andreas apparently can't think for himself and relies too much on his own gossip network." There's no way he can't take this personally, even if you can defend the characterization based on his behavior.

That said, I wouldn't want you to change your tone or approach. This is who you are. If someone is going to snipe at you, you are ready to return fire. If you try to moderate your tone, you'll spend too much time trying to be someone you are not, and I think that would hurt your blog. I get the impression that many of your targets spend a lot of time trying to come across as much nicer than they really are. And when the mask slips, it is very uncomfortable for them (but amusing for the rest of us).

You do good work here, and your tone is blunt and uncompromising. Anthony Colpo does good work, and his tone is brash and in-your-face. Contrast that with some of the "nice people" who mislead their audiences with bad advice based on bad information (and who, when the mask slips, aren't very nice people at all). Who would we rather learn from?
CarbSane said…
Thanks Tonus, You're right about the highlighted comment. The Andreas quip is a bit out of character for me, but at I'll leave it, it's an honest reaction to his behavior in all of this. In a way I feel that I gave Andreas the opportunity to rethink -- were I him I would have retracted the bioterrorist post, or at least updated it once I knew how it all shook out. But these people have no shame on it all, it's too great an opportunity to smear me with someone else's filth (Jack's) much like Jimmy's post on criticism. Eh ... I'll look at the bright side. If this is the best they can do ...
CarbSane said…
Hey LynMarie!!!! Good to see you, it's been a while (and since you've blogged). Hope all's well.

That "thought-terminating cliche" is the perfect term. And you are right that the "building something" and versions thereof ("always against something") is definitely another type of thought-terminating cliche.
CarbSane said…
I wonder if it even escapes people like Andreas that people in an International Airport aren't even all Americans? And that while Carnival might be a more economical cruiseline (I think, but one person commented here it was going to cost $6K to go) cruises are -- for whatever reason -- cruises are a luxury and passengers are "industrialized first worlders". For whatever reason, cruises are a big favorite for obese people. I don't remember that being the case in the early 90's (I was on the actual Love Boat!), but I felt positively skinny on a Jan 08 cruise even though I was wearing 14's and 16's at the time. That cruise left from NYC and there were many, MANY Europeans on board. So I think he's getting a very skewed version of "Americans" to begin with from these cruises. But that's not really the main point with that attitude, it's the inconsistency.

Yeah, as to character, I agree it is fair game -- at a point. When I first kept hearing over and over and over "Gary Taubes tells us" and the like, I read all I could on the net from him and watched the videos and what he was saying made no sense to me. How does spontaneous horizontal growth causes you to eat more and move less make ANY more sense to explain the obesity epidemic? Answer, it doesn't, and it doesn't make any common sense either. When I would post "there's no scientific basis for his hypothesis" or point out that most of Adiposity 101 is loosely referenced to a 1965 Physio text, I was pummeled with "read the book". So I relented and read the book, and that just sent up more red flags. I was called a hater early on there. I think the first time I addressed his character was in that glyceroneogenesis post when I called him "bereft of intellectual honesty". That was a criticism of his professional character. Anyone who doesn't see that his GCBC "franchise" drives this man and prevented him in 2010 (with WWGF coming out at the end of that year) from walking back too much of GCBC is kidding themselves. But through our email exchange and how he portrayed me in his "response" to my interview, I'm well within my rights to address his character. Same with Naughton when he called me a mentally unstable stalker. And now Eenfeldt. Sigh ... Eh, at some point one can only hope people see through it? And somewhere behind the curtain LC has almost completely morphed to HAES. Funny how angry folks get with Stephan and Dr. Oz, but they're not bothered in the least by Andreas and Mr. Taubes. Strange times!
CarbSane said…
LOL at "lubricate any way you see fit". I do wish James would put out some free material from time to time, but I understand why he doesn't.
CarbSane said…
This is why I love my commenters! "I see lots of Koolaid, but no sign of the mix anywhere". Classic Jason! It's always nice to count former critics amongst my readers :D
CarbSane said…
"At this point, any low carb blogger is either dishonest (ignoring or intentionally misrepresenting science), oblivious, or some combination of both. "

I agree and can understand this for "hangers on" defending their livelihood. What I don't get is that there are new arrivals on the scene! We must defeat insulin! Attia, Lustig and this Smarter Science of Slim guy?
CarbSane said…
Yep Woodey & Muata! And he inadvertently showed that you can lose weight eating a high O6, industrial animal protein, fructose containing diet. Imagine that!

