Archive for May, 2012

Odds and ends from the news and reader emails …

Mayor Bloomberg is at it again

Hizzoner in New York City seems to think he was elected Chief Food Nanny. A couple of years ago (geez, time flies!) I wrote about his moronic assault on salt (which isn’t based on anything resembling good science, never mind good policy).

Now Hizzoner wants to ban the sale of large sodas – you can guess why:

New York City plans to enact a far-reaching ban on the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, movie theaters and street carts, in the most ambitious effort yet by the Bloomberg administration to combat rising obesity.

The proposed ban would affect virtually the entire menu of popular sugary drinks found in delis, fast-food franchises and even sports arenas, from energy drinks to pre-sweetened iced teas. The sale of any cup or bottle of sweetened drink larger than 16 fluid ounces — about the size of a medium coffee, and smaller than a common soda bottle — would be prohibited under the first-in-the-nation plan, which could take effect as soon as next March.

Remember when McDonald’s was under pressure (from Morgan Spurlock, to name just prominent one busybody) to get rid of super-sized meals? They did – seven years ago. Boy, the nation sure got thinner and less diabetic, didn’t it?

No, of course not. That’s because the idea that large drinks and large meals sold by vendors are the root cause of obesity is based on a flawed theory:  we eat too much because others serve us too much.

That’s not how it works. We eat (and drink) to match our appetites. One of the obese people Spurlock interviewed in Super Size Me said he fills his traveling Big Gulp cup six times per day. Ban 7-11 from serving someone like that a 44-ounce drink, and he’ll just make more trips to 7-11. Or he’ll buy a 2-liter bottle at the grocery store and carry it with him. Soda addicts will get their fix, period.

I suspect the law of unintended consequences will kick in, too. Restaurants and convenience stores will offer 2-for-1 specials on sodas, and the soda addicts will buy themselves two (or three, or four) drinks that meet Hizzoner’s limit on cup size. Then a year or so after the big-cup ban sets in, New York newspapers will be running articles on the sudden and unexplained rise in empty cups and bottles littering the streets.

But here’s the biggest reason the ban is stupid: it’s none of Mayor Bloomberg’s business how much sugary soda you drink.  I’d urge you to drink none at all, but that should be your decision … not mine, or his, or anyone else’s.

Nope, it’s still HFCS … not “corn sugar”

The FDA has denied a petition by the Corn Refiners Association to legally change the name of high fructose corn syrup to corn sugar. Frankly, I don’t care either way. Poison is poison, no matter what you call it. The mystery to me is why the Corn Refiners think renaming their product will make a difference. I can only guess they assume most people are stupid.

“Marge, don’t order that! It’s full of high fructose corn syrup! Don’t you know what people say about that stuff?”

“But this brand is sweetened with corn sugar.”

“Oh … well in that case, order me one too.”

Obese and homeless

In his books and lectures, Gary Taubes has pointed out that poverty and obesity are often found in the same populations … so much for the popular idea that we’re fat because we’re too prosperous. Apparently even the poorest of the poor in America have a high rate of obesity, according to this CNN article:

While the popularized image of a homeless individual is one of skin and bones, a new study shows the reality is not so. One in three (32.3%) homeless individuals in the United States is obese, highlighting a hunger-obesity paradox.

The paradox is that hunger and obesity can exist in the same person. And although a person may be overweight or obese, he or she can lack proper nutrition.

Nutrition is a daily challenge for homeless people, as the foods they manage to get are often full of preservatives and high in sodium, fats and sugars. They may not have access to healthier options like fresh fruits and vegetables.

Here we go with the fruits and vegetables will solve the obesity problem nonsense again. I give it maybe five years before the federal government has stepped in to ensure that absolutely every American has easy access to fruits and vegetables – and we’ll be just as fat.

By the way, a friend of mine once handed an apple to a homeless guy in Chicago. The guy cursed at him and threw it in the street. He didn’t want an apple; he wanted a couple of bucks so he could buy a bottle of cheap liquor.

The human body might be hoarding calories, as an adaptive response when people do not consistently have enough to eat. The body’s response could contribute to obesity, by “becoming more efficient at storing more calories as fat,” according to the report. Also, people who are homeless are more likely to suffer from a lack of sleep and high stress, which contribute to obesity.

