In July 2002, The New York Times Magazine published “What If It’s All Been a Big Fat Lie?,” a cover story by food journalist Gary Taubes arguing that the carbohydrates in our diets, not the fat, were the likely cause of obesity and heart disease. What sounds perfectly reasonable now — essentially a defense of Atkins and Paleo — was at the time akin to heresy. The critical avalanche that followed was swift and relentless, including aCenter for Science in the Public Interest newsletter cover accusing Taubes of promulgating “Big Fat Lies,” a Reason magazine takedown headlined, “Big Fat Fake,” and a Newsweek scolding, written by a former friend, titled, “It’s Not the Carbs, Stupid.”
Almost fifteen years later, much of what Taubes was pilloried for writing in 2002 has become conventional wisdom. Michael Pollan has since referred to Taubes as the Alexander Solzhenitsyn of nutrition research, and he’s been asked to lecture at over 60 universities and medical schools worldwide — from the Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic to Harvard Law School and Oxford University. Taubes is now widely considered to be one of the most influential authorities in nutrition. With his latest book,The Case Against Sugar, coming out from Knopf in December, we asked him to write about his time in the wilderness. Below, in his own words, Taubes ruminates on bouncing back from professional ridicule.
As a nod to a regular contributor to this blog, who lives not far from the area, I thought I should write about the Sami. When I was younger we would probably have called the Sami ‘Eskimos’ – because anyone who lived north of the Arctic circle and dressed in fur was, clearly, an Eskimo. This term is now, I believe, a dread insult. A bit like calling a Scotsman an Englishman, or an Austrian a German. Or, I believe, a Canadian an American. Wars have been fought over less.
The Sami, unlike the Inuit, who reside mainly in North America, live in the North of Scandinavia: Northern Sweden, Norway and Finland and suchlike. In what used to be called Lapland. However, we now call the Lapps, the Sami (please keep up), so do they live in Samiland?
What I know about the Sami is that they obviously enjoy the cold, eating reindeer and smoking. They must do other things too, but I am not entirely sure what. This makes them very similar to the Inuit, who also enjoy: the cold, eating seals, caribou, and smoking. Neither the Sami, nor the Inuit, have the least interest in eating vegetables. I suppose there may be the occasional frozen carrot – or suchlike – from Iceland (that is a UK based joke).
A MORBIDLY obese woman who loved fast food so much she’d eat kebabs for breakfast has swapped her fast food habit for a caveman diet, and shed an amazing 55kg.
Elora Harre, 23, from Perth, was a size 24 at her biggest thanks to a solid diet of convenience foods including pizza, burgers and kebabs every day for brekkie.
But after developing headaches and sore eyes, she discovered she was pre-diabetic as a result of her eating habits, and was forced to ditch them once and for all.
Now Elora has shrunk from a size 24 to a size 12 after swapping her greasy take away food for the paleo diet, and eating meals consisting purely of natural foods.
She’s been so successful in her transformation, that she has amassed a huge online following and has just launched her own book chronicling her journey, called The Shrinking Violet — How to Lose Weight and Get Fit the paleo Way.
Is Australian orthopaedic surgeon Dr Gary Fettke the victim of a real-life kangaroo court? The Australian Health Practitioner Regulatory Agency (AHPRA) has banned Fettke from mentioning the “s” word (sugar) to his patients now or in future. Legal experts say that AHPRA’s ban has all the hallmarks of a kangaroo court.
Senators conducting an inquiry into AHPRA’s secretive medical complaints process think so too. The senators haven’t said so in so many words. However, they made it clear in targeted questions and comments to AHPRA CEO Martin Fletcher at the inquiry.
New Zealand barrister and solicitor Claire Deeks also thinks so. She says that Fettke is probably the victim of “gross injustice”. What do you think?
Observational associations between red meat intake and cardiovascular disease (CVD) are inconsistent. There are limited comprehensive analyses of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that investigate the effects of red meat consumption on CVD risk factors.
The purpose of this systematically searched meta-analysis was to assess the effects of consuming ≥0.5 or <0.5 servings of total red meat/d on CVD risk factors [blood total cholesterol (TC), LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, ratio of TC to HDL cholesterol (TC:HDL), and systolic and diastolic blood pressures (SBP and DBP, respectively)]. We hypothesized that the consumption of ≥0.5 servings of total red meat/d would have a negative effect on these CVD risk factors.
The results from this systematically searched meta-analysis of RCTs support the idea that the consumption of ≥0.5 servings of total red meat/d does not influence blood lipids and lipoproteins or blood pressures.