More on NHANES & Obesity and the Alternate Hypothesis
Below is the NHANES data for men and women, altered a bit from the source to take out the distracting diabetes data.
The TWICHOOB's like to trot this graphic out to illustrate how carbs are the cause of the obesity epidemic. However, this data pretty much counters just about every argument put forth by low carb advocates. In the interests of time, I've altered just the data for men to what it should look like to support TWICHOO. And I don't want to hear it from any of you that I'm misrepresenting it, because "it" has constantly changing goal posts and the current dig-in-the-heels version is that Americans actually went low fat, replacing large amounts of fat with carbohydrate, spiking insulin and causing fat to accumulate willy nilly and obesity has nothing to do with overeating in any way, shape or form. So, this at right is what the data should show. A reduction of fat as a percent of calories in the diet from 37 to 29% (a "low fat" diet), and a concomitant increase in carbohydrate consumption from 42 to 53% (please forgive the math quibble here, I'm just too lazy to fix it, you get the idea I hope). Back to the actual NHANES data, however. Even looking at this data, we have the men reducing fat % from 37 to 33% while carbs rose from 42 to 49% of intake. And the women? Fat went from 38% to 33% while carbs rose from 45% to 52%. Given all the studies done where the LC diets were "hardly low carb" according to the militant keto wing of the movement, can we at least have a wee bit of intellectual honesty here and admit that the differences in macro proportions is largely insignificant?
No, the myopic view of the data is that carbohydrates are responsible for the increased intake and decreasing fat has made us more fat. Let's look at this a little more critically, shall we?
- The men did actually decrease fat intake by <50 cal/day, but the women appear to have increased absolute fat consumption by about 50 cal/day. If we figure there are roughly equal numbers of males and females, this averages out to ... no change in fat intake! Americans did not heed the low fat advice!
- Something's fishy with NHANES gender split? I think so. Just look at a certain Swedish diet doctor's peeve, low fat and no fat yogurt. I know I'm always seeing commercials featuring linebackers and male doctors, lawyers and Indian chiefs (that's a saying from my childhood, however un-PC these days) hawking low fat yogurt. I also know far more women "diet" at any given time so would likely be consuming low fat products. And yet somehow the men managed to reduce intake ever so slightly while the women managed to eat a tad more fat over the years?
- The American diet that did not promote excessive obesity was not a "high fat" diet at >35% fat.
- The American diet that did not promote excessive obesity was not a "low carb" diet. In 1970 it was M/F: 42 / 45 % carb , 1050 / 600 cals carb , > 250 / 150 grams carb. A ha! That's the problem! It just took a while for the 151st gram carb and up to cause insidious weight gain!!
- If NHANES is to be believed, it does not support any contentions that fat intake was reduced and replaced with carbohydrate.
- The obesity epidemic correlates with .... eating more!
- Obesity is more prevalent in women than men. Women increased their intake more than men.
- The latest entry into the make-a-buck-on-LC sweepstakes, Jonathan Bailor, needs to go back to the decade's worth of research he OBVIOUSLY IGNORED and revise his unequivocal "cause" being that we've exceeded some imaginary threshold of 43% starch & sugar consumption. Really, it's embarrassing!!
- When one plays with percents, they can convince some people of anything.
As I've been saying since before I've been blogging ... there's NO need for an "Alternate Hypothesis"!