It's a really strange movie. Starts out saying we're not really all that fat and Tom had to go several hours at different locations to film his obese people. Then discusses the problems with BMI as measure of obesity. Eh, could go on.

Yeah, Bentley, Naughton's response to Kruisegate after all this time and all that's gone on is pretty telling how blinded by agenda this man is. It's pretty sad that someone who does parody for a living didn't see that.
CarbSane said…
Thanks James, I was relistening to "Gary's response to critics" for something I'm working on the other day. Got what an ass he was about you in that interview! Get your own science right James! LOL
CarbSane said…
I really like this garymar:

"Personally, I feel that the hatred of pseudo-science is merely the shadow cast by the bright love of real science! And in every garden, someone has to clear the weeds."

Thank you for this!
Josh said…
Speaking of Anthony Colpo, a recent article of his contained this sentence - "The general population’s reward for succumbing to fat phobia was an obesity epidemic that saw 2/3 of the adult population become overweight, along with no reduction in the incidence of CHD." This is likely a temporary brain fart taken out of context but he seems to be implying that not only did the general population actually pay attention to the dietary guidelines and reduce fat intake but that this is what lead to the obesity epidemic.

Evelyn said: "When I read garbage science, I'm going to blog on it. I don't care who writes it. If they are nice, mean, pretty, pretty ugly, fat, skinny, whatever."

Time for a clash of the titans! ;)
KD said…
I like the thought terminating cliché concept. The tragic part of it is that they're typically used by people who believe themselves to be reasonable and thoughtful. But then again almost all of us judge ourselves by our motives and others by their actions.
bentleyj74 said…
Yeah, the supposed fat phobic individuals I knew had ceiling to floor cabinets stocked full of "snacks" and treats and junk food bought in bulk to eat every day with their cases and cases of soda [I was soooooo jealous :)].
KD said…
There's an aggressive libertarian, anti-government line going through paleo, low carb and ancestral health. That's all well and good, but that casuses a lot of these guys to define the movement as anti-conventional wisdom. They're painted into a corner. If you can only follow people from outside the mainstream, or mainstreamers who enjoy trashing their degrees and colleagues, then you're dealing with a pretty small group.

It's why Taubes and Kruse and others get endless rope, while anybody who has anything nice at all to say about the American Heart Association is cast out. That and the always delightful 'argument from authority' thought-termination cliche. It's like anything that isn't obscure and unknown is innocent until proven guilty, while appearing in a 2012 textbook is grounds for suspicion.
CarbSane said…
Bentley, your comment reminded me of a line in Taubes' Big Fat Lie article -- it was something about the increase in liquid calorie consumption in the US, Big Gulps and all that, and how that was OK if for no other reason but that Coke is low fat. Really??????? I was never a soda drinker -- was a VERY rare treat as a kid -- but the very first thing I did when I went on my first diet was cut all sugar. Even when I cheated back then it was pizza with diet soda. I'm pretty sure when Jimmy went on his ultra low fat diet back in 1999 he was drinking diet coke, though he did allow small portions of marshmallows because they were fat free! LOL

Josh, since AC doesn't have comments or comment on other blogs, I'll shoot him an email on that and see if he'll respond with one of his "reader email" posts. I tend to think he's referring more to the Snackwell gang than folks who actually follow a low fat diet, but I could be wrong.

When you look at populations like the Kitivan, traditional Pima, and Okinawans in 1949 (C/P/F = 85/9/6 <-- six!!) and the Japanese as a whole in 1950 (C/P/F = 79/13/8 <-- eight!!),, it's just ridiculous to cite fat phobia or avoidance for the obesity epidemic.
James Krieger said…
My lack of free blog posts isn't due to lack of's been more lack of time. I have had a few free posts recently although they aren't science heavy (although one is statistics heavy).

