The NY Times has even run other articles saying as much: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/01/opinion/sunday/what-really... (by Gary Taubes, whose book "Why We Get Fat" is a must-read.)
The problem with "low-fat" processed food in particular is that the fat is often replaced with sugar to add taste, but sugars and other high-carb grains are more problematic than fat consumption. Hence skyrocketing obesity.
Eating a low-carb diet and easing off grains (particularly "white" grains) and sugars will help you lose weight. From the article I linked above: "On the very low-carbohydrate diet, Dr. Ludwig’s subjects expended 300 more calories a day than they did on the low-fat diet and 150 calories more than on the low-glycemic-index diet. As Dr. Ludwig explained, when the subjects were eating low-fat diets, they’d have to add an hour of moderate-intensity physical activity each day to expend as much energy as they would effortlessly on the very-low-carb diet. And this while consuming the same amount of calories."
I can also speak from personal experience: I went gluten-free after being diagnosed with gluten intolerance in 2009. In three weeks, I effortlessly shed 12 pounds--12 pounds that had refused to come off previously no matter how much exercise I was doing or how religiously I tracked my caloric intake. I wasn't doing gluten-free to lose weight; I got dragged into it by a diagnosis, so this was a wholly unexpected yet awesome side benefit.
I've since noticed that if I slide back into eating too many carbs and sugars (even gluten-free ones), I start to gain weight again, and I feel groggy and disoriented. As a side effect of this diet^Wlifestyle change, I've also completely been able to drop caffeine consumption--something I never expected. Put simply, I didn't feel like I had been hit by a train when I woke up. Caffeine and energy drink consumption has spiked right along with "low-fat", high-carb diets. Something to consider.
Once 30% of your total caloric intake is in the form of fat calories, genetics comes into play. Apparently, and for reasons no one yet understands, there is a gene marker APOC3  and other apolipoproteins like it   that will cause your body to no longer break down all consumed fats, and leading to part of that fat to be "absorbed" instead. However, this only affects around 5% of the population, for the other 95% your "calorie is a calorie" approach is correct, be it fat, carb, or protein.
Overeating makes us fat. Caloric surplus makes us fat. It's pretty trivial to consume a caloric surplus eating lots of fatty foods. In that sense: fat makes us fat and it's silly to try denying it. It doesn't mean a low-fat diet will make you lose weight, it just means that high-fat diets are going to make you fat.
Excellent refutation of Taubes hypothesis:
Insulin does not regulate fat storage, leptin does. Obesity is a complex state and there are no simple answers. A diet that may be best for weight loss in one individual may not be the same diet that is best for another. This seems particularly likely if one of the two individuals is not obese.
The problem with "low-fat" processed food in particular is that the fat is often replaced with sugar to add taste, but sugars and other high-carb grains are more problematic than fat consumption.
They aren't more problematic. Aside from the relationship to cholesterol levels, they are the same problem.
The problems are:
1. High caloric density.
2. *Vanishing* caloric density-- foods that prevent satiation.
3. Addictive flavors and sensations that cause cravings.
I would also add that lifestyle changes are a factor as well as diet. Addictive foods are more dangerous to someone who has a snacking/forager mentality than someone who plans and eats fixed meals every day.
 This appears to be the study referenced in the NY Times article: http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1199154
We know that artificial insulin is a great way to gain weight. But is that only for diabetics? Hardly. It works just as well on athletes. Stop by your local gym and ask any of the chemically-assisted bodybuilders there for details. Insulin injections are a very common way to put on weight while bulking.
The idea that the body is "confused" by food density, which seems to underlie many of your ideas, is simply unsupported. The brain is very good at measuring calorie intake irrespective of density. I could point you to rat studies to confirm this, but I'd rather propose the following experiment that you can try in your own kitchen: Try making cream of cauliflower soup tonight, one with skim milk and the other with heavy cream. Measure how many spoonfuls of each that you can eat before getting full. Your brain does not get fooled by food density.
The important question is not how many spoonfulls it's, how many calories?
1 cup of skim milk is 86 calories. 1 cup of heavy cream is 821 calories.
Let's imagine something a little more simple than cauliflower soup: strawberries and cream. 50 calories of strawberries + 1/2 cup of heavy cream would be 460 calories. An easy, common dessert. You could also eat those 50 calories of strawberries along with 5 cups of skim milk. Or maybe eat a whole pound of strawberries (150 calories) and only need 3.6 cups of skim milk. Or maybe 50 cals of strawberries, 100 calories of shortcake, and 3.6 cups of skim milk.
Which eater is more likely to overshoot their ideal caloric intake by a bit? Which eater is more likely to stop eating the moment they get full?
The brain isn't fooled, but it doesn't have to be. The person who gorged on the shortcake knows they overate, but they still took on more calories than they're going to burn. And of course-- if the brain can be fooled, being fooled by high-calorie foods is going to be worse than being fooled by low-calorie foods, on average. Which is more likely to result in a calorie surplus: Salt on your mashed potatoes or salt on your buttered, cheese-smothered mashed potatoes?
That is why I listed calorie-dense foods as #1. Without understanding caloric density, it's very hard for anyone to know (without outside guidance) when or how they are being fooled.
For your strawberries and cream example, I'm known to have blueberries with cream from time to time. Which ends up typically being a half cup or so of blueberries, and a tablespoon or two of cream. Much more than that is far too much (and that's from someone who's got an appetite).
You're more likely to get fat eating calorie-dense foods.
Yes, not all weight gain is bad and there is more to body composition than weight. But weight was the topic under discussion for this thread.
That's a large part of the salt, sugar, fat trifecta. It stimulates overeating, it spikes insulin at the same time that you're dumping large quantities of fats directly (dietary fat) and indirectly (triglycerides from fructose) into the body, while depressing inclinations toward activity.a
As to my diet, intake typically ranges ~3500-4500 cal/day. I eat consciously and exercise portion control according to my goals.
My argument is that the factors are not mutually exclusive.
Huh and yeah, 4000 calories per day would constitute an absolutely enormous intake, consistent with a professional athlete (marathon runner, NFL linebacker, etc).
Insulin of course would cause fat storage, but your example neither eliminates the other mechanisms, nor is a fault in the brain signalling system as it's an local injection. It's unrealistic to expect the system to have such a fine degree of control.
The role of insulin is to remove excess energy and funnel it into fat cells. That is of course why you see the weight gain. But that is only one part of the system.
