Ladies and Gentlemen I present .... The new Gary Taubes. Nina Tiecholz

BA, MA politics and history ... or so she tells us on Twitter.

It is a really tough watch, but she manages to mangle the Pima and the Masai, says Atkins ate like a Masai warrior, calls Keys by his first middle and last name like a child needing scolding, oh .... and she drags out Shai.  I'll fill in some links tomorrow if I have time.

Book reviewed by Wheat Belly, Grain Brain and Eades even came out of retirement to promote the book Big Fat Surprise.  Amazing.


charles grashow said…
Don't forget the masters in philosophy!
Don't make me repost the Christian Bale gif again.
rudyInLA said…
Post it. I've never seen it.
rudyInLA said…
Ted talks.....what is there to say. Rehearsed talks usually given by people with the most narrow of viewpoints who are desperate for attention. I can't think of one I've seen, and I've seen a number of them, that stood up to the most basic analysis. Yeah I like some of the stories, but I used to like the Twilight Zone and Batman when I was a kid so what does that mean?
Heh. I was just trolling along in the comments thread on the 14th May post about a certain dietary trial for diabetes. It pretty much spammed the entire thread... and killed any further dialogue (oops).
Ramondelli said…
I'll never get how ppl can come to a myopic conclusion after 8 years of nutritional research.

Also, the demonization of Keys in the Paleo/LC/Keto community is disgusting. Fact is - K. Rations, Minnesota Starvation Experiment, and making it too 100 are nothing less than amazing.
carbsane said…
I don't think it messed up anything Kade. It did post twice to Disqus and I sent one to spam ... perhaps should delete.
Lighthouse Keeper said…
There is a corner of Hyde Park in central London where anyone can get on a soapbox and speak on any subject they want and crowds do gather to listen. Apart from the odd comedian or firebrand it is usually rather banal or just people talking bollocks. These TED talks seem to be going the same way, they have been criticised for being cheap infotainment though there are a few gems.
Fair enough. I guess I'll get off my cross now. The double post happened because I deleted the first one that went into moderation. I've been trying to figure out how the rest of these fine gents manage to post links without the moderation flag blocking the posts.
Totally with you, man. Frankly, I'd take the poorest comedy act on the Hyde Park soapbox over some of these self-righteous, self-parodies that have been overpopulating the TED scene.
billy the k said…
Carbsane commenters are currently on a tear over critics of Ancel Keys, and as I've been in that class of critics in past comments, I'm at risk of inviting more flak but I'll take a chance with this additional note here: Keys' "Minnesota Starvation Experiment" [called the "Great Starvation Experiment" in Todd Tucker's (2006) book of that title] did NOT study starvation. The 36 young, healthy volunteers underwent a 6 month dietary intervention period wherein they were each fed (on average) 1,570kcal/day. This is calorie restriction. 1,570kcal/day ain't starvation. The classic studies on actual starvation (as I've previously noted--also drawing flak attacks) were done in the 60's by George Cahill (along with Oliver Owen). Cahill's
"Starvation in Man" [NEJM (1970) 282 (12) 668-75] is widely regarded as a masterpiece of scientific writing.

Keys' chief experimental finding [Tucker; p. 193] was that the most important element in the rehabilitation of persons suffering from calorie restriction was [wait for it]--more calories. As in give 'em more food to eat. Compare this revelation with the results of Cahill's meticulous studies of fuel utilization during starvation: this is where the world found out what really occurs in the human body under prolonged fasting. As in zero food. Actual starvation, not starvation so-called. Some folks nevertheless maintain that Keys was a world expert on starvation because, well, didn't he do that famous "Minnesota STARVATION experiment"?

No question--Ancel Keys was a prodigious worker. But it appears that his well-known boundless personal ambition ["I'll show those guys..." , as Henry Blackburn recalled him saying prior to designing the Seven Countries Study] occaisionally got in the way of scrupulous science. Remarkable how those occaisional steps outside the bounds of scrupulous science continue to bamboozle.
charles grashow said…
charles grashow said…

The Future of Carbohydrates in Human Nutrition
George f. Cahill, Jr, MD

"Primitive people subsisted on high-protein, high-carbohydrate, low-fat diets. It is now clear that protein intake does not have to exceed 15 percent of calories, that fat intake should be reduced to 30 to 35 percent of calories, and that carbohydrate intake should be increased to 50 to 55 percent of calories. Complex carbohydrates are re-emerging as an important dietary component."
Screennamerequired said…
How many of these characters can they rehash? They wouldn't get these kind of book advances from telling people to eat their fruits and vegetables.
carbsane said…
I don't think it's fair to compare Keys' and Cahill's work. Cahill studied short term metabolic "starvation" ... a better term may be fasting. I've seen "starved" used in place of fasting for periods less than 24 hours ... if a person skips a day eating they likely have fasted over 30 hours, might be hungry but hardly starving.

