Taubes be da Man

I have always admired the work of the great Taubes, since he is fearless even when he hopes to get published by the NYT and other lefty pubs.

Taubes put a pin in a few balloons over the years, on diets and weight loss.


However his most important contributions have been on the junk science of modern public health epidemiology and toxicology.

This guy is the real deal and here takes off on one of JunkScience.com’s favorite and most stimulating topics–nutrition and the advocacy of various nutritional regimes.

My approach to food is I eat anything and everything that the Lovely, Talented and Gracious woman I married considers appropriate and try not to eat too much. How bout u?

Here are some links to the epidemiology commentary from Taubes.



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11 responses to “Taubes be da Man

    • It’s hard to pull any truth out of the article you referenced as they are badly misrepresenting the Atkins diet. It’s also not entirely true that Taubes “validated the Atkins diet”. Rather, Atkins claimed Taubes’ statement validated his diet. Further, the Atkins diet does work as a fad diet. By that I mean, if strictly adhered to, it will cause you to lose weight relatively quickly. Whether that weight loss, or any weight loss, is healthy is a different question.

      The Taubes piece is calling into question low-fat fad diets while Atkins is pushing a high-fat fad diet. The two issues are not mutually inclusive. It seems to be junk-science vs. junk-science. The line “the Atkins-Taubes thesis of “fat won’t make you fat” encourages obesity in a similar way: It offers carte blanche for consuming limitless calories” is a clear-cut example of a straw man argument as the Atkins diet strictly outlines the amount and quality of proteins to be eaten. At no point did he suggest that you could eat unlimited quantities of “fatback, pork rinds, and lard.” Atkins threatened the incomes of the classic low-fat diet salesman and this article is just them fighting back.

      Of course I’m of the opinion that all fad diets are predicated upon the lie that there’s something wrong with your body shape and it will kill you if you don’t pay lots of money to the fad diet and exercise industry. The obesity epidemic itself is founded on questionable statistics and frequently changing definitions. The unending list of attendant diseases and disorders allegedly caused by obesity is fraught with the classical confusions between correlation and causation. The blamed villains are the same litany of modern conveniences, inexpensive foods, cooperate interests, and insufficient access to health care that gets blamed for every agenda-driven politicized social ill.

        • I do. This author is much more competent. He readily admits the points where Taubes is correct and addresses those points where Taubes has gone off the rails without resorting to logical fallacy and personal insult.

          As I said, the previous article was junk science vs. junk science. Both sides were wrong. Coincidentally, both sides were selling something. This article admits the fact that carbohydrate restriction works for its stated purpose and that fat restriction does also but not quite as well. The question at hand is merely why. The conclusion the author arrives at is the same one I’ve been telling people for decades. It’s genetic. So the next question for me is, why should people spend billions of dollars and untold hours of their lives trying to change their genetically predetermined body shape to fit some social construct of ideal beauty?

        • This one is just click baiting. The author is riding the controversy generated by Taubes’ war with the traditional dieat quacks in an effort to drive an uninterested readership to his macroevolution theories.

        • After perusing a bit of the random assorted articles it becomes clear that this site is just an advertisement for Mr. Krieger’s paid services. He’s still taking advantage of health scares and cultural fads to convince healthy people that they need his services to change their body. The study he cites “It is well established that overweight people underreport their food intake on average” Is shaky self-reporting at best. The author simply cites one survey that supports the over simplified “eat less than you burn” model and hand-waves the fact that given identical diets and identical activity levels people of different genetic backgrounds will end up being different shapes. This leads to the insulting and demoralizing myth that fat people are just lazy and not trying hard enough.

          • “The author simply cites one survey that supports the over simplified “eat less than you burn” model and hand-waves the fact that given identical diets and identical activity levels people of different genetic backgrounds will end up being different shapes. This leads to the insulting and demoralizing myth that fat people are just lazy and not trying hard enough.”

            “Eat less than you burn” cannot be related to “lazy.”

            • Unfortunately, the relation is often made by people insinuating that anyone who doesn’t fit their arbitrary set of guidelines must be sitting on the couch eating chips all day. A lot of people, even doctors, seem to honestly believe that all anyone has to do is eat less and exercise more and they’ll miraculously change into a skinny person.

              It is simply not true that eating less than you burn will always result in a dramatic change in body shape because the body is a dynamic system that reacts to changing stimuli in an effort to maintain equilibrium. The naturally skinny person like me can consume more calories than they burn for very long periods of time without becoming obese. Naturally heavy people can torture themselves with more exercise than average and try to exist on a starvation diet and still remain heavy by arbitrary standards. This is not a violation of conservation of mass and energy, it is a difference in how the body digest, stores, and uses mass and energy. The question is not simply one of calories consumed vs. calories burned. You must analyze calories effectively digested vs. calories made available for use or storage. Two people can eat the same slice of cake and due to differences in their digestive and metabolic systems utilize the nutrients therein very differently.

              This article is a decent starting point but there’s much more to be found if you’re interested. http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/2012/08/27/the-hidden-truths-about-calories/

              There are obvious biological reasons why this should be true. In predominantly cold climates natural selection would favor people who easily build stores of fat even during times when food is not plentiful. In predominantly hot climates natural selection would favor people who remain lithe even though food is plentiful.

              It is a fatal flaw to start any theory off on the basis that all human beings are essentially the same. The idea that all human beings will react the same way to the same level of diet and exercise is ridiculous. No two people have the same length intestine, the same makeup of gut flora, the same brain chemistry directing their appetite. For me, the logical assumption is that some people are supposed to be heavier than others.

  1. I’m on the see food diet.
    I see food, I eat it.

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