As for your experiment, I can say it won't work on me - I typically eat until there is no food left, regardless of "fullness". In fact if I were at a buffet I would eat to actual physical fullness. Yet I do not have discomfort and I am still lean enough for me stomach muscles to show. I have stayed the same weight for the last 15 years. Thus, there has to be a regulation system, perhaps as proposed by Stephan.
Like you, I am generally not impressed with articles I have not read.
What he says (the injection site issue is "argument #4" in his article):
"cases where insulin levels and/or insulin sensitivity are changing independently of one another, [...] through drugs. This is why they're irrelevant..."
If you stick to a paleo/primal diet, it's very hard to get fat because we feel satiated since leptin is being properly regulated. You can also lose weight with caloric restriction, but if your diet consists of pizza and other gluten-containing foods, you will constantly struggle with it due to the addictive nature of these foods. You'll probably be skinny fat (skinny everywhere yet have visceral around your waist). And you won't be precluded from getting diabetes or another disease of civilization.
Like anything, the devil is in the details and the truth is in the middle. But this stuff is not a mystery. Industrial food producers want health to be a mystery for us, so they can sell us their junk. It's actually very simple. Stick to foods that can be obtained by hunting or foraging, and don't eat anything that comes out of a package. My dad followed this advice for a year after getting heart surgery. He went from being pre-diabetic to having normal biomarkers. His doctors are amazed. I'm glad I didn't let him follow their advice of loading up on statins and drinking Ensure shakes.
Do you think obesity is not complex?
You'll probably be skinny fat
Probably? What if you are not? Do you just not count those people?
If you're on a Standard American Diet and don't get fat (or skinny fat), you'll most likely get some other disease caused by inflammation, like cancer, Parkinson's, or Alzheimer's. There are always exceptions though, like genetic outliers, people who produce high amounts of salivary amylase, and high level athletes who burn through all that sugar.
Sure it's one answer, but the Paleo fear of agriculture can get a bit extreme. People in the US have been living to healthy ages for a long time despite eating lots of wheat, corn, rice, potatoes, and dairy products.
Sure you can sustain yourself on grains, but why would you do that when you can thrive on paleo? Hunter-gatheres were stronger and 4 inches taller than the farmers that followed. Keep in mind that modern wheat is nothing like our grandparents' wheat. Modern wheat is a dwarf variety 42-chromosome plant that cannot grow without human intervention. Ancient emmer wheat had 28 chromosomes and much less gluten than modern wheat. Cultures that traditionally ate lots of carbs also lived near the equator in warm climates and were way more active than us in the Western world. Potatoes are fine. Just eat them with plenty of fat/butter to blunt the resulting blood sugar spike, but it's traditionally eaten that way anyway. Dairy is a gray area. If you're of Eastern European descent and still produce the lactase enzyme to handle dairy, then you're fine. There's no cut and dry rules saying what is paleo and what isn't since it's impossible to perfectly emulate our ancestral diet. Modern fruits have been bread to contain much more fructose for example. This is why I believe Steve Jobs' pancreas problems were due to his fruitarian diet, but I'm getting way off topic now.
small, local, sustainable
Modern wheat is a dwarf variety
42-chromosome plant that cannot
grow without human intervention.
And why does size matter? Do you think it's good that modern corn is much larger than ancient corn? Then why would it matter that modern wheat is half the height of the wheat people were growing a century ago? (Though probably still larger than the first domesticated wheat.)
Hunter-gatheres were stronger and 4 inches
taller than the farmers that followed.
Ancient emmer wheat had 28 chromosomes and
much less gluten than modern wheat.
still produce the lactase enzyme to handle
dairy, then you're fine.
I believe Steve Jobs' pancreas problems
were due to his fruitarian diet
Grains are cheaper.
Grains are more efficient to eat, especially on a regular basis.
Grains taste good.
Beginning the article with a lengthy, seemingly unrelated narrative (shaggy dog story) is precisely the sort of rhetorical distraction that I am disappointed to see.
I suggest that if we do, most such people will not be found eating fat in its natural form, but as rendered fat and pressed oil. It is almost certainly the case that the way in which fat is consumed affects satiety: the body cannot see a caloric benefit from fat until it is beta-oxidized in the liver, many hours after it is consumed. So in order to estimate how much you have eaten, the body assumes you have consumed fats in their natural form.
This is key to most low-carb diets: fat is usually consumed in its natural form, since nobody drinks oil (eww) and fatty snacks such as potato chips are banned. It is also an intrinsic feature of the "paleo" diets, which ban processed foods.
So, it might not be too much of a stretch to say that fat as a naturally occuring part of foods like almonds does not make us fat.
The second thing that comes to mind is the balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in a healthy diet. When this is tilted excessively in favor of omega-6, the body produces an excess of certain endocannabinoids (arachidonic acid) which contribute to overeating:
[NB: the mechanism is up in the air. The effect is real.]
The additional, final consideration is the alleged link (as stated in the article) between consumption of land meats and obesity. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_meat#Obesity
I've been harping on "natural", and meat is natural, so what gives? Weirder yet, the correlation is with meat protein, not with fats. And we do know, though, that people on e.g. ketogenic diets lose weight while eating lots of meat: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/82/1/1.short
The simplest way to assign blame is to cry confounding: while meat itself is natural, it is rarely consumed in a natural-food context. Instead, since meat is culturally considered unhealthy, it is often eaten on white bread or in a pack of Lunchables. Support for the confounding hypothesis would be a low r-value in studies that link meat consumption to body fat (i.e. total variation in body fat is only weakly related to variation in meat consumption); falsification might be a very high r-value, or a very well-controlled study.
[NB: I believe the confounding hypothesis.]
It's possible, and perhaps likely, that the body treats processed fats very differently from natural fats. But the real crux of the issue is everything the fats come packaged in. In an almond, the fat comes packaged with a lot of fiber, a decent amount of protein, and a host of other nutrients. In a handful of Cheetos, the fat comes packaged with an array of chemicals designed to circumvent satiety signals, plus a lot of salt, sugar, and other goodies thrown in for good measure.
Dietitians like to draw comparisons between, say, the nutritional profile of a single serving of almonds vs. the nutritional profile of a single serving of Cheetos. But who eats just one serving of Cheetos? That's the real issue. It's pretty hard to eat natural foods to excess; it's exceedingly easy to eat artificial foods to excess.
In other words: it's not simply that artificial ingredients, in and of themselves, are bad. It's that artificial ingredients are intentionally combined in ways to increase caloric density and decrease the brain's recognition of said density.
I think that, in many cases, no extra chemicals are even necessary. Salt, sugar, fat in the right ratios and right texture is all it takes. Moisture and fiber content may also make a difference.