I describe why I haven't had much opportunity to do free blog posts in this recent post:
CarbSane said…
Speaking of motivations, so many of these folks are so wound up in themselves as "helping people". Get over yourselves already. I've got a post in the dustbin perhaps I'll exhume about helping people. The basic gist is that folks are lucky to get direct gratification of helping people through what they do to earn a living. I get that with teaching, but since I get paid to teach it would be a bit much to claim that I'm *just* helping people and give me a pass on whatever else I might do because I just really want to help people. Lots of Jack's defenders giving him a pass because he has grand ideas and just wants to help people. Gary helped so many people. And on and on and on. I think some of these people (like Jimmy) even believe they are somehow sacrificing other endeavors to help others. Strange is all I can say about that.
CarbSane said…
When I posted the AANS suspension of Kruse, many comments elsewhere were made about how he probably is wearing that as a badge of honor, or should. That the board is probably just jealous, or clueless, or threatened by his claims of miraculous cures by dunking 80 year old inoperable men in ice. That's a pretty delusional state to be in if you ask me. Because such organizations, members and boards tend to be very conservative in their sanctions so as not to risk defamation suits. Such a suspension has grave consequences and is not doled out lightly. I think the timing of all this shows there's more going on behind the scenes. I believe major upheavals in his "real" personal/professional life have occurred that drive his behavior.
MM said…
"I think it is important to get the message out that we don't "poop out" our pancreas eating carbs"

Whoa! Did someone really say this? Just... wow! Well, that right there proves we need you, CarbSane!
CarbSane said…
Yes, that's from Dr. Catherine Shanahan aka Dr. Cate of no snacking fame here. She said that and a number of other ridiculous things on her first podcast with Jimmy Moore. Did you know that sugar is sticky to the touch because it is reacting with the proteins on your skin and glycating them? Yep! Really!!

There appears to be no substantiation to claims of x% loss of beta cell mass in T2's by the time they are diagnosed etc. Many T2's have increased beta cell mass, it's just not functioning correctly.
Tonus said…
One thing I can remember about dietary advice in the 70s and 80s is that fat and cholesterol were bad. Sugar was bad, but not demonized nearly as much. I can recall that commercials of the time promoted a healthy diet that included a sugar-laden breakfast cereal with waffles or pancakes covered in syrup and a glass of sugar-laden orange juice. They got rid of the unhealthy eggs and bacon and replaced them with a truckload of sugar, carbs, sugar, cereal grains, and sugar.

In light of that, I can see where the war on fat had the effect of increasing our daily caloric intake. It's very possible that we did NOT stop eating fat-- we ate fried foods and fatty foods regularly during this time-- but the change from a breakfast high in protein and fat to one extraordinarily high in sugar meant that we were eating a lot of empty calories.
Janet said…
I appreciate that you call out these low carbers for obvisiouly not being the pictures of health. My only question, is it possible that those who have gained back some weight, and in some cases quite a bit of weight, simply aren't actually eating a low carb diet? I have maintained a significant weight loss for over 2 years and the person who put me on this plan has managed to stay incredibly fit and has been able to adjust his weight whenver he feels like it for various endevaors and he does this without any difficulty.
So perhaps the problem isn't a low or lower carb diet, maybe it is with those who may not be actually eating as they claim.
Just a thought
Lesley Scott said…
One the big reasons I'm such a huge fan of your blog is that you take the "detours" and cover LoBag diets & the like. Your super-sciencey posts can defo get above my paygrade, but I have to admit I miss being in college sometimes and having to stretch my brain to wrap it around new ideas just 'cuz. After finding out via "n=1" that TWICHOO is complete crap & discovering your blog (plus anything by Lalonde, James Krieger, Emily Deans, KGH when he posts, Stephan Guyenet, Kresser & Masterjohn & Melissa McEwen...etc) it was so refreshing.