Now we’re getting somewhere …

“It just mirrors what Americans look like in general,” said Barbara Dipietro, policy director of the National Health Care for the Homeless Council. “It follows the homeless in general. They are more economically driven. They are intact families and people who are coming into homelessness, who don’t come with behavioral health issues. When we look at the homeless population, we think they’re different, but they’re like everyone else.”

Uh, no, they’re not. As much as homeless advocates (and Hollywood film producers) like to portray the majority of the homeless as people just like you and me who happened to hit an unlucky streak, that’s simply not the case. Most are addicts or mentally ill. An estimated one-third are schizophrenics. But that’s another issue.

“Nutritious food is really expensive compared to other food choices,” she said. “If you’re living on food stamps, on disability or safety net, or living on nothing, that’s the food you’re going to have to get. A salad is not in the cards.”

It doesn’t take salads to make fat people thin, Ms. Homeless Advocate. But I agree about the cheap food. I served meals in a homeless shelter in Chicago when I lived there, and the food was mostly carbs, carbs and more carbs. Pasta was on the menu several times per week, bread was on the menu every night.

Or it could just be that the homeless are choosing too much highly-palatable food.

Shoe company sued for health claims

Boy, the U.S. government is really cracking down on unfounded health claims:

Skechers advertised that its toning shoes would help people lose weight, build muscle and get in shape, claims that will now cost the company $40 million in a settlement with U.S. regulators.

The Federal Trade Commission announced today that the company has agreed to the settlement on charges that it “deceived consumers by making unfounded claims” about its Shape-ups, Resistance Runner, Toners and Tone-ups lines of shoes. Consumers who bought the shoes are entitled to refunds.

“Skechers’ unfounded claims went beyond stronger and more toned muscles. The company even made claims about weight loss and cardiovascular health,” David Vladeck, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement. “The FTC’s message, for Skechers and other national advertisers, is to shape up your substantiation or tone down your claims.”

So … does mean the FTC is going to sue all the companies promoting healthywholegrain cereals? Or the pharmaceutical companies pushing statins for women and elderly? Talk about unfounded health claims.

Better yet, how about if the FTC sues the USDA for its lousy and unfounded dietary recommendations?

The Institute for Justice takes on the Cooksey blogger case

Yes! Yeee-har! The Institute for Justice, a pro-liberty legal group, is coming to the aid of Steve Cooksey, the blogger who was targeted by North Carolina after some dietitians complained about him giving out dietary advice without a license. Here’s part of their online announcement:

Can the government throw you in jail for offering advice on the Internet about what food people should buy at the grocery store?

That is exactly the claim made by the North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition. In December 2011, diabetic blogger Steve Cooksey started a Dear Abby-style advice column on his popular blog (www.diabetes-warrior.net) to answer reader questions. One month later, the State Board informed Steve that he could not give readers advice on diet, whether for free or for compensation, because doing so constituted the unlicensed, and thus criminal, practice of dietetics.

But the First Amendment does not allow the government to ban people from sharing ordinary advice about diet, or scrub the Internet—from blogs to Facebook to Twitter—of speech the government does not like. North Carolina can no more force Steve to become a licensed dietitian than it could require Dear Abby to become a licensed psychologist.

That is why on May 30, 2012, Steve Cooksey joined the Institute for Justice in filing a major free speech lawsuit against the State Board in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, Charlotte Division.

Go baby, go baby, go baby, go!

I just made a donation to the Institute for Justice while writing this post. If you’d like to do likewise, here’s the link. We need to support the people who support freedom.

Dietary advice those North Carolina dietitians would approve

I received this email from a reader:

I’m a Health teacher, and the attached worksheet is what’s in my curriculum to teach first graders. I have to spin it in a way that won’t leave me with a guilty conscience.

He attached the graphic you see below.

Yup, that low-fat diet full of grains will sure make those first-graders lean, healthy and attentive. (Okay, at least the advice to eat foods low in sugar is good. Kids will read that before heading down to the school lunchroom to consume their USDA-approved lunches that include lowfat chocolate milk, breaded chicken nuggets and peaches in syrup.)

My daughters don’t eat grains except on rare occasions and their diets are full of fat. (We had zucchini stuffed with cheese and sausage for dinner tonight.) They’re both lean and energetic. They both love their gymnastics classes, and Sara has taken to scaring the hair off my head by doing cartwheels in the pastures. As for their cognitive abilities … okay, here comes more shameless bragging.