The caloric value of protein is (essentially) negligible.
Not quite "negligible" but food for thought. (pun intended)
You have this backwards. Insulin DOES help regulate fat storage (among other things). Leptin controls appetite and can act as an indication of overall adipose levels. It is conjectured that treating things like diabetes with both insulin and leptin together is better than insulin alone.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leptin and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insulin
And I'll jump in on this calories vs everything else. If, as I've said many times before in other posts, all you care about is weight, only track calories (you'll most likely end up skinny-fat...but at a certain weight. Horray! You are now unhealthy at a lower weight. Congratulations!) If you care about losing fat, track macros and reduce carb intake to lose fat (along with weight lifting, HIIT and some carb-refeeds to manage hormone levels).
This is a rather complex topic, though I'm going to try and frame it a different way. What is the most effective way to put on lean, pure muscle mass? Weight lifting? A caloric surplus? High protein? Yeah, sure, all of that. Do you know what is even more effective? Steroids, specifically some combination of test, deca (or dbol), maybe some sustanon. What is the most effective way to lose body fat, particularly get to a ridiciously low level of body fat (think, getting on stage in a thong)? Caloric deficit? Low-carb? HIIT? hours of cardio? How about steroids again. Clen+Tren+Test. Sure, in both cases, caloric excess or deficit will help, but the stacks ALONE will work.
Why does that matter? Everyone always overlooks the hormones.
Why would it be any different if we don't talk about steroids? Hormones play a very important role in putting on muscle (think, stimulate the muscles by weight lifting, give them aminos (protein) to rebuild and spike insulin to make sure the muscles get the protein). And losing fat is no different (keeping fat high is vital to keeping testosterone high, protein to spare the muscles and lowerish carb to make the body look for an energy source (ie. fat) that you aren't providing. Throw in some weight training and HIIT to further deplete your glycogen stores. Viola, fat loss, muscle spared. Carb refeed once a week to reset your hormones (don't go into starvation mode) and you have a wash-rince-repeat cycle).
So, yes, calories matter, but only once you understand the broader picture. If you only talked calories, frankly, you can't be taken seriously.
I do have a saying, if your only go is "not be a fatass", then sure, there are many, many suboptimal ways to approach this problem. However, if you care about more than just not being a fatass, there is more to think about. Not much more, just a little bit. Overall, though, it is REALLY easy to get this right if you just can articulate your actual real goal.
heh "most likely end up skinny-fat"
I have visceral fat, though I have never been outside my target BMI range. The only time in my adult life that I did not have visceral fat was when I was on a low FAT diet (doctor prescribed) and exercising every day. I do not have pre-diabetes. Other than the visceral fat I show no other signs of metabolic syndrome.
But I don't go around telling people they should be eating more carbs. I don't tell people that eating carbs will make you skinny-fat.
I read it much more as saying that large food companies have developed deep expertise in tuning the quantity of sugar, salt, fat, and texture to make their products bypass our body's natural mechanisms for feeling full.
I think if you're reading this through some kind of paleo/non-paleo lens, then you're missing the point of the article.
Says ~25% increase since the mid 1980s.
I do tend to accept the idea that it is better to get excess calories from fat than from simple carbohydrates and sugars, but I don't think any ongoing significant excess is a good idea, elaborate metabolic theory or not.
Yeah, I didn't get that message either. I think the parent is reading too much into it (a.k.a. projecting).
In particular, the term "bliss point" which seems to apply to a number of properties that food can have. For one example, a "bliss point" as applied to the "crunch" a food should have, ie the most satisfying amount of resistance for a cracker or chip to have is apparently 4 lbs of pressure.
But often there isn't just one single answer- sometimes there are multiple mutually exclusive, highly optimal combinations of preferences, as with spaghetti where you have plain, spicy and chunky. And sometimes, the most satisfying flavor preference is not the most optimal result for profitability- snacks with too strong a flavor will "oversaturate" the brain and you will not have a strong desire to keep eating them after a few samples. In these cases it's better to have a subtle taste that never leaves the consumer feeling quite fully satisfied.
So yeah. It's not really about "fat makes you fat" -- though perhaps there is an aside to that effect -- it's more about corporate junk food researchers foraging their way through a world of data on consumer preferences and designing the most efficient products.
When people go on a low carb diet they:
a. restrict their food intake by restricing their choices (less processed foods if you exclude a massiv part of "
b. increase protein intake (protein has a higher thermic effect than any other macronutrient and drastically cuts down total kcal consumption in ad lib feeding trials by reducing appetite)
You can do something similar with a low fat diet (on which another part of the population will feel better - skewed towards more active and leaner people).
Low carb (whatever that means - not clearly defined) isn't a better choice for your health than a mixed diet with a high(er) protein intake. If it works for you: great.
But that doesn't mean calories don't count and carbohydrates/insulin cause obesity. Nor that it works for everyone.
Insulin plays a role in regulating the patitioning of fatty acids in the body. The flawed thinking, that calories burned by the body is a fixed amount that doesn't vary based on calories consumed, is simply wrong. The key is that energy expenditures only rise when the calories consumed are not being partitioned for storage. Elevated insulin levels cause storage of fatty acids, and inhibit release of fatty acids from fat cells by triggering them to be bound up into triglyceride molecules.
I'm not some hardcore paleo/keto/Atkins dude, but reducing carbohydrate intake (particularly refined carbs) makes appetite control much easier, by virtue of several obvous and not so obvious reasons. The obvous is that proteins and fats fill you up more (satiety), and that could be accomplished with diets that aren't high in fat by simply upping protein intake, of course. However, the less obvious is the energy partitioning going on with low insulin levels. The fat cells are behaving as they naturally should, pulling in and releasing fatty acids in a balanced manner.
How adipocytes "should" behave depends on circumstances...
Insulin resistance is probably more a defensive mechanism against the deleterious effects of overeating.
"The flawed thinking, that calories burned by the body is a fixed amount that doesn't vary based on calories consumed, is simply wrong."
Who believes that nonsense? Of course we have adaptive mechanisms that regulate energy output (especially NEAT) based on energy intake. The kcal in/out model is very much valid. You just have to account for fluctuating variables in the formula.
"The key is that energy expenditures only rise when the calories consumed are not being partitioned for storage. Elevated insulin levels cause storage of fatty acids, and inhibit release of fatty acids from fat cells by triggering them to be bound up into triglyceride molecules."
But this does not happen in a vaccum. This does not matter if you undereat.
And if you overeat on mostly fat we still have extremely significant mechanisms to store these TAGs independently of insulin : HSL / ASP.