Now, as a total Gossip Monger myself, I must mention how much I love the word "asshat". what a great word. In your Hall of Shame where Leptinman lives & the poolnoodle-armed Adam K. wields his mysterious black box - what about adding the Swede to the roster as the Asshat Avenger? ;)
CarbSane said…
Hi Janet! Oh no doubt many who regain go off the low carb diet. Anecdotally I will tell you that the speed of my regains post LC were far worse than anything from past yo-yos -- all of which were due to going off whatever "diet" I was doing. Compliance is generally the best indicator of success and maintenance. But I've seen many reports of LC'ers gaining back significant weight losses (one who was very involved on Jimmy's forum back in 2009-2010, less so now and would have no reason to lie as she's staunch LC) even staying LC. I don't see this much if at all with other approaches.
CarbSane said…
Thanks Lesley ... always look forward to your input here :) Yes, perhaps it's time for a new Lego character!
CarbSane said…
Thanks for that James, I knew it was a time issue. Still a girl can dream, right?
LeonRover said…
It seems to me that Industrial Food Marketers (IFM) were the persuaders.

They were able to promote Low Fat as being healthy, and the resulting products provided vastly increased Added Value by using subsidy boosted cheap fructose based ingredients.

As well, IFM used Sat Fat is unHealthy, to promote PUFA and were able to use cheap Corn oil, cheap because of corn subsidy, as another input to achieve increased Added Value.

(And the SoyBean sagas . . . . . . .)

Both of these outcomes are in line with USDA's brief to achieve Cheap Food.

The failure of different branches of Health and Medical Establishments to revise any views they OUGHT to have had in the light of actual outcomes demonstrated time after time, has compounded the problem - in this I include both ADAs, AHA, NIHs, Universities, Pharma etc.

It was not in the institutional interest of any of these fiefdoms to shout loudly and proclaim:

"Actual data does NOT support these advices."

It has ended up in the supply of cheap CRAP .. SAD.

It is sad.

However, it is not criminal, merely tortious and therefore may not be challenged "'cos there ain't evidence".

Even bloody sadder.
LeonRover said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
LeonRover said…
I approve the advice Matt Lalonde gave in his presentation at AHS11, to the effect that his audience need to be aware of the detailed science when advancing ideas derived from "pop sci" - whether books or blogs - when engaging with professionals.

I would maintain that the authors of said books/blogs should not bowdlerise their science to the point of inaccuracy and not point out when what they advance is a speculative hypothesis not supported by detailed observations AKA cherry-picking.

Some presenters at AHS11, Eenfeldt and "merry" Lustig have not chosen to take this advice. Lustig has incurred the wrath of Richard David Feinmann, but seems to shrugged off same.

A would-be presenter at AHS12, one "Jack" Kruse, is following the same course.

Does this mean I don't read Kruse?

No, among the spoil he has mined, there may be a tiny uncut diamond. However, it is my sceptical sieve which find it - and it will have to be results based.
bentleyj74 said…
"Bentley, your comment reminded me of a line in Taubes' Big Fat Lie article -- it was something about the increase in liquid calorie consumption in the US, Big Gulps and all that, and how that was OK if for no other reason but that Coke is low fat."

You know just about any one of the dietary criticisms probably has a valid claim somewhere but I just can't seem to help but conclude that they are all symptoms of a larger issue involving environment.

Looking at what Leon just posted...of course I agree...but I also remember that part of the reason there was such a market for this sort of thing was all the latch key kids. Not necessarily because people were just soooooo persuaded it was healthy.

I'm realizing in retrospect just how sheltered we all [myself and cousins] really were because although most of our mothers were working mothers...[in fact high demand executive level have to travel and continue education with multiple grad degrees on top of the 9-5 to be marketable working mothers]...we also had the multi-generation advantage of going to our grandma when our mother wasn't available instead of being unsupervised or farmed out to the lowest bidder.

We all got a lot of our domestic training that way as well as our socialization. Grandma had no air conditioning and no cable tv. Beverage options were unsweetened ice tea or tap water. We were unceremoniously drop kicked outside to play whether it was hot or cold and we were responsible for watching smaller kids too. She had tea most afternoons and people would just start showing up... sometimes they visited so long they stayed for supper too. Grandma is very hospitable. She's also not only still living but also completely independent and has no particular health issues and takes no medications despite her advanced age.