Alana just finished first grade, where the scores are given as 4 through 0 instead of A through F. She got all 4s.

Sara just finished third grade.  She’s been bringing home straight-A report cards all year with numeric grades in the upper 90s, including a 98 last quarter in math. We were pleased, but wondered if perhaps she had an easy teacher. That concern was put to rest when we received the results of her TCAP (standardized state testing) scores last week:

English: 96
Social Studies: 97
Math: 100
Science: 100

That’s right … my girl answered every single question in math and science correctly on the state test.  She’s already asked me to give her more complicated math problems to solve during the summer so she doesn’t slip during vacation.

Last night I was going through video footage so I can put together our 2011 family DVD.  (I usually create the previous year’s DVD January, but it’s been a crazy-busy year with me working full-time while preparing speeches and roasts.)  Sara was looking over my shoulder as I logged a clip of Alana standing on the fireplace at my mom’s house to deliver a singing solo during a visit in July. Once the clip was transferred, I announced I was done reviewing footage for the night.

“No, Daddy, watch the next clip!”

“Why?”

“It’s funny.”

“Huh? How do you know what’s on the next clip?”

“Because I remember what happened when Alana finished singing. Grandma said she wishes she could sing, and I said, ‘Grandma, you can sing. You just can’t sing well.’ Then everybody laughed.”

“And I had the camera going for that?”

“Yes. You turned it off, then you turned it back on, then Grandma said she wishes she could sing.”

So I watched the clip. It was exactly what she said it would be. That all happened nearly a year ago, but Sara remembered it word for word. Her memory for details is almost spooky.

Yes, intelligence is largely inherited. Maybe she’d score 100 in math even if she ate Pop-Tarts for breakfast. But her grain-free, high-fat diet sure doesn’t seem to be diminishing her inherited abilities.

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Happy Memorial Day. I spent the first two days of the three-day weekend catching up on some sideline programming projects, so I’m taking today off (mostly) and posting some audio/video clips.

While on the low-carb cruise, I was interviewed by Howard and Georgene Harkness of N=1 Health. You can listen to that podcast here.

Below I’ve posted the final four segments of the UCTV series The Skinny on Obesity, featuring Dr. Robert Lustig.

You probably won’t be surprised that I disagree with the idea of regulating sugar.  Yes, obesity and diabetes are major problems, but the key to solving those problems is education.  Most people simply don’t realize how bad sugar is for their health.  They’re still being told dietary fat is the problem — by a government that subsidizes and promotes wheat (which may be as bad for us as sugar) and subsidizes corn, which makes high-fructose corn syrup dirt cheap.

The rate of smoking among adults is half of what it was back in the 1950s, and that’s because people learned how bad smoking is for their health. We need the same kind of push to educate people about the metabolic damage caused by sugar. Once people refuse to buy delivery vehicles for sugar, the food manufacturers will stop putting it in everything. They don’t tell us what to eat. We tell them what to sell us by our choices at the grocery store. That’s how markets work. That’s why New Coke, Taco Bell’s Border Lites and the McLean Burger were all flops, despite huge advertising campaigns.

I chuckled when one of the experts interviewed in the final segment talked about taxing the foods we subsidize — a government fix for the actions of government.  How about if we just stop subsidizing corn, wheat and other lousy food and see how that works first?

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Okay, I finished putting together the roast from the pre-cruise dinner.  As I explained before, the camera I hooked up to capture the audio from my wireless lapel microphone didn’t record, so all I had was lousy audio from my other camera in the back of the room.  Jimmy Moore (bless him) recorded the whole thing from the front of the room, closer to the big speakers, so the room echo on his iPhone movie wasn’t as bad.  He stripped off the audio and sent it to me, then I synched it up with my video.

I was actually about 10 feet from the slide-show screen during the roast, so while editing this thing together I split the video, moved the screen closer to me, then blew it up nice and big so you can see the slides more clearly.  For the audio clips that played over big speakers during the roast, I turned down the live audio track and mixed in the original audio files so you can hear them more clearly.  I also added back in the two video clips (from Quiz Show and Seinfeld) that didn’t (grrrr) play on the screen during the roast.

