Atkins-Bashing on WebMD: ‘Fat Throat’ Replies

As some of you already know, I occasionally receive messages from “Fat Throat,” a high-level researcher who works behind the The Ivy Wall.  I receive these messages on the condition that I don’t reveal his name or the organization that employs him.  (He refers to that organization as The Committee to Re-Erect The Pyramid, a.k.a. CREEP.)

Fat Throat alerted me to a recent article on WebMD (which is basically bought and paid for by Big Pharma) bashing the Atkins diet.  Same old, same old … you need carbohydrates for energy and brain function, all that fat might kill you, blah-blah-blah.  You can read the full nonsense here.

Anyway, in reaction the WebMD article, Fat Throat sent me the following email.  Truth is, I don’t know anything about the doctors he mentions in the email, but obviously he does and isn’t impressed:

WebMD recently published an examination of the Atkins diet with commentary by notable scientists with final facts checked by the well-known medical expert Dr. Jonathan L.Gelfand.  The following true-or-false quiz is part of CME credits offered for this article.

1.  The Atkins Diet requires that you be in ketosis for a long period of time (T/F).

False. Ketosis is recommended only for the first two weeks but it is not necessary to be in ketosis to obtain benefits of the carbohydrate restriction.

2.  Dr. Jonathan Gelfand is an expert on metabolic diseases (T/F).

False. Dr. Gelfand’s specialty is pulmonary medicine.

3.  The Atkins diet requires high fat consumption (T/F).

False. The Atkins diet specifies only low carbohydrate and most patients do not increase the amount of fat.  Shown as early as 1980 and borne out by recent studies.  The diet is higher in fat than that recommended by health agencies but that is also true of the American diet before the epidemic of obesity.

4.   The WebMD Article did not interview any physicians who actually used the Atkins diet.

True.

5.  Dr. Gelfand is an expert on pulmonary asbestosis (T/F).

False. Dr. Gelfand testified in a case in Pennsylvania that an auto mechanic had died of asbestosis but it turned out that what looked like pleural thickening was really sub-pleural fibrosis and the jury found for the defense.

6.  The Atkins diet severely limits food choices (T/F).

False. Numerous cookbooks, online recipes for low-carbohydrate dieters now number in the thousands.  The diet is less restrictive than those limiting fat.

7.   Dr. Gelfand, Dr. Eckel and other physicians quoted in the article never took a course in nutrition (T/F).

True. Physicians do not study nutrition.

8.  Higher protein diets do not pose any health risk for people with normal kidneys (T/F).

True. This has been shown by many studies.

9.  Dr. Gelfand was recently seen on Dateline’s To Catch a Predator but was later exonerated.  (He was actually making a house call).

False. This a rumor of unknown origin.

10.   Dr. Robert Eckel, former head of the American Heart Association and quoted in the article is a well-known creationist (T/F).

True.

11.   The Atkins diet is the most effective method of lowering triglycerides and one of the best for raising HDL (“good cholesterol”) (T/F).

True.

12.   WEbMD provides accurate reliable content (T/F).

False. WebMD, its licensors, and its suppliers make no representations or warranties about accuracy, reliability, completeness, currentness, or timeliness of the content on or through the use of the WebMD Site or WebMD.

13.    In most clinical trials to date the Atkins diet does as well and generally better than low-fat diets for weight loss, glycemic control and markers of cardiovascular disease.

True.

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94 thoughts on “Atkins-Bashing on WebMD: ‘Fat Throat’ Replies

  1. Touchstone

    What Lori said above: in one paragraph WebMD quotes an “expert” who is “wary” but says that Atkins is good for weight loss and for improvement in HDL and triglycerides. Next paragraph quotes another “expert” who is worried that Atkins leads to heart disease. LOL. They are trying to keep their (high-carb) cake and eat it.

    They also bring out another old chestnut, that Atkins does not stress exercise. The 2002 edition specifically points out several times that if you are not exercising you are not doing Atkins. It has a whole chapter called “Exercise: It’s Non-Negotiable” for chrissakes!

    Not that it’s such a big deal (personally, I am w/ Gary Taubes on the exercise/weight loss issue: that eating low-carb leads to weight loss and releases more energy to exercise and not that exercise leads to weight loss). Still, such glaring inaccuracies about Atkins often show the level of “research” of the typical Atkins-basher (they haven’t read the book but