When I look at the health of the Okinawans etc I think their entire lifestyle has to be looked at as a whole. Relaxed, lots of movement, lots of social support. Eat to live and sometimes for pleasure. Other kids I knew sat inside all day long [like mushrooms :)] eating junk food and watching tv or playing video games. They didn't talk to anyone or see anyone all day long most days unless they had a friend over in which case you had some aimless unsupervised teenagers raiding the snack cabinet and watching TV together and if you are lucky that's the worst mischief that went down.

No one thinks coke is good for you because it's fat free ;P No one ever did that I'm aware of. It's not a super villain either though. We certainly looked forward to having it occasionally and we ate fat and sugar too. I think part of the drive behind the desire to super sanitize the environment only from a food perspective is because the whole thing is so broken but in such really politically SENSITIVE ways that no one can really touch it much without getting their head bitten off. I just doubt very much that food all by itself has the power to produce what is hoped for. It's a contributor of course. I think people would be better off eating eggs and potatos than pop tarts and coke but ya know...the ability to DO find time to cook and plan and what not relies on rhythms that have been forgotten and feel very alien when you try to adopt them out of nowhere and especially without all the suport structures that are generally in place keeping the whole thing afloat. Would my grandma/parents have been able to do all that if she'd been alone in her house with a bunch of bored kids all day lacking the confidence/experience to manage and delegate?

Would she have been happy to have us around messing up her home, eating her food, and making noise if she wasn't already getting her little cup filled and refreshed on a daily basis from activity she knew how to incorporate? You can't just change one element because they all rely on each other to be sustainable.
LynMarie Daye said…
All is well, thanks for asking! I see things are still hoppin' around here; you even made the news! ;)
Woodey said…

Excerpt from the blog:
"And I worry slightly that an overemphasis on our ignorance about this or that claim opens the door to creationists, Holocaust deniers, climate deniers, and post-modern deconstructions who wish to challenge mainstream scientists because of religious or political agendas."

I think you can add "bogus nutritional gurus" to that list.
Subcalva said…
You can see Prof. Fredrik Nyström in the BBC program Why Are Thin People Not Fat? here
Geoff 99 said…
I spend my working hours building and debugging very large and very complex software systems (millions of lines of code).
Typical days involve forming hypotheses about system behavior and aggresively testing those models. I would never dream of ignoring, fudging or omitting test results that dont fit my hypothesis. Every failed test is a step forward. If someone can show that test results or outcomes or behavior invalidates my hypothesis, that is a very good thing and I am very grateful. It accelerates the process of discovery and narrows the field of enquiry.
I would like to personally say that I place a very high value on the work you do here to show the inconsistencies, faults, mistakes and conscious deceptions in the hypotheses, science and pseudo-science that litters this corner of the internet. It is an invaluable asset that is severely under-rated in my opinion; and one that I feel is misunderstood by many people.

Thought terminating cliche:
"To spend a life searching for truth is a great adventure. To spend it in defense of a lie is but a prison."
It is unfortunate that when you bang on the prison walls, they call you a hater or stalker :-)
Lesley Scott said…
also, you might add regular Bill O'Reilly watchers to the list
CarbSane said…
Thank you Geoff! On a bit of a side note, I think "negative results" are under-rated at times. Too often these never make the peer review publications. I think that's too bad, though understandable (especially when the research is done by private industry -- there's simply little to be gained by the time/investment in publication, it's not about cover-ups as is often assumed). It likely leads to lots of wasted time of testing that same flawed hypothesis, thinking you've discovered or formulated something new because there's nothing in the literature, and reaching the same frustrating dead end! I wonder how often this happens.
Woodey said…
I watched the first part of the doc and will finish it later, greatly interested in what transpires. I also want to look up the prison study they showed a clip of. Nystrom seems like a Swedish professional that can be respected, which made me feel good to see. One reason Lars Eenfeldt bothered me is because I have relatives from Sweden, my heritage is from Scandinavia and it was disappointing to see that shallow Lars was Swedish. Just goes to show you that there are *ssholes everywhere, but its still embarrassing. Ya sure, you betcha.
CarbSane said…
Interesting how so many balked at the amount of food they would have to forceably eat ....