You can watch the roast below, but it will be easier to read the slide-show screen if you click YouTube button at the bottom of the player to watch it on YouTube at a larger resolution.  Or just click this link to go to  the video on YouTube.

Enjoy.

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During a Q & A session on the low-carb cruise, someone asked Dr. Eric Westman if calories count.  Of course calories count, Dr. Westman replied – but that doesn’t mean you need to count calories.

Yes, I know that may sound strange, but my own experience on this year’s cruise is a perfect example of what he’s talking about:   I ate a lot, more than I eat at home, but didn’t gain an ounce.  (Last year I lost a pound, but I figured that could be water weight.)  Here’s what a typical day’s intake looked like for me during the seven-day cruise:

Breakfast: a big pile of scrambled eggs, three sausage links, four slices of bacon, four slices of Canadian bacon, coffee with cream.

Lunch: Greek salad with feta cheese and a big plate of tandoori chicken, tandoori beef and tandoori fish.  The tandoori was oily and delicious.

Dinner: Usually two appetizers (cream soup, shrimp cocktail, stuffed mushrooms, salad, etc.), entrees (sometimes two) consisting of steak, lobster, pork chops or lamb, steamed vegetables with lots of butter, plus a cheese plate for dessert.

Late-night snack: two cheeseburger patties with grilled onions on four nights, pizza toppings on another night.

I also drank red wine every night, at least a few glasses, and more than a few on one evening. (Jimmy Moore told me he got an “I love you, Man” from me four times that night.)

Some people insist a low-carb diet is just low-calorie diet in disguise, and that certainly can be the case.  Studies have shown that people who adopt low-carb diets often eat less spontaneously, even if they’re not told to restrict calories, and I believe that alone means something beneficial is going on.  If you eat less without consciously counting calories, it means you’re not hungry.  Diets that require you to go through life perpetually hungry are a prescription for failure.

But there’s no way my diet on the cruise was a low-calorie diet in disguise.  It was a high-calorie diet, period.  Ask anyone who sat at my table during dinner or any of the Swedes who joined me for late-night cheeseburger patties.

Two days before the cruise, I weighed myself at the gym:  190 pounds.  Two days after the cruise, I weighed myself at the gym again:  190 pounds.

I mentioned in a post awhile back that my size 36 pants are a bit too loose these days, but size 34 pants are bit too tight, so I’m probably a size 35.  (I peaked at size 40 pants several years ago but wore size 38 pants for most of my 30s and 40s.)  A few days after returning home from the cruise, I slipped on some jeans and was disappointed that they were just a wee bit tight.  Rats, I thought, maybe I did gain a bit on the cruise.

Nope.  I looked at the tag and saw I was wearing a pair of size 34 jeans – and they were just barely tight.  After I wore them for a couple of hours, they stretched a bit and fit just fine.  Meanwhile, my size 36 jeans are noticeably loose.  That’s after a week of eating like a king on the cruise.

So what’s going on here?  Does my cruise experience mean calories don’t count?  Did the excess calories disappear into thin air?

No, of course not.  Calories don’t disappear.  But my body found some way to use up those calories, so I stayed at the same weight despite eating more than usual.  No laws of physics were violated in the process.

There’s been an ongoing debate about whether or not a ketogenic diet provides some kind of metabolic advantage that allows people to either eat more without gaining weight or lose weight without restricting calories as much as on other diets.  I don’t know if there’s a true metabolic advantage or not, and I haven’t much cared one way or the other.  If I can eat until I’m satisfied and still get a little leaner over time, that’s good enough for me, even if the weight loss is 100% due to unintentional calorie restriction.

People have sent me links to studies that supposedly disprove the existence of a metabolic advantage, but they were all studies of semi-starvation diets, somewhere in the 800-calorie-per-day range, with carbohydrate intake ranging from 20% to as high as 50%.  The average weight loss was the same across the high-carb and low-carb groups.  Well, here’s the trouble with those studies:  At 800 calories per day, even 50% of calories from carbohydrates only works out to 100 grams per day.  That’s a ketogenic diet.  Comparing one semi-starvation ketogenic diet to another semi-starvation ketogenic diet doesn’t disprove that a ketogenic diet might provide a metabolic benefit in other circumstances.