In short, whatever facts anyone wants to bring up, there will always be more that either disprove, or at least throw them into doubt. But your final point is absolutely spot on -- it is absolutely about what works for your health and your situation. I've found low carb, unprocessed (i.e. paleo) with a sprinkling of IF and cycling works great, but I don't intend to be a militant defender of this approach; rather, I absolutely advocate n=1 experimentation, figuring out what works for you, and doing something rather than nothing. Learning about paleo kicked off a huge revelation in terms of my personal health and I want others to discover this joy.
Yeah, weight loss is greater because of the bigger WATER loss. (1g Glycogen = 3g Water)
Which results in greater intial weight loss. Besides the possibility of low carb being a better treatment for adipose patients/people suffering from Metabolic Syndrome.
"In short, whatever facts anyone wants to bring up, there will always be more that either disprove, or at least throw them into doubt." > Mostly, if you don't know what you are talking about and haven't dived into the actual primary literature.
Most just lack some basic domain knowledge and read some Taubes. Now they think there must be some big controversy with carbohydrates and low carb going on. Meh.
Self experimentation is great if you use a non retarded approach. I find too many people trying to reinvent the wheel instead of focusing on some basics and then experimenting with how to integrate them into their life/habit.
I never understood this article as a cricicism of fat - that word doesn't even appear to often. Instead, it diligently describes the amount of money invested into making people eat more of this stuff even though more of it is not healthy for them. Moralics and ethics aside:
“How can we drive more ounces into more bodies more often?”
However, if you are in a state of muscular stress, such as after weight lifting, and you eat a ton of glucose - notice I said glucose, not sugar, which contains fructose - and you combine this with a moderate amount of protein and little to no fat, you'll have a bunch of amino acids floating around and this insulin spike will cause your muscles to soak up all that protein and become bigger/stronger/both depending on the type of weightlifting you did with no spillover into adipose fat tissue.
It's this very simple metabolic process that people don't get. Everyone gets all worked up on pointing the finger at fat or sugar or whatever, but this is the "secret".
Btw, for anyone looking to lose weight or put on muscle in a healthy way, check out intermittent fasting, specifically the leangains plan.
Source: I'm a biochem major with a six pack
Also you can get fat on a very low carb diet if you eat too much fat/energy. As a lot of low carb "gurus" do (such a jimmy moore).
As a biochem major you should be aware of other mechanisms besides insulin. (ASP & HSL) Insulin is so terribly overrated.
Obviously if you eat far more than your body needs you will get fat because that's how your body's efficient machinery works. But it's quite hard to do when your stomach physically only has enough room for so much and you'll throw up before consuming that many calories.
Spillover can be very significant, regardless of training. It depends on the makeup of the trainee. The body doesn't work like that (first muscle, than fat) for most people. It's a constant flux in and out of the cells and the overall trend over weeks and months matters for your body composition.
For that reason muscle gain (as a more advanced trainee) tends to require some with fat gain if you want progress at any decent speed (Leangainers often don't).
Why wait for a couple hours btw? There is no magical switch flipped, which prevents fat gain after waiting a bit longer. You probably misunderstood how important some of the processes after a high intensity training session will be for body composition. Read the article above for an explanation.
Depends on caloric density. I have no problem overeating vastly on good ice cream or nuts& dried berries. Easy to get down an additional 3000kcal.
I read your article and this quote stuck out the most:
"The simple fact is that, given that most people train like wimps, if you get them to work harder for a change, good things usually happen." Going to the gym and talking with your buddy is not exercise, but it's exactly what the average gym-goer does.
Between that article and the other one I read which it linked to, Steady State vs. Interval Training: Summing Up Part 2, it seems to prove my point, which is that you can train high-intensity like interval training provided you give yourself enough carbs.
If I say I swim, but I actually bareknuckle fight with other guys. Would it be correct to call this "swimming"?
Kind of weird to just rename an activity.
Regarding empty stomach: http://examine.com/faq/is-it-better-to-do-aerobic-exercise-f...
When I'm doing heavy squats and deads I drink a fuck ton of milk with ice in it during the workout. I find this helps me get through it and makes me feel better.
If I'm doing BJJ I'll have a medium/light meal and a glass of water or 2 before hand so I have nutrients but my stomach isn't all bloated.
I have heard some good things about fasting and I'm not against it per se. I just think it's a bad idea if you're doing heavy strength training for any purpose, especially fat loss.
If one is trying to loose fat, heavy compound movements + a slight calorie restriction seems like a very effective method. But lifting heavy is hard as hell on a calorie deficit so why not do yourself a favor and have nutrients in your blood during the time you're lifting the weights at the very least.
IMO fasting before lifting seems more likely than not to be counter indicated for the typical novice who is trying to loose fat/get fit.
But I do actually think the average novice would benefit greatly from intermittent fasting because, at the very least, it's far easier to get exactly the right amount of calories and fat/carb/protein distribution with 1-2 large meals than with 10 small meals.
Edit: btw, I misread your name and thought I was talking to the Doctor for a second. I was a little disappointed :P
Anything related to nutrition, exercise and sports performance is broscience to a degree.
The more carbs you eat, the more you carve, the more fats you eat, the less you want to eat. Of course if you do not combine them.
For me it has become once per 24h food intake sometimes and then it is more like a necessity than hunger.
I do eat once per week some chips with honey.
But now I cringe thinking about coke, cake, donuts, bread, cookies, chocolate.
I did the warrior diet this summer and lost all sorts of bodyfat/weight. I stopped and forgot about it, then I had the revelation that the last time I made progress was with the warrior diet. Now I am including it two to three times/week with slow carb diet and a cheat day for the others. It is good stuff and not worrying about food has increased! my mental focus. There are points in the day where I literally have felt like I was on adderall. Anyways, just curious about the endorsement...
I'm not 100% convinced that my specific diet is very healthy, so I'm planning on checking in with my doctor to make sure I'm not killing myself. I doubt it's unhealthy because I feel and look fantastic, and, if this trend continues, I'll probably make a website or something to go public with this program.
Read up on hypertrophy as this is how your muscles get bigger. German volume training, vince gironda's 8x8, chad waterbury high frequency training are good plans to look into (all of chad waterbury's workout plans are "cutting edge" imho). I've recently been doing very high number of reps with very low intensity and not going to muscle failure so that I can target the same muscle groups several times a week. Such a workout plan focuses more on muscles getting larger rather than stronger.
