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Stephan Guyenet's Review of Taubes' New Book

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lemurcat12
lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
Quite informative review from someone I respect: http://www.stephanguyenet.com/bad-sugar-or-bad-journalism-an-expert-review-of-the-case-against-sugar/

Read the whole thing (good stuff on Keys and Yudkin), but the conclusion (and I note lots of people won't like the "bad" word, but I don't have a problem with it in the right context):
Science is imperfect, and scientists are as well. Pioneers such as John Ioannidis, Brian Nosek, Vinayak Prasad, Adam Cifu, and Chris Chambers are making a good faith effort to identify flaws in the scientific process and address them. Journalists have an important role to play here as well, by helping to identify problems and raising awareness about how to fix them. Taubes also views science as flawed, but primarily where it disagrees with his personal beliefs. Rather than contribute to the solution, Taubes adds to the problem by promoting an unscientific thought process that systematically excludes opposing evidence.

To answer the question posed in the title, refined sugar is bad, although not the singular cause of all humankind’s ills. A core principle of journalism is the accurate, objective, and complete transmission of pertinent facts to the reader. The Case Against Sugar is a journey through sugar history and science that is heavily distorted through the lens of Taubes’s personal beliefs. By this metric, it is not journalism, but advocacy. To a general audience that has little basis for evaluating its claims, the book will be misleading. Yet for readers who are willing to take The Case Against Sugar with a case full of salt, it does contain some interesting history.

Replies

  • ILiftHeavyAcrylics
    ILiftHeavyAcrylics Posts: 27,732 Member
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    I liked this. It seemed very balanced to me.
  • AnvilHead
    AnvilHead Posts: 18,344 Member
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    Taubes isn't a scientist anyway. He's nothing more than a journalist. His "research" (and I say that in the most snide way possible) parallels any junk diet book written by any celebrity dieter. He's as credible as Suzanne Somers and her Thighmaster.
  • psuLemon
    psuLemon Posts: 38,401 MFP Moderator
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    I find it interesting that he didn't really address many of the potential deficiencies that were pointed out in the other article.
  • Adnoir69
    Adnoir69 Posts: 2 Member
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    Dr. Michael Eades (LC dude) personal discussion of the book review as given to Richard Nikolay (crazed paleo blogger, and I mean crazed in a nice way).

    http://freetheanimal.com/2017/01/against-diets-michael.html
  • Azdak
    Azdak Posts: 8,281 Member
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    psuLemon wrote: »

    I find it interesting that he didn't really address many of the potential deficiencies that were pointed out in the other article.

    He never does. Don't have the link but look up the "debate" between Taubes and Alan Aragon in 2015. Descriptions sound similar.
  • nvmomketo
    nvmomketo Posts: 12,019 Member
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    psuLemon wrote: »

    I find it interesting that he didn't really address many of the potential deficiencies that were pointed out in the other article.

    Which of his arguments do you feel were not adequately addressed by Taubes?

    "First, I will examine the 1980 Dietary Guidelines to determine if they condemn fat and take a weak stance on sugar as suggested. Second, I will evaluate the hypothesis that the Guidelines contributed to obesity, diabetes, and coronary heart disease. And third, I will evaluate the hypothesis that sugar “may be the primary cause” of the three aforementioned conditions."
  • nvmomketo
    nvmomketo Posts: 12,019 Member
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    Azdak wrote: »
    psuLemon wrote: »

    I find it interesting that he didn't really address many of the potential deficiencies that were pointed out in the other article.

    He never does. Don't have the link but look up the "debate" between Taubes and Alan Aragon in 2015. Descriptions sound similar.

    I can't find this actual debate anywhere. Do you have a link or transcript? All I can find is second hand accounts, usually by bodybuilders who are not exactly pro-Taubes.
  • Gianfranco_R
    Gianfranco_R Posts: 1,297 Member
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    nvmomketo wrote: »
    psuLemon wrote: »

    I find it interesting that he didn't really address many of the potential deficiencies that were pointed out in the other article.

    Which of his arguments do you feel were not adequately addressed by Taubes?

    "First, I will examine the 1980 Dietary Guidelines to determine if they condemn fat and take a weak stance on sugar as suggested. Second, I will evaluate the hypothesis that the Guidelines contributed to obesity, diabetes, and coronary heart disease. And third, I will evaluate the hypothesis that sugar “may be the primary cause” of the three aforementioned conditions."

    Fact is there are two different articles by Guyenet, Taubes is addressing the first, published on the same website.
    It was me to be misleading, but funny that nobody noticed :smile:
  • psuLemon
    psuLemon Posts: 38,401 MFP Moderator
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    Adnoir69 wrote: »
    Dr. Michael Eades (LC dude) personal discussion of the book review as given to Richard Nikolay (crazed paleo blogger, and I mean crazed in a nice way).

    http://freetheanimal.com/2017/01/against-diets-michael.html

    This was a good article.
  • psuLemon
    psuLemon Posts: 38,401 MFP Moderator
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    nvmomketo wrote: »
    psuLemon wrote: »

    I find it interesting that he didn't really address many of the potential deficiencies that were pointed out in the other article.

    Which of his arguments do you feel were not adequately addressed by Taubes?