If there is a true metabolic advantage (and that’s a big if) with a ketogenic diet, I suspect it shows up at higher calorie intakes.  In one study I read, three groups of young men went on 1800-calorie diets for 9 weeks with protein held constant at 115 grams per day, while carbohydrate intake was set at 30 grams, 60 grams, or 104 grams.  The 104-gram group lost 26 pounds on average, the 60-gram group lost 28 pounds, and the 30-gram group lost 35 pounds.  A metabolic advantage?  Maybe, but it was a small study and the researchers wrote that they didn’t track physical activity.

But so far we’re still talking about weight loss.  I don’t care how many carbohydrates you do or don’t consume, you won’t lose weight without giving your body a reason to tap your stored body fat.  Way back in the first Protein Power book, Drs. Mike and Mary Dan Eades made that clear:  shedding body fat requires a calorie deficit.  The point of a low-carb diet, as they explained, is to make it easier to tap your stored fat once you create that deficit.  If you can’t tap your stored body fat, eating less will just create a fuel shortage at the cellular level, and your body will respond by slowing your metabolism, converting the protein in your muscles to glucose, or both.  You’ll also be ravenously hungry.

In the same book, however, they wrote about the phenomenon that I experienced on the last two cruises:  some people on low-carb diets seem to be resistant to gaining weight, even when they’re clearly eating more than they need.  One patient complained to them that her weight hadn’t budged after several weeks on a low-carb diet.  When they checked her food log, they ran the numbers and found that she was consuming around 4,000 calories per day.  Of course she wasn’t losing weight.  But strangely, she wasn’t gaining either.  Perhaps that’s where an actual metabolic advantage shows up:  as a resistance to gaining weight.

So out of curiosity, I emailed Dr. Mike Eades, Dr. Richard Feinman and Jonathan Bailor (author of The Smarter Science of Slim) about my cruise-ship overeating experience and asked for their comments.  Here’s what they had to say:

Dr. Mike Eades

I’ve had many patients and readers who have had the same thing happen.  They eat a ton of low-carb food and don’t lose weight…but neither do they gain.  I think there is indeed a metabolic advantage that kicks in with these excess calories.  I know some people claim to be able to gain huge amounts of weight eating strictly low-carb – and maybe they do – but that hasn’t been the experience in the case of the patients and readers I’ve dealt with.

In the overfeeding studies, subjects never gain as much as their caloric intake would predict, and this is even with high-carb foods.  Obviously the body has a way to deal with excess calories, and I think whatever this mechanism is kicks in in spades when the overeating is basically very restricted in carbohydrate.

This is the kind of study Gary Taubes is trying to get funding for.

Dr. Richard Feinman

I got into this field almost ten years ago over thermodynamics, which is frequently brought up.  Like most people who have actually studied the subject, I am quite modest about my own understanding but I could see that the nutrition world needed help.

I knew I was on the right track when my brother said that he had been at a conference where they had a buffet and he had pigged out on lobster and roast beef but had not gained any weight. That is what a metabolic advantage is.  It’s more striking if you are overweight, of course.

As for why it is not apparent when you are at home is unknown — the key thing is that it can happen.  If we could get people to focus on it — my gift to the nutrition world was under-appreciated — then we could find out exactly what the important parameters are.  Two things we know for sure: 1. nobody has ever been on any cruise diet that was a “low-calorie diet in disguise,” and 2. nobody has ever said: “I don’t understand. I was at this conference and they had a buffet and I really pigged out on pasta but when I got home I hadn’t gained any weight.”

(Actually, I have noticed the same phenomenon at home — I just don’t eat cruise-sized meals at home.  But if we go out for dinner and I chow down on steak, lobster, shrimp, etc., it never seems to put any weight on me.)

Jonathan Bailor (quoting from his book)

Let’s return to the idea of a clog. If you pour more water into an unclogged sink, then it will drain more water. You will only see water build up if you put more water into a clogged sink. Our fat metabolism system works the same way. If you put more food in an unclogged fat metabolism system, then it will burn more calories. Body fat will build up only if you put more food into a clogged fat metabolism system.

In a Mayo Clinic study, researchers fed people 1,000 extra calories per day for eight weeks. A thousand extra calories per day for eight weeks totals 56,000 extra calories. Everyone gained sixteen pounds—56,000 calories worth—of body fat, right?

Nope.