Also, if you're looking to cut down on bodyfat in order to see your abs, I would actually use bcaas instead of the whey simply because the goat milk whey likely has calories that your body will use for fuel (ignore that sentence if it doesn't have calories), whereas bcaa's take a different metabolic pathway and go right to your muscles. The point of exercising on an empty stomach is that you're working out with a depleted glycogen supply, which your body will always use up before touching fat storage. If you take in calories before working out then your body will burn through those first before reaching into the fat storage.
After you've finished working out - hopefully your workout was done quickly so you should be very sweaty and have burned a ton of fat calories - wait for a couple hours (at least 2-3) before eating anything. During this time I generally drink almost a gallon of water containing a bunch of bcaas. Your body will continue to burn a shit-ton more fat and will still be primed for building muscle once you spike it with carbs and protein. Be careful to avoid fat though!
Good luck on attaining your fitness goals ;)
My only tip for you is that I have a ganja induced munchies addiction and I think that at one point I was eating too much of the shit and not enough of the good stuff. Resulted in terrible stomach pains that landed me in the doctors office with pills to stop my stomach muscles from spasms.
Anyways, good luck with your fitness as well.
badapada I'm loving it.
That's why we have simple carbohydrates (sugars) and complex carbohydrates (starches).
> The most useful nutritional term is 'junk food',
That's not a useful term. Most people wouldn't think freshly squeezed orange juice is junk food, yet it contains a lot of sugar.
This doesn't make either any less a source of carbohydrates.
This, aside from other potentially valid points you may make, is utter nonsense. The concept of "stubborn weight" simply doesn't make sense.
Your comment as a whole reeks of the pseudoscience that plagues the nutrition field and makes it incredibly difficult to determine fact from fiction when trying to get healthy.
Except, you know, in practice. There are many potential explanations for why this could happen, but "pretend it doesn't happen" is not one.
So yes, in practice, it doesn't make sense.
The key point is that it is only very specific varieties of fat that matter for heart disease. It goes in to much more detail than his opinion piece for those looking for more info.
But here you go: http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/12edbj/im_gary_taubes_...
Your jerkiness aside, his reply to that seems clear and cogent. In particular, this seems like a reasonable criticism: http://nusi.org/the-science/review-of-the-literature/
It's not even clear to me that the post you link and his reply are necessarily at odds. A calorie-metering approach and a shift in diet could both be effective weight-loss strategies in that they would be acting at different points in the process and using different resources.
Besides his general criticism (which is valid), he doesn't actually address any of the findings of the studies.
Cherry-picking is where you pick the sources that support your case while ignoring the rest. What he did was a sweeping dismissal.
He may be right or wrong; I have no idea. But if you're going to accuse somebody of being an intellectual fraud, you should probably know what you're talking about.
I find it hard to take that site seriously when they call fish oil a "brain booster" next to a great big affiliate link to buy fish oil supplements on Amazon . Also they don't seem to have a page about trans fats at all. Are they pushing an agenda through cherry picking and deliberate omission of contrary information? I don't have the time or energy to investigate. (Note: I'm not trying to defend Taubes here, as far as I can tell he is a hack).
A brain booster
A heart health compound
A liver health compound
How is this misleading? See: http://examine.com/about/#support
Trans fat page is in the works AFAIK. Also it's mainly a supplement site. (wiki for the evidence on supps) FAQ is just a useful addition.
In my personal opinion the content that has showed up on Examine has been pretty stellar. It has grown considerably in a short amount of time and is one of the few sites that hosts this sort of content and isn't riddled with ads.
That is the exact equivalent of what you did. They clearly say "Why the buy link" right next to that link.
And if you actually tried reading it, right here: http://examine.com/supplements/Fish+Oil/#summary7-1 - "brain boosting"
So no time or energy for anything but wild accusations.
A+, would read your scientific literature.
In this sense, a calorie is not a calorie - but to be precise it's more that different sources of calories have different side-effects on the body when converted INTO energy/calorie.
Now to grains (specifically wheat-based products): gluten. The single reason why people in my athletic sphere (CrossFit) avoid wheat products as a source of calories when training is because of gluten (and sometimes yeast - as it does stimulate candida growth).
Gluten can cause all sorts of problems that aren't related to the calorie intake - diseases, obesity, inflammation, etc...
(I won't cite anything here for that because the information is widely available and in many books - although there are still "studies" that would say this information is bunk)
I consume around 4-5k calories per-day as part of my training. As long as you use it, the calories aren't bad for you but the source of the calories must be clean.
Gluten is extremism overhyped, but sensitivity to it can be a problem.
I think the point of the article is that it is easier to overeat processed foods (such as cake) than unprocessed ones (such as potatoes and nuts) because the former are engineered to not trigger your brain's sense of satiety.
Aside from that, I'm a bodybuilder and I hold CrossFitters in very low regard - but the comment you are responding to is correct in the sense that "clean" foods make it easier to manage one's weight, even though "a calorie is just a calorie."
You're welcome to your own opinion, of course, I can't change that; but what you wrote is just as silly as someone saying that they hold "black/white/asian" people in very low regard.
People just call clean, whatever they like/think is beneficial. Everything they deem harmful is unclean.
Agree on the crossfit comment.
Is the word "clean" slightly ambiguous? Sure. Is English as a natural language ambiguous? Definitely. I'm not going to go write an entire article about what "clean" means to me then reference said article every time I try to talk about "eating clean".
Your agreement with the above poster about "holding CrossFitters in very low regard" is just as childish as the statement you're agreeing with. How would you feel if I decided to belt out saying (or agreeing) that something you do which can't possibly be represented by any one generalization is something I hold in very low regard?
I'm not about to get my feelings hurt across the internet - but I promise if you do go about your life acting like that you will hurt someone's feelings.
So it's useless.
Regarding Crossfit: There are some very valid reasons I think very badly about CF. It has amazing marketing and can offer a great community (though cult-like). But harms a lot of people long term > see comment above.
What kind of questions do you have?
I basically don't know who's right and who's wrong anymore, because everybody claims that everybody else has an agenda or is being intentionally misleading.
Having eaten paleo for several years and done low carb, keto, zig-zag and all that jazz under expert supervision, I still don't know if at the end of the day I'm killing myself. The chain of events that leads to atherosclerosis seems to be very poorly and inconsistently understood by mainstream medicine, and you hear vastly different interpretations of what your lipid panel numbers actually signify for your long-term health.
That's where my frustration is coming from.
When a Michelin chef meticulously constructs a dish to give you pleasure, he's a creative genius whose dedication to his art is applauded.
But when the people behind Snickers do it to give you pleasure, they're nefarious conspirators trying to manipulate you and keep you addicted.