As to the caloric intake in Keys' study, that was the average reported at onset with the goal of losing 25% weight. These men began the experiment at normal weight, and calories were adjusted downward if weight loss was not sufficient. To imply that they weren't starved is absurd -- they were emaciated. I don't know that this experiment gave us a whole lot of insight in the end vis a vis famine relief, but it has actually provided invaluable information in the understanding and treatment of eating disorders.

I think it is strange how much people put into Henry Blackburn's comments in interviews. Can anyone find a speech or first person accounting of this?
carbsane said…
I do not know how that happens. Sometimes links go to moderation and sometimes not. Strange indeed.
carbsane said…
It's interesting that this apparently has been in the hatchery for a decade!
billy the k said…
Permit me to reply:
1. Cahill studied actual starvation--zero food intake--out to 40 days. I would not, as apparently you would, describe 40 days without any food as "short-term metabolic starvation" (as if it weren't "real" starvation). I didn't imply that Keys' volunteers weren't starved. I stated it. Prolonged fasting--zero food intake--of course leads to certain death. Confusion occurs when "starvation" is used as an adjective. As in the phrase "starvation wages" or "starvation diets". Do the aforementioned low wages lead to certain death? No they do not. Does a "starvation diet" containing 1,570 kcal/day lead to certain death? No it does not. That's the difference that makes a difference. In everyday parlance we know very well what's meant by such loose phrases. I object to their use in matters of science because they are misleading. Empirical rigor suffers from their use.

By "diet" is meant a person's habitual food intake. So whereas we can eat a hypocaloric diet, a hypercaloric diet, a eucaloric diet, a low-carb or low-fat or paleo or calorie-restricted diet, we cannot eat a starvation diet because said diet would denote a zero food intake. Which is not a diet at all. A "starvation diet" is not one kind of diet among others. Grammatically, it purports to be a kind of diet, but unlike those other kinds of diets, a "starvation diet" is no more a kind of diet than a counterfeit passport is a kind of passport. The former is not a genuine diet ( no habitual food whatsoever), just as the latter is not a genuine passport at all.

2. Regarding Blackburn's comments on Keys. You ask: "Can anyone find a speech or first person accounts of this?":
"...the skeptical response by Keys's colleagues to his presentation at the 1955 World Health Organization conference in Geneva represented a humiliating but important moment for him: "THE pivotal moment in Keys life," remembers Blackburn. After the confrontation in Geneva, "[Keys] got up from being knocked around and said, "I'll show those guys"...and he designed the Seven Countries Study." [Nina Teicholz: the Big Fat Surprise (2014) p. 36] Referenced as [p.348] "Henry W. Blackburn, interview with author, July 22, 2008]

I didn't make it up. If you suspect that, like Keys, Nina has a boundless ambition that has led her to write up a, shall we say, less than accurate report, I suppose one could phone Dr. Blackburn to find out if Nina is lying and just made the whole thing up. He's 89 now. Don't happen to know his number, or if he's still in Minnesota. It should be possible to get to the bottom of things by going straight to the source. Find out if she was lying about this. Or not.
billy the k said…
Charles: Once again I wish to thank you, sincerely, for the public service you provide visitors to this website by linking to these pertinent and relevant studies. I for one have benefitted and continue to benefit from these. I do appreciate it and hope you will continue.
charles grashow said…
MacSmiley said…
I'm not getting a video to load on this page. If it's the TEDxEast talk, it was just plain painful to watch. TED is really scraping the bottom of the barrel lately. Over expansion is rarely a good idea.
garymar said…
Great quotes from Ancel Benjamin Keys:
"In Italy, if I had a private fortune, I'd like to put it to use in
vocational training. We need plumbers and electricians. We don't need
all these eggheads."

And this:
"Most diet fads don't do a great deal of harm -- lamb chop and
pineapple, that sort of thing. But such things as the Zen macrobiotic
diet definitely are harmful.