    "First, I will examine the 1980 Dietary Guidelines to determine if they condemn fat and take a weak stance on sugar as suggested. Second, I will evaluate the hypothesis that the Guidelines contributed to obesity, diabetes, and coronary heart disease. And third, I will evaluate the hypothesis that sugar “may be the primary cause” of the three aforementioned conditions."

    It didn't seem like he addressed any of the area's that Stephan pointed out as incorrect, and instead concerned largely just on dietary guidelines.
  • nvmomketo
    nvmomketo Posts: 12,019 Member
    edited February 2017
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    psuLemon wrote: »
    nvmomketo wrote: »
    Azdak wrote: »
    psuLemon wrote: »

    I find it interesting that he didn't really address many of the potential deficiencies that were pointed out in the other article.

    He never does. Don't have the link but look up the "debate" between Taubes and Alan Aragon in 2015. Descriptions sound similar.

    I can't find this actual debate anywhere. Do you have a link or transcript? All I can find is second hand accounts, usually by bodybuilders who are not exactly pro-Taubes.

    It was in a conference (I haven't even seen it), so I am not sure if they recorded and publicized it. The majority of the bodybuilders are also, coaches and scientist (far more educated than Taubes and in the actual field of nutrition). And Taubes theories, haven't actually panned out. Don't get me wrong, those same guys (Aragon, Kreiger, Schoenfeld, Norton, etc..) all use a variety of techniques with their clients and will adjust based on which dietary stage they are at. But these are the same guys that take clients and themselves to the next level. It's often very different than just helping people lose weight.

    Don't get me wrong, the anecdotes and science of many people like Attia, Vokey, Eades, etc.. can serve as a valuable lesson to many, and it's why I have noticed a trend in people moving to low carb. The value is certainly more beneficial in sedentary obese people and those with several metabolic diseases. It becomes less valuable and at times can hinder progress when you are trying for different things (e.g., muscle growth); not saying you can't achieve muscle growth on LCHF or even Keto, because you can, but it's not as optimal.


    I think the biggest issue I have with a lot of the over-enthusiast on the low carb side, is often their reasonings or comparisons of stuff is a joke. Dr. Fung says CICO is wrong and cites the bodies response between a cookie vs Fish and veggies. You go to places like https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb and you see representations of a low fat diet as a diet high in sugar and flour. I mean, come the hell on. I have low fat days and I don't those things are really in my diet. So it's these bias spins and fear mongering to validate one dietary approaches is what bothers me, as well as many of those body builders.


    And side note, i find it hilarious that 10-15 years ago, that cake, cookies, bake goods were demonized as high fat items, and now they are labeled as sugar. When in fact, they are both. Very low nutrient and highly caloric. Something that shouldn't be in ones diet very often.


    /rant.

    Good rant ;)
  • nvmomketo
    nvmomketo Posts: 12,019 Member
    Options
    psuLemon wrote: »
    nvmomketo wrote: »
    Azdak wrote: »
    psuLemon wrote: »

    I find it interesting that he didn't really address many of the potential deficiencies that were pointed out in the other article.

    He never does. Don't have the link but look up the "debate" between Taubes and Alan Aragon in 2015. Descriptions sound similar.

    I can't find this actual debate anywhere. Do you have a link or transcript? All I can find is second hand accounts, usually by bodybuilders who are not exactly pro-Taubes.

    It was in a conference (I haven't even seen it), so I am not sure if they recorded and publicized it. The majority of the bodybuilders are also, coaches and scientist (far more educated than Taubes and in the actual field of nutrition). And Taubes theories, haven't actually panned out. Don't get me wrong, those same guys (Aragon, Kreiger, Schoenfeld, Norton, etc..) all use a variety of techniques with their clients and will adjust based on which dietary stage they are at. But these are the same guys that take clients and themselves to the next level. It's often very different than just helping people lose weight.

    Don't get me wrong, the anecdotes and science of many people like Attia, Vokey, Eades, etc.. can serve as a valuable lesson to many, and it's why I have noticed a trend in people moving to low carb. The value is certainly more beneficial in sedentary obese people and those with several metabolic diseases. It becomes less valuable and at times can hinder progress when you are trying for different things (e.g., muscle growth); not saying you can't achieve muscle growth on LCHF or even Keto, because you can, but it's not as optimal.


    I think the biggest issue I have with a lot of the over-enthusiast on the low carb side, is often their reasonings or comparisons of stuff is a joke. Dr. Fung says CICO is wrong and cites the bodies response between a cookie vs Fish and veggies. You go to places like https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb and you see representations of a low fat diet as a diet high in sugar and flour. I mean, come the hell on. I have low fat days and I don't those things are really in my diet. So it's these bias spins and fear mongering to validate one dietary approaches is what bothers me, as well as many of those body builders.


    And side note, i find it hilarious that 10-15 years ago, that cake, cookies, bake goods were demonized as high fat items, and now they are labeled as sugar. When in fact, they are both. Very low nutrient and highly caloric. Something that shouldn't be in ones diet very often.


    /rant.

    The video below has Taubes' opinion and thoughts on the debate with Aragon. He discusses how insulin can help drive IGF-1, which is a positive thing with body builders and then it led into his debate with Aragon.

    It seems Taubes' take away was that with Aragon it is all about CICO. He feels Aragon denies that obesity is not hormone linked at all. He discusses it at 1:58:00.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0ffswUVoxA