Yes, people who make food are trying to make it taste better, minimize their own costs, and keep you coming back. Why is this suddenly considered "news"?
(I mean, the article is plenty interesting, it's just the sensationalism of calling it "food engineering", "addiction", etc. that bothers me.)
If you talk to a chef who makes a tasty dish, they understand a lot about their influence on people's health, and the ones I know feel responsible for it. A human's evolved moral mechanisms work in that context.
But if you look at the property bubble and the related financial engineering, every individual had plausible deniability. They were just following orders/incentives/the market. They had no direct moral connection to the outcome of their actions, and by and large refused to think hard enough that they could see one. As Upton Sinclair said, "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."
The same applies to the modern epidemic of diabetes and obesity. The human cost of that is incredible, and we will be dealing with it for decades, possibly generations.
Many processed foods are engineered, and they are addictive. The way they are created, marketed, and evaluated isn't materially different that how tobacco products were made and sold. The only real difference is how society's attitude to those products has shifted.
That's a reasonably healthy meal.
Take the same chicken. Take as much meat off it as you can, and sell that as chicken breast etc. Mechanically recover other bits of meat from the carcass. Shape it into a tiny mouthsize bite, with salt and spices and fat and filler. Then cover it in a breadcrumb coating. Deep fry it. (That crumb coating soaks up the oils.) Serve it with a sugary-sauce. You now have something which is much cheaper than the roast chicken; it's much easier to eat; it's weirdly tasty; but it's also weirdly not satisfying.
And the reason this is done is not to create the best tasting food possible (the motivation behind Michelin starred chefs) but to cuts costs while getting people to buy more. They don't care about the pleasure you get - they only want your money.
Is it conspiracy that they use some of the same techniques as the processed food industry, or is it just those are some of the basic techniques to make food taste good.
Look at that recipe - you have big bits of meat, with bones, and some salt / fat coating. You take a bite, and you chew it, and then you have to fiddle about getting bits off the bone.
Popcorn chicken is tiny. You pop one in, and you're reaching for the next one as you're chewing the first.
The recipe uses big bits of chicken. Popcorn chicken uses the bits of the carcass that would normally have been used for soup.
There are different ratios of fat to meat content - popcorn chicken has a lot more fat, because it has a lot more coating.
Both of them are tasty, but one has been engineered to be maximally tasty at minimal cost.
Food could be a fascinating documentary. Instead we get "supersize me", which is fun but not rigorous.
The Michelin Chef cares about the quality of the ingredients that goes into what he serves me. If he tries to pass off "Cheese Food" as cheese, a human enterprise that has existed on this planet for centuries, he will be rightly ridiculed and stripped of any credibility.
Everybody wants to blame Kraft, and Nestle, and Coke for being fat. It's up to you, not some company, to decide what you eat.
I may as well respond by bringing up the mother of three who works 12 hour shifts at walmart was expelled from highschool and never had even the most basic idea of food preparation or culinary training. I suppose she should simply 'bootstrap up' like the rest of us did when we were in that situation. Hah, oh that's right, the vast majority here are college educated and in the top 15% of income earners.
This gets us nowhere. It's a circular argument that has been done to death.
If you want to argue that I (me personally) should know better, absolutely, if you want to argue someone in the bottom 50% should know better then go volunteer at a shelter.
In my country people who have never been to school or even know what a school is, ordinary farm labor workers or daily wage workers involved in construction work. Or people who work as a push cart vendors or name any low level work(Which probably you don't even know in the US exists) perfectly cook their own food and feed themselves.
But somehow in the US you need to go to Stanford to learn how to cook!
For instance, take http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/foodanddrinknews/921...
You actually need someone to take care of you so that you can't drink 9 litres of Coke per day, and if you do, the Coca-Cola Company is responsible?
I blame consumer protection laws, which have gone too far in some things. (In others, they haven't gone far enough.)
Not saying you don't have a good point, but it's not as mindlessly easy as you make it seem.
Would people even pay for a dinner that left them feeling empty at the end of the night? I don't think so.
Let's not pretend that restaurants and junk food engineers have the same goals.
I think there's a big difference from standard vendor lock-in, in that many different companies provide similar junk food.
It's similar to the implausibility of group selection -- doing things for (unrelated) group members doesn't give a differential advantage for the doer's genes, so it tends not to happen. Likewise, techniques that hook you on "sugar-fat foods" ("superstimuli") in general benefit all companies in the market, not just yours.
So I don't think the vendor lock-in model has the same dynamic or is representative of the incentive set that food companies have.
 Pushers of illegal drugs have yet another dynamic at play, in which case finding a steady source of the drug is hard, so hooking one user will likely mean they buy from that pusher, not from dealers in general, due to the difficulties of navigating an illegal market.
Food and willpower have a tricky relationship, because willpower is literally fueled by food (glucose). When you're well-fed, your willpower is high, but when your glucose is depleted, suppressing the instinct to reach for that donut is a non-trivial proposition.
I think it's absurd to hold super-stimuli providers legally or morally responsible for poor nutrition habits; they're giving people what they want. But I do think it's helpful for consumers to view Doritos and Coke in the same category as other risky behaviors with high addiction potential: cigarettes, gambling, etc.
That's a good point, and it would be interesting to learn what keeps consumers from searching for substitutes. I guess that marketing and branding makes people so strongly associate the good feeling with one very specific brand, which makes them not want to seek out all a low-bidder.
Otherwise, I think we're in agreement, and we have to recognize that the effects of the foods make people deviate from the "level-headed decision maker" that justifies leaving people to their own devices.
So they have this model called "drinks and drinkers" which tells them that heavy drinkers are their bread and butter because it is more efficient to get existing users to drink more than it is to find new 'drinkers.' OK, I get that. But how do they use this information? They identify poor people as potential heavy users and start targeting them by aggressively marketing to vulnerable areas and making smaller bottles that cost only 20 cents. Sure they'll have somewhat lower profit percentages but they can make up the difference in volume.
I follow the logic but here is my problem: is hawking the stuff off on Brazilians living in favelas really ok? You could make the case that it's a win/win scenario (Coke gets more money and poor people get Coke for cheaper than water) but the fact that they are being targeted because they are more susceptible to becoming 'heavy users' (read: addicts) seems nefarious to me.
When was the last time you saw a lemonade ad?
Why aren't parents more responsible for their children's health?
As a parent myself, I know how damn hard it is for kids to eat anything consistently, especially "healthy" foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables. And our kids have snacks in moderation.
It seems to me that if parents were more "responsible", which is a horribly generalized term, then the food executives wouldn't have private meetings to discuss how to deal with obesity - their products would have adapted to the healthy market.
