The nation's most powerful anti-obesity groups are teaming up for a new HBO documentary--but it pushes the same tired advice. Gary Taubes on the research they're ignoring.Commentary:
Most of my favorite factoids about obesity are historical ones, and they don't make it into the new, four-part HBO documentary on the subject, The Weight of the Nation. Absent, for instance, is the fact that the very first childhood-obesity clinic in the United States was founded in the late 1930s at Columbia University by a young German physician, Hilde Bruch. As Bruch later told it, her inspiration was simple: she arrived in New York in 1934 and was "startled" by the number of fat kids she saw--"really fat ones, not only in clinics, but on the streets and subways, and in schools."
Nutritional advice from our national authorities is continuing to disappoint – as hollow, barely useful ideas that have long been proven wrong. Gary Taubes, a science writer and highly respected voice on nutrition and diet, has published an article in Newsweek to make this clear. The obesity report issued by the Institute of Medicine this week and the HBO obesity series to be aired next week have missed the mark. His comments are well worth your time if you want to know why these health campaigns are not going to work – and more importantly, what will work.
If you are unfamiliar with these discussions, pay particular attention to the calories in vs. calories out concept and why it is fundamentally wrong. Since it is such a simple idea, it has unfortunately misled many for decades. Develop an understanding for why it isn’t true and you’ll appreciate what Gary Taubes and those of us in the low carb and paleo community understand about the benefits of our diet.
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