Editor's note

Last week, I missed another posting deadline, which I know makes it hard for my reader(s?) to know if it's worthwhile to check the site. Setting up an email notification for when new content is published requires, at this point, too much time and effort to even investigate.

I will try to become more consistent in publishing, even it it means only one new piece of writing. A couple of the pieces published today were ready to go last week, but I didn't want to publish so few. I think I will let go of that conceit and just hit publish. the number of new pieces will be whatever it turns out to be.


Don't call it a diet

Published 8.12.2017
The word dieting has fallen out of fashion— even as people still want to lose weight. Is this as a result of Health at Every Size (HAES)? Now it’s all about “getting fit” or “getting strong”. Wellness is the goal. Funnily enough though, for most people that still means losing a few pounds.

However, in the face of this cultural shift, Weight Watchers is trying to rebrand itself.

Weight Watchers saw all this happening and concluded that people didn’t have faith in diets. The company decided that what it offered was not a diet program but a lifestyle program. It was a behavior-modification program. (For the sake of expediency here, I will call its program a diet because it prescribes amounts of food.) When Deb Benovitz returned from her travels with news of dieting’s new language changes, the company realized that something had to change more than its marketing approach.

Oprah (surely no last name is necessary for the reader to know who I mean) apparently helped WW (which is how they’re rebranding) decide to make the change. Eventually the author gets to the Fat Power and HAES movements. Bacon gets a mention. But what has fat activism accomplished?
Read the rest.

Heart Health

Statin denialism

Published 8.12.2017
Every point made in this editorial about statins can be made about weight loss and energy balance denial (ie those who insist that calories don’t matter).

Those making extraordinary claims have the onus of presenting the evidence to back up their claims. Statins (and eating less and moving more) have evidence that they work. Are the side effect to statins? Yes, for some people there are. (I’m going to end the parallelism I established here, but will note that the side effect to eating a bit less can be a bit more hunger, and moving more can cause some sore muscles.)

The bottom line though is that most people who take statins do not suffer side effects, and do see their cholesterol levels decline. Also noted is the fact that statins are off-patent now, which means generic versions of the drug are available and prescribed. Generic means cheap — at least when it comes to drugs.
Read the rest.


No surprises here

Published 8.12.2017
There’s nothing new here, but it’s nice that both sides of the energy balance are considered important. Adherence is key, so don’t adopt a way of eating that you can’t maintain for the rest of your days. Adding a bit of weight as you age can be protective— but not if you become obese. There is no obesity paradox. Risks increase when you are obese.

It’s not just age that slows metabolism (though I would argue that if you are not sedentary your metabolism doesn’t slow as much) drugs can also negatively affect metabolism. If you have a disease that must be treated with drugs, then continuing to move as much as possible is even more important.

No surprise here either. Blood vessels bring blood and nutrients to the entire body, including the brain. If the vessels are inflamed or blocked in one area, why would the expectation be that they wouldn’t be elsewhere in the body?
Read the rest.


Movement is essential in so many ways

Published 8.12.2017
I believe that moving is essential to health. if this hypothesis proves correct, moving was essential to our evolution.

Their argument: As humans transitioned from a relatively sedentary apelike existence to a more physically demanding hunter-gatherer lifestyle, starting around 2 million years ago, we began to engage in complex foraging tasks that were simultaneously physically and mentally demanding, and that may explain how physical activity and the brain came to be so connected.

It’s only a hypothesis, of course, and it matches my preconceived bias so naturally I hope it will eventually be proved.
Read the rest.


Gaining weight adversely affects aging

Published 8.12.2017
Does this result surprise anyone? Apart from HAE$ believers that is— please note, I blatantly stole the idea of replacing the S with a $ from CarbSane, the blogger at the Carb-Sane Asylum. I never really thought of Health at Every Size (HAES) as a money making enterprise, rather I saw them more of a shared group delusion. However, the more I think about its high priestess, Linda Bacon, and how she’s altered what HAES means and the movement’s direction, I think CarbSane has a point. Further note: I realize that the woman who blogs as CarbSane has put her real name out there, however, most often she continues to use CarbSane. Ergo, I use that monicker rather than her actual name.

Putting on weight slowly over a long period of time also affects health. It isn’t the rate of gain, it’s the affect of the additional stress on the ever again body. I would hazard to guess that most people gain weight slowly, certainly that’s what I did. Weight that’s added slowly over 20 years usually can’t be lost quickly and maintained— and maintenance in the end is what matters.
Read the rest.

Keto cancer scams

Published 8.12.2017
The Angry Chef has been excoriating ketogenic (keto) diets and the shills and scammers who tout them as a cure for obesity, but his true intended target was the "Keto cures cancer" brigade. As I highlighted the first two entries in the series, I am calling attention to the third and final one.

Keto diet touts aren't the only ones who claim that their diet is curative— do a few Google searches with the phrase vegan diet and cancer and you'll come across plenty of questionable claims as well. The keto diet claims stem from the misunderstood research of Otto Warburg.

Cancer is not a single disease, and there isn't going to be one universal cure. In fact, most recent research efforts seem to suggest that any cure will need to be individualized for each sufferer. Cancers adapt to the environment in which they grow (ie you or me). We are not identical, therefore the progression of the cancer will not be identical. Read the rest.

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