Parenting is hard. Being a "responsible" parent is harder. Tough shit.
I don't think it's really a responsibility thing. I don't know any parent that _want_ their kids eating junk, but fresh fruit and vegetables are actually quite expensive and far more difficult to keep than your average junk snack. That's the hard part: justifying the higher cost and spoilage when you're just barely making the bills.
Most of my childhood was spent right at the government assistance threshold. During the down times, our health increased, and our dit included more fresh fruit and vegetables. During the times above that line, with no assistance, the high cost of fresh produce meant meant that it wasn't around.
So, to answer your question, "Why aren't parents more responsible for their children's health?" Because they can't afford to be. Though there are many factors that contribute to the obesity problem, claiming it's poor parental responsibility is a useless over-simplification.
Btw, I've been parenting for 18 years now. When is it supposed to get hard?
I found one way to hack their stomach share is to stick cut fruits/carrots on the table when they're doing homework. Another technique is to introduce subtle variety into the shapes, kind of like how pop songs have the same tune but a lot of work goes into varying the accompaniment. With carrots, give them a mix varying thickness, length, tapers etc. Observe how they eat. They'll start to play with the shapes etc.
Since you have daughters and they'd listen if you knew something tricks that'd help with weight. Talk to them about set points.
The level of sugar, salt and fat we prefer depend on what our "set point" is. A set point is like a thermostat. It determines what we feel is comfortable or not.
If you go to developing countries, you will find cakes and biscuits that are very plain tasting. It isn't because they don't know how to make cakes and biscuits. It is because the people have a different preferred set point. If you serve them typical American desert, they will actually react in disgust because it is overpowering.
The same with soft drinks. A person who consumes soft drinks regularly raise their set point for sugars. To the extent they will no longer drink plain water. One only has to look around at their friends to realize this is going on.
The trick though, is this - the set point can be altered. There are two parts to this - water, and attention.
Drinking plain water regularly will, after six to 12 months, increase your preference for water. It will also alter your set point that after a while, you will find rich foods a little too rich for your liking. Going cold turkey for two weeks can be very helpful when starting out. Initially, water will taste disgusting. But your ancestors have been drinking water for millennias. Put up with it for a while and your set point has to be down-regulated. I personally know of someone who lost 15 kgs from just changing their water-drinking habit alone.
Paying attention is another method. One of the common problems is food manufacturers have flavored their food to suit inattentive eating. Paying attention to the sugars in your foods will cause you to notice how overpowering it is. The same with salt.
As a Indian I realize how true this is. People from my workplace generally bring chocolates when they come back from the US work assignment. I find it strange that chocolates are so cheap and easily accessible in the US.
I find that as an over dose of sugar. I mean one chocolate down and I don't feel like I need sugar for the next 2 days. That is how much I feel full and yet I see kids in US munching them all the time.
Its just how you are seasoning your body to it.
Kids should drink only water, every day, all day.
Great points - and, besides the expense, even having access to fresh fruits and vegetables can be difficult for some.
Unfortunately, I over-simplified my view, but parents are a huge influence in their kid's behavior and choices. And the analysis of a market changing to be more healthy is not new - Frontline investigated this several years ago:
"The investment analyses -- and there have now been three of them that I'm aware of: one from UBS Warburg, and J.P. Morgan in Great Britain, and another from Morgan Stanley in the United States -- all three of them say the same thing, that if people start losing weight, they're going to have to be eating less. Eating less is going to be bad for business, and it's going to be much worse for some businesses than others, so that if these food companies don't fix their product mixes to make healthier food products, and market them in a way that emphasizes the healthfulness of food products, especially those that are lower in calories, they're going to be left behind in this mass movement towards more healthful eating."
I don't know how it works in the US but here in France if there were vendor machines in the schools where my kids go to, or if they were served hamburgers or fries at lunch, I would be up in arms, and eventually I would take them to another school (they're in a normal state-run school BTW, not a fancy private school).
My kids drink only water, at home... or in school!
It may be impossible to monitor what our kids eat during the day, but it's certainly possible to make sure schools don't feed them junk food just because it's more convenient.
Also, I don't think it's up to (young) kids to "make choices", good or bad. We make choices for them (we being parents and tutors). Schools should ONLY offer healthy food, and nothing else.
That's what schools are for: educate.
Offering a mix of healthy and unhealthy food for kids to choose is like teaching maths by offering either to watch TV or practice math problems, and expecting kids to not choose TV.
I wouldn't call such a place a "school".
How are schools marketing unhealthful food? (I'm assuming this is different from the school lunches.)
"Oh, you need new uniforms for the basketball team? We can help you with that. Just put our machine in the hallway, and our logo on the scoreboard." This is not hypothetical; this is how things were run when I was in school.
Our poll used a unique design to get at what is actually happening in the life of a "target child" in each household. We supplemented their responses with more than 800 that came in when we asked parents, through NPR's Facebook page, to describe their own "crunch times."
The most striking finding is that U.S. parents "get it."
When we asked a parent or other principal caregiver in our poll how important it is that their child eats and exercises in a way to maintain a healthy weight, more than 9 in 10 said it was important — and most said it was "very important."
But all too often, there's a disconnect. Despite good intentions, it's not happening. 
You do realize that you're saying "tough shit" to the children too, right? You know, those whose outcomes are the whole point of these discussions? They're ultimately the ones who have to deal with the consequences the most, and for some reason dismissing their stake in this with "you should have thought about that before you decided to have irresponsible parents" doesn't seem to hold much water.
Note that I'm not making a point for or against regulation of advertising unhealthy foods to children, but dismissing the comparison to tobacco with "parents should be responsible" is beyond silly.
*If my assumption is wrong and you are actually in favor of completely allowing the advertisement of tobacco to kids, then never mind, disregard this comment.
In my opinion (as a casual observer), the regulation of "junk food" will be nearly impossible.
Edit: Fixed typo.
This is literally no way in which this could backfire.
I understand the downvotes since I knew my post would be controversial in its unfortunate generalization. Parenting is not easy - and a bunch of hand waving and saying "tough shit" doesn't make it better.
However, parents do have a significant role in the obesity in children. I would like to hear an argument that it's solely the food companies' fault and not the parents. (And please understand that I am not a champion of any sort of these food companies.)
Ha, I've actually been doing this since I was a teenager. It's really fantastic for managing junk food cravings, which arise not because I'm hungry, but because I just like to have something to chew on while I work (especially while programming). A one-pound bag lasts me about three hours and is more-or-less guilt-free.
