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Another tired rehash of the 1980s Carb / Insulin hypothesis of obesity
on 8 September 2014
I thought this might shed some new light on the obesity problem but instead I read a re hash of Atkins / Gary Taubes et al. Beware the ramblings of another psuedoscientific "nutritionist" demonising "carbs" in a similar biased manner to those she criticises who demonised fat. Hasn't nutrition moved on from demonising macronutrients or is the attraction that it still sells books because it sounds like a simple solution.
The reasoning goes that the government gave out bad advice (low fat) based on Ancel Keys and people followed it (presumably to the letter) and it caused obesity.
She says "How did we go from a meat-eating, butter-slathering, lard-cooking society to the fat-fearful, heart attack prone, constantly dieting people of today? The blame for that can be laid directly at the doorstep of one man." - Ancel Keys
I have a problem with this, if this was really the case why didn't people stop eating fatty foods completely and why did KFC, MacDonalds and the meat trade continue to do so well, did high fat foods tank in this period? By this same reasoning did people stop eating "carbs" when Dr Atkins told them to in the 1980s and that caused obesity since?
Why do food companies spend vast amounts of money on neuroscience if insulin is the simple answer?
Isn't demonising "carbs" as foolish as demonising fat? People can succeed on a low carb or low fat diet why? Could it be as Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse says “The common denominator of such diets is that neither allows consumption of the very caloric and seductive foods that combine high fat with high carbohydrates”
Isn't the carb / insulin hypothesis all rather outdated considering the discovery of Leptin in the 1990s?
People like ideas that "challenge conventional wisdom", but obesity is a complex state and it will not be shoehorned into simplistic hypotheses. According to literally thousands of publications spanning nearly two centuries, the brain is the only organ that is known to regulate body fat mass in humans and other animals-- neither fat tissue itself, nor the insulin-secreting pancreas have the ability to regulate body fat mass as far as we currently know.
As Stephan Guyenet (Phd neurobiology) says in his wholehealthsource blog "If elevated insulin leads to increased fat storage and increased food intake, then experimentally elevating insulin in animals should replicate this (since insulin acts on fat cells in the same manner in humans and non-human mammals). However, this is not observed. Insulin injections at a dose that does not cause frank hypoglycemia do not increase food intake, and in some cases they even reduce it (48). Chronically increasing circulating insulin without causing hypoglycemia reduces food intake and body weight in non-diabetic animals, without causing illness, contrary to what this idea would predict (49, 50). If anything, insulin constrains food intake and body fatness, and research indicates that this action occurs via the brain. Insulin infused into the brains of baboons causes a suppression of appetite and fat loss, which is consistent with the fact that insulin and leptin have overlapping functions in the brain (10, 11). Knocking out insulin receptors in the brain leads to increased fat mass in rodents, suggesting that its normal function involves constraining fat mass (12). Insulin is also co-secreted with amylin, which suppresses food intake and body weight (13). This is why insulin is viewed by some obesity researchers as an anti-obesity hormone."
Then we come to the errors and the references that appear to me difficult to follow: Nina says "The Native Americans he visited were eating a diet of predominantly meat, mainly from buffalo" Hrdlička's book is available online thanks to google books I suggest you search it for "buffalo" No mention to the comsumption of buffalo in that book, but you can find copious references to legume, grain and fruit consumption. If they were healthy as Nina states then could the beans, grain and fruit have helped along with buffalo meat and clams?
Why does Nina consider the studies upon which the Diet-Heart hypothesis was advanced riddled with Methodological Problems yet studies funded by the Atkins Foundation in the past decade a Gold Standard Well Controlled Paragons of RCTs? Why the bias, this is not religion after all it's supposed to be science.
What about the studies of populations who remained healthy and lean on low fat diets such as the Kitavans and the Okinawans? Didn't they deserve a mention?
The picture of Pentane to educate the reader is wrong, it's missing two hydrogens. Was there a proof reader here?
No doubt I am a heretic for drawing attention to the problems of this book I was sadly let down by it.