@Woodey, I've got Swedish blood too. Yeah, it just adds a little extra sadness to see this sort of crap coming from your "roots", eh?
Subcalva said…
Nyströms original fastfood study "Fast-food-based hyper-alimentation can induce rapid and profound elevation of serum alanine aminotransferase in healthy subjects" can be found here,f1000m,isrctn

And the follow-up two years later "Long-term increase of fat mass after a four week intervention with fast food based hyper-alimentation and limitation of physical activity " can be found here
Subcalva said…
And by the way. It's Andreas Eenfeldt, not Lars.
Woodey said…
"Interesting how so many balked at the amount of food they would have to forceably eat"

I thought so to, but I had to chuckle because while they were going "ew" I was going "yum".

It is sad to see that coming from a place of love and respect. Bitter reminder that people are just people no matter where we are. I still like to think the Swedish society as a whole have more class and dignity than what Lars shows. I speculate that he does this because he can get attention from Americans by preying on our insecure nature and shallow tendencies.
Woodey said…
Thanks for the links, I'll check them out. I like to call Andreas "Lars", I have many nicknames for the people I find irritating.

Lars is a generic name I give to Scandinavians. I got the idea from one of my favorite movies, Priscilla Queen of the Desert.
Sanjeev said…
did this dude ever have an actual name?

copy & paste to be sure it's work safe:
P2ZR said…
It just goes back to the religion thing again. Woodey and LynMarie (in her last post before going posting-MIA) have already touched upon it. People sacrifice X (carbs) for the glorious promise of Y (weight loss without [ostensible] caloric restriction). And how dare you even suggest--never mind actually verify--that they are on a wild goose chase.

The creepy irony is that the LC powers that be (and their acolytes) are crying Galileo while undertaking their own blogospheric Spanish Inquisition--and possessing all the scientific exactitude of a tarot card-ing astrologer. (Hey if the deck of cards is thicker than 3 PhD theses and littered with random references to obscure constellations, it's golden, right?)

How dare you, Evelyn, threaten--with your ominously truthful analyses--the tender heart that embarks on the pilgrimage to the promised land of coconut milk and Splenda-based honey and lithe/chiseled figures sans sweat-inducing exercise?

But as long as we have the likes of Jimmy Moore masquerading as a martyr ('if I'm sacrificing my health with these fatfest experiments, it is all purely in the name of helping others!') with nary an eyelid being batted across umm...a huge chunk of the 'sphere, don't expect LC'ers to be honest enough to see their own attitude for what it is.
Woodey said…
"Naughton when he called me a mentally unstable stalker"

I know its no fun to be accused of something you are not and these bozos have done their fair share of slinging unjust mud in your eye. I think the silver lining in all of this is that you are making such an impact on these people it puts you on their radar. If they considered you harmless they wouldn't give you the time of day. It really shows how fragile and weak their "science" is.

Reading your email exchange with Taubes showed me that he is one smug guy. Even in his interviews I get this air of superiority vibe which he uses to puff himself up as he travels the continent crusading against real science.

Now that I have spent some time reading solid science based nutritional information my respect for Naughton has greatly diminished. He loves to tell everyone how doctors and scientists lie, but then he turns around and praises them whenever they do something he approves of. They are lying scumbags unless they support his opinion, that's pretty weak.

The word "hater" is the ultimate whine. Anybody who doesn't side with a person's P.O.V. is called a "hater". I don't think people really know what hate means anymore or how much its a part of our nature. Calling someone a "hater" is just grade school playground name calling.
Woodey said…
"he argues against counting calories when that's exactly what he did with his experiment! Oh, and then he "exposes" Spurlock because he gorged himself for 30 days."

I wish that I had paid more attention to that detail when I first watched Fat Head instead of getting caught up in dogma he was pushing. I had just finished WWGF and thought Fat Head was the 2nd coming. I hate kool-aid!!!
LeonRover said…
Very nice social science narrative, PZZR.

And you made smile, giggle, laugh.

Eh, lad, yer gorra laff, reight?