I wonder if there's a way to engineer healthy food to taste better without actually adding any ingredients. Maybe through bio-engineering or the like. Or maybe injecting them with air or drilling out little holes.
I was 210, and lost 70 lbs by restricting my caloric intake (by eating vegan). I ate sugar during this time. I ate carbs.
Every single person I know who's overweight simply eats too much. They also are the first to tell you that its not as simple as eating too much. It is.
Sure, personal responsibility and all. That doesn't imply that a drug-pusher/dealer isn't an asshole.
The self-satisfied responses to your N=1 sample size study, just because it validates the commonly accepted nutritional orthodoxy is what makes me fear for the public policies that come out of this debate.
Now, I think those secondary considerations have a small impact on overall calorie consumption. For just about any food, a calorie measured by a bomb calorimeter is probably just about a calorie available to move the body, maintain the body, or stored in fat for later.
The body is a tough thing to study objectively.
The high variance is really besides the point, which is that if you are gaining weight, you are consuming too much for your current situation. You can either work to expend more, or reduce your intake, both of which are perfectly reasonable options.
There is no objective measure for eating too much, but it's also trivially easy to find out if you're eating too much for you.
Perhaps I should be more clear: Your body has mechanisms for defeating your ability to work to expend more (fatigue), and driving you to eat (cravings, hunger pangs). I'm not arguing with your basic premise: you must consume less then you expend. I'm arguing with your "calorie is a calorie" dogma. For insulin insensitive people (read: overweight people), 1 calorie of fat will satisfy you more (turning on the satiety mechanism) better then 1 calorie of sugar will.
Actually it's not. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metabolism
If you want to reach a certain aesthetic then that's fine, but as far as I know the "obesity problem" is more about a persons health and well being, not being aesthetically pleasing.
So we can sit here and point fingers at what diet is best or whether or not we should cut fats out of our diet, but at the end of the day the true issue is simply people do not have the will to exercise, and they either do not have funds or the will to eat a healthy amount of calories.
As somebody who has gone over the past decade from no exercise to running 15+ races and is now training for my first triathlon I am happy to say that "will to exercise" is not actually the problem for anybody I know. That certainly wasn't my problem.
The good news is that people actually study this for a living. If you want a readable introduction to the limits and uses of willpower, McGonigal's The Willpower Instinct is a fine place to start understanding why, "Oh, those people are just weak," is a lazy and wrong answer.
a) Were you considered obese or over weight before you started training for these races?
b) If exercising wasn't the problem, then was it food choices? Did you have to resort to something other than simply lowering calorie intake to reach (and maintain) a healthy weight.
Your also correct I haven't posted any references, my exposure to dieting/lifestyle changes and weight loss is little more than what I hear from colleague, what few articles pop up on hacker news, CBC radio and the little research I've done myself.
Also thank you for the book recommendation, I'll be sure to check it out.
I think they find plenty of other things to think about, and they are so removed from the consequences of their actions that they can easily avoid the truth. They just keep those graphs moving up and to the right, mouth some platitudes about "an appropriate part of a balanced diet", and keep cashing those paychecks.
People can avoid thinking about human costs when they are stepping over bums on the street. I have no doubt that they can do it from the 33rd floor of an office building.
Seriously, this hand-wringing is ridiculous. Excellent article here: http://reason.com/archives/2013/02/25/frito-lay-wont-make-yo...
Are you really asking why chips and snacks are thought of differently than a drug like heroin, or a drug delivery system like a cigarette? I'd say you're playing your hyperbole card a little too strong if so.
LMAO, they probably employ dozens of scientists trying to figure how to get people to eat more. Could the speaker have been any more clueless? He would have been better off pushing some solution that had been user tested not to hurt sales. E.g. use Stevia instead of sugar, cost goes up 5%, but sales rise to match as you capture some dieters you wouldn't otherwise or something. Instead he told them to research getting people to want less of their product.
They do like we all do. Try to develop a product, test it, refine it, in order to sell more of it. One of the common mantras here is that its good to do A/B testing to get better conversion. But when General Mills does it, it's somehow evil?
Once a year or so I end up in Vegas for a weekend. Every time, I look at all the electronic games and think, "Man, I could build something much more engaging and compelling than slot machines." And then I start thinking about cool products.
After about 10 minutes of this, I wake up and say, "But that would be wrong!" because I've finally gotten as far as thinking about the moral consequences of making Vegas even stickier.
I've turned down lucrative offers from entrepreneurs for similar reasons. If I get rich by making the world worse, it's just an elaborate scam, taking advantage of weakness and ignorance to fill my bank account.
I doubt people's objection is to the methods. It's probably to what they're used for. A/B testing is not inherently evil. However, to illustrate with an example (not necessarily related to the discussion), if I were to do A/B testing to determine the best way to sell heroin to little children, then what I am doing is evil. It is irrelevant that I'm using a method used by legitimate people.
I would find no sympathy if I said that selling heroin using these methods is fine just because you use these methods to sell your mail app or whatever.
GP's argument is easy to understand: Companies are trying to sell more of their product. This is their primary aim. Their product is suboptimal for children's health. Telling them to sell less isn't going to work because they don't care about this. It's not that they're intentionally malicious. It's just not a priority. Therefore, if you want them to sell healthier product, convince them of a business opportunity.
There's no value judgement in that.
But we're not poisoning people, even in the worst case. All we can do is screw up the internet.
You can make the case that these "poisonous" snack foods are so appealing because they are cheap, because the government only gives subsidies to agriculture used in making junk food, but that's a stretch & still assumes there are no other options (like eating healthier or eating less).
That's far from the truth. These junk food brands spend enormous amount of money on advertising, product placement, and other ways to influence consumers. Why? Because it works to manipulate them.
See, for example:
Or talk to anybody who works in mass-market advertising. Or hell, just visit Vegas. If people were rational actors, Las Vegas would still just be a place where the Hoover Dam workers lived.
If something has been learned in the last 10 years is that whole foods matter and that you cannot reduce them to their macronutrient profile.
Two foods with identical profile yield totally different results.I recommend to read Willet book on eat, drink and be healthy.
Doing the slow carb diet for over a year now. Lost over 50lbs. With the 1 day to cheat rule, I definitely ended up eating more candy, sweets, cake, chocolate, etc. than I would have at any other point in my life. Crazy as it seems, I developed a sweet tooth while on this diet! But it just goes to show, a calorie isn't a calorie because our body has functions and reacts differently at different times.
somewhat related there is a great lecture about Sugar (sucrose vs fructose vs ethanol) and some history on HFCS in America http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM