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« Western New York Visited | Main | All the Bailout with None of the Corruption »

September 26, 2008


Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

We're fatter these days partly because we move less than people used to. That's the standard expert's analysis and diagnosis, of course. But is it correct? Perhaps it's also possible that people get fat first, and only then move less.

Gary Taubes explains to Jimmy Moore that the direction causation flows in is anything but as clear as the routine authorities would have you believe. Stephan takes on the same question.

I found Gary Taubes' epic "Good Calories, Bad Calories" to be a real eye-opener. Much of what we've been told about eating, food, health, fat, and cholesterol for the last 40 years has been either demonstrably wrong, or based on flimsy evidence and weak experiments.

Cheery news: More evidence that small amounts of dark chocolate are good for you. I'm off to have some.



posted by Michael at September 26, 2008


Darn. Why couldn't it have been milk chocolate?

Posted by: tvoh on September 27, 2008 10:17 AM

I'm not sure that Taubes fully convinced me that he is right, but he certainly did convince me that the "standard model" of recommended nutrition and diet is essentially based on nothing, and may actually be harmful. The push in the 1970's was to "do something" to solve the "crisis" before we were sure about the information we were acting on (gee, where have we heard that before?) and this, as so often happens, made things worse. The impulse to "do something" before we really know what the Hell is going on has probably caused this country more grief in the last 40 years than just about any other factor, and the end is not yet. Financial crisis, global warming, Iran, Georgia, ADHD anyone?

Posted by: Tschafer on September 27, 2008 10:48 AM

TVOH -- Because milk chocolate is passe and I'm a fashion-victim.

Tschafer -- That's one of the best pithy-yet-accurate summaries of recent decades I've ever read. That "something needs to be done" compulsion is a real puzzler, isn't it? Why did the US suddenly become possessed by it? I blame drugs and the '60s myself, but I don't really know what I'm talking about ...

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on September 27, 2008 11:23 AM

And, I adore milk chocolate. Typical.

Why is it that people are always looking for the magic food, er, bullet? I think we all know what we need to do better to stay healthy, but ah, self-discipline! It's an eternal problem, isn't it :)

Posted by: MD on September 27, 2008 2:51 PM

Excessive concern about something as fundamentally trivial as diet, exercise, physical appearance, and the other "crises" that periodically "exercise" us is a luxury of an advanced civilization that is, precisely, undergoing no crises at all.

Let me also say that milk chocolate is a guilty pleasure of mine. Dark chocolate is a duty. I do like it, but it doesn't give me that yummy yummy yummy I got love in my tummy feeling that milk chocolate does. Sigh.

Posted by: PatrickH on September 27, 2008 5:54 PM

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