I was doing macrobiotics as a teenager ~1970. I ate so little, I swear I was turning into a Ringwratih. It was my very own Minnesota Starvation Experiment, though I was doing it in Detroit.
Eoin Kenny said…
Just because she doesn't have a degree in nutrition or science doesn't mean she's wrong. How big headed can you all be? Did Bill Gates have a degree in computer science when he started Microsoft? Did George Washington go to college? Com'on people... try be somewhat logical.
carbsane said…
You are right, it doesn't mean she is wrong. However, it explains WHY she makes such erroneous statements throughout this video and her new book. It is also dishonest for her to say in her author bio that she "studied biology" at Yale and Stanford when she didn't. Because of changing fields in my academics and taking summer classes each summer during undergrad, I have attended several prestigious colleges and universities and studied philosophy, economics, political science, psychology, etc. As in I took a few classes as a non-major in those cases. This is what Nina did. Her background is clearly lacking in understanding of the basics.

I'm curious how she got her gigs to be frank. At least Taubes has a hard science (physics), engineering and journalism background.
Dan Rogers said…
I'm always searching for information, and while I relish the opposing viewpoint to what seems to be the paleo craze, I have found this site to be very hateful, jealous of others and mean-spirited. If you really are about helping people, I'd look into a way to do things differently. Your site seems to be one of the unpopular kids taking mean shots at the popular kids(who will always leave you an opportunity to do so.). Being one of the unpopular kids growing up, I found it unhealthy to keep showing how others are deficient to make myself feel better, and found that helping people to be a better way of living this life. You seem very intelligent, and quite committed. I just haven't found anything helpful other than some new ways to verbally express anger. Best of luck.
carbsane said…
Too bad you haven't read the blog then. I wish you well and I'm sorry to hear you weren't one of the popular kids growing up. I'm not out to win popularity contests. Are you interested in how ancestral people REALLY ate? There is a lot of information here on that. You will have to deal with the fact that I call out those who misrepresent the at every turn though.
Dan Rogers said…
I will leave you with this:

I have read your probably 10 different posts in your blog. I refuse to subscribe to any "diet" or "lifestyle" and really feel your site and your obvious intellect could be put to greater use by building something, anything, instead of ripping down every error you can find in others' work.

If you have thoughts about what IS good for humans to consume for a healthier way of life, I am not finding it here. The easiest thing to find on this site is vitriol and verbal abuse.
Hello_I_Love_You said…
"They also felt cold all the time."

"Despite all these changes, the men, in their own minds, didn't perceive themselves as being excessively skinny. In fact, they began to think that everyone else looked too fat, rather than they themselves being too thin. Researchers later noted that this is the same mindset displayed by anorexics."
carbsane said…
Dear Dan,

Thank you for your advice, but since I don't know you, nor you me, I'll file it with the rest of the "well meaning" comments over the years as to how I should go about my blogging.

Look around and you will see that I have built something. If you don't read daily on here about how what I do has helped people, it is because I don't sit around patting myself on the back or feel the need to remind folks that I *help people*. Sigh.

If you are in search of what IS good for humans, you'll find that here as well, but you will have to look a bit because this is not a nutrition blog per se. How ironic though, as the gurus who do spend most of their time telling you what NOT to eat. Here you will find the truth about many of those foods, particularly because many of them contain carbohydrates -- see the banner on the top of the blog.

I consider what Nina Teicholz is disseminating to be dangerously misrepresented and downright made up "science". I wasn't around in 2007, but I intend to do my part in educating people what her various sources and historical figures, etc. really say and did.

Are you interested in a particular topic? Rather than waste my time with useless advice, perhaps ask me a question and I'll be happy to point you in the right direction.
Burlington said…
I was a medical student at the University of MN at the time when Dr. Ancel Keys was at his peak. He did not give us a lecture on nutrition and I never knowingly saw him in 10 years.. He was independent of the department of physiology and had his own department of physiological hygiene in the bowels of the old football stadium.

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines give eggs a break and lightens up on ingested cholesterol but is still going to be politically motivated with enviornmental concerns about methane production and sustainable agriculture.

Teicholtz has nailed it and did a great job too.
carbsane said…
The Guidelines are not yet out. I am concerned that the committee is taking an environmental detour, but to say Teicholz has nailed anything belies your bias.
Burlington said…
Everyone has bias. I started out trying to eat vegan for 3 mo. last year. That was not very satisfying as I was either grazing or on the throne most of the day. I ran across a video on and since have lost 30# effortlessly. I've read two books and much more on the net. The science and physiology is not on the side of a plant based diet. The error of endorsing the low fat diet resulting in this rate of obesity and metabolic
syndrome will be the coup de gras for this economy.
KKR said…
Maybe the old nursery rhyme should be re-illustrated.