2012-01-17

The Shangri-La #Diet debate replays #Atkins

2011.11.9: web.health/diet/shangrila diet:
[2012.1.17: summary of news:
.  psychologist professor Seth Roberts
had written The Shangri-La Diet:
The No Hunger Eat Anything
Weight Loss Plan (2006)
. the point of the title is that
the book was not so much about dieting
as it was about retaining your dieting results
by the use of associative learning theory
for lowering your Body-Fat Set Point .
. having some personal anecdotal evidence,
he wrote the book to ask the public
if they would like to join an online experiment
(Shangri-La Diet forums at sethroberts.net).
. Dr.Ford accused him of abusing his professional title:
"( Dr. Roberts has not been shy or circumspect about
touting his credentials as an
associate professor at University of California, Berkeley.
However, despite his status as an academic,
he has opted to bypass his own colleagues
and the checks and balances of his own profession.
Rather he chose to go straight to the lay press.
Obviously by mentioning his university affiliation,
he intended to give the added weight to his conclusions
that such a position would appear to justify.
Why wouldn't he have studied his diet
the way researchers normally do
when they want to establish the validity of a hypothesis
(and I don't mean with a sample size of one)
before publishing widely? .)]
my reaction to Dr.Ford:
. what is the point of science?
pretty spendy isn't it?
you hear about $millions involved .
. and of course, "(the quacks always say that!)
-- and also predictably,
the quacks point out that if you follow the money
there is a conspiracy between FDA, BigPharma,
and Medical professionals (Doctors, Consultants, ...) .
. it might even seem true when you find out
BigPharma essentially funds the FDA
-- essentially funding your own watchdog?!
. and Doctors don't look too saintly either
with their medical cartel artificially creating
a shortage of doctors to keep their wages high .
. yet quacks make outlandish claims,
and there is a good reason for quackwatch;

but then I watched them take down Dr.Atkins,
despite his referencing good science
-- science that did apply to his program .
( well, I didn't read Atkins' first book ...
let's assume he was always well-referenced: )

. were his critics worried about a 500lb guy
whose heart is going to be crushed under high insulin?
no . they were worried about Atkins
actually doing some good
while daring to contradict The Good:
he was bringing down high insulin
with the notorious high-fat, zero-carb diet .
. the Good Doctors were challenging him
even though actually good science said that
nothing could be worse for heart health
(or at least will power)
than wrestling with "(wholesome grains)
when you're too insulin resistant
to make healthy use of the grain's glucose .[2012.1.17:
-- and their motives weren't so pure either:
. the medical profession needs the gov
to keep their wages artificially high
by somehow limiting the number of "qualified" doctors;
and, the gov's welfare system needs medical frauds
to vouch for the idea that the cheapest food on earth
-- corn, wheat, and soy products --
is also the healthiest .]

. so back to taking down Dr. Roberts:
suppose you think you have a good idea,
and you think billing yourself as "professor"
shows you have a capable thinker?
-- or at least the title shows you're
less financially motivated to be a quack .
. who needs science just to invest in a book ?
so what if the public is desperate to lose weight?
maybe it's worth their money
to hear someone speak about
how they did sincerely lose some major weight?

Roberts critics have tagged his book as [junk science]
but it's pretty clear Dr. Roberts wasn't selling science,
just his presentation of a new psychology for dieting
(that doesn't accurately summarize the book?
sorry, I haven't read that book either;
I'm just following Dr.Ford's thread,
and the wikipedia entry ...).

. I did feel it was beneath Dr. Roberts title
to attack another professor's entire profession
with this:
"( Finally, Dr. Ford is a medical school professor.
For a long time,
medical school researchers have contributed
no useful ideas to our understanding of
how the average person can lose weight.
... If that were my track record
-- failure for more than 50 years --
I would be more open to new approaches.
)
. he refers derisively to the 1950's theory:
"(calories in = calories out)
as if doctors themselves literally believe that !
( I think what doctors actually mean to say is:
"(sorry I can't help you; try a psychologist!) )
. and to think Dr. Roberts could have
avoided this whole mess
by simply volunteering his consulting services
at the atkins.com forum .

. Dr. Ford, gravely offended, said:
"( It is perhaps best /not/ to reply
 to such a bold and sweeping generalization. )

. the whole reason Dr. Ford started this spat
was, I believe, a sweeping generalization;
it was as if meant this:
"( if only the Atkins's of the world
would stop embarassing us professionals!
can we just keep things simple with the public?
it is a given
that man's diet shall include bread,
and if it does include such high-glycemic items,
then adding saturated fat to the diet
will kill the man .
. do we have to haggle about corner cases, like:
"(what if the man eats no bread?)
-- just so a failing Dr.Atkins
can  sell a book instead?!
. we told the public "(no saturated fat!);
so, just stick with the shtick:
"(eat less bread and exercise more) ! ).