Tuesday, July 3, 2012

"What Really Makes Us Fat"

The calorie-is-a-calorie notion dates to 1878, when the great German nutritionist Max Rubner established what he called the isodynamic law.
It was applied to obesity in the early 1900s by another German — Carl Von Noorden, who was of two minds on the subject. One of his theories suggested that common obesity was all about calories in minus calories out; another, that it was about how the body partitions those calories, either for energy or into storage.
This has been the core of the controversy ever since, and it’s never gone away. If obesity is a fuel-partitioning problem — a fat-storage defect — then the trigger becomes not the quantity of food available but the quality. Now carbohydrates in the diet become the prime suspects, especially refined and easily digestible carbohydrates (foods that have what’s called a high glycemic index) and sugars.
UNTIL the 1960s, carbohydrates were indeed considered a likely suspect in obesity: “Every woman knows that carbohydrate is fattening,” as two British dietitians began a 1963 British Journal of Nutrition article.
In this article, Gary Taubes goes into what the study I cited in this post - Limits of the JAMA "Metabolic Advantage" Study - did that was unique, and puts it in the historical perspective of scientific investigation into obesity that very few others could.

Read it.  

I'm hopeful that I can finish my critique of AC's criticism of the study; if you don't know AC yet, it'll be fun to meet him.  He's a crossbreed between banty rooster and a bone gnawing terrier.

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