Nobody gained sixteen pounds. The most anyone gained was a little over half that. The least anyone gained was basically nothing—less than a pound. How could that be true? People are eating 56,000 extra calories and gaining basically no body fat? How can 56,000 extra calories add up to nothing?

That’s because extra calories don’t have to turn into body fat. They could turn into heat. They could be burned off automatically. Researcher D.M. Lyon in the medical journal QJM reported: “Food in excess of immediate requirements…can easily be disposed of, being burnt up and dissipated as heat. Did this capacity not exist, obesity would be almost universal.”

Eating more and gaining less is possible because an unclogged fat metabolism system has all sorts of underappreciated ways to process excess calories other than storing them as body fat. In the Mayo Clinic study, researchers measured three of them:

1.    Increase the amount of calories burned daily.
2.    Increase the amount of calories burned digesting food.
3.    Increase the amount calories burned via unconscious activity.

Bailor included a chart of data from the Mayo Clinic study showing that the increase in calories expended from the three factors listed above added up to more than 1,000 calories per day in some people. In other words, their bodies reacted to 1,000 extra calories by burning somewhat more than that.

Now, I’m pretty sure if I kept up my cruise-ship diet for weeks on end, I could overwhelm my metabolism and start gaining weight at some point.  I don’t plan to find out.  I’m happy enough knowing I can eat like a king for a week and come home weighing no more than when I left.  Considering that a cruise director once told me the average cruise passenger gains a pound per day, no change is definitely a victory.

Speaking of the cruise, Jimmy Moore managed to get me an audio file of the roast that he stripped from his iPhone video.  There’s still some room echo, but not as much as on my camera.  I’ll get it all put together and post it over the weekend.

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I’m back from Minneapolis, where I was the pre-dinner speaker for a group of registered dietitians who work for Lifetime Fitness, a large national health and fitness organization.  I was delighted to be there … not so much because they had me give my Science For Smart People speech, but because this was a group of mostly young dietitians who have seen the light.

That’s due largely to the efforts of Tom Nikkola, the Director of Nutrition and Weight Management for Lifetime Fitness.  Tom is a very fit and healthy-looking guy who understands that it’s refined carbohydrates, not fats, that are making people fat and sick.  His wife, Vanessa Romero, shared her story during a brief talk on the low-carb cruise.  Like so many other people, she suffered health problems on a grain-based, low-fat diet and had to battle back from them.  Tom is determined that the dietitians who work for Lifetime will be giving out advice that actually works, so he brought them to Minneapolis for a few days to explain the science.

I’ve said many times that I believe we will eventually move away from the failed dietary paradigm promoted by the USDA and other government “experts,” but the change will come from the ground up.  It will happen because people like Tom Nikkola insist the dietitians in his organization look at the actual science instead of parroting what they were taught in school.  I talked to a few of the dietitians before and after dinner and was encouraged by what they had to say.  More than one said that something about the low-fat, healthywholegrains dietary advice never felt quite right, especially when it was being espoused by instructors who were clearly not healthy.

So that’s the good news.  I’m seeing the Wisdom of Crowds in action.  These dietitians will be giving advice to hundreds if not thousands of clients over the years, and perhaps the clients will pass on the same advice to family and friends.

The bad news is that when I looked at the breakfast menu in the hotel, there was a section called Joy Bauer’s Healthy Options. The “healthy” options were (of course) an egg-white omelet with steamed vegetables, oatmeal, a fruit and juice combo with low-fat yogurt, whole-grain pancakes, whole-wheat toast, and some kind of turkey sausage concoction.  In other words, “healthy” means low fat and/or whole grains.

So I ordered an omelet with sausage, cheese and onions – you know, from the “not healthy” part of the menu.  Then I got a plane for Nashville and was one of the few passengers in my section who said no thanks to the offer of crackers, peanuts or pretzels.  I wasn’t hungry.

Change is coming.  I’ll know it’s arrived when the Joy Bauer’s Healthy Options section of a hotel breakfast menu is long gone.

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I’m in Minneapolis tonight, delivering my Science For Smart People speech to a group of dietitians — yes, dietitians, but they’ve been successfully de-programmed and no longer believe saturated fat will kill us or that healthywholegrains will save us.

Dinner at the event was a Caesar salad, asparagus, carrots and a filet mignon.  I saw people enjoying their steaks and pouring heavy cream into their coffee.  How’s that for progress?

I’ll be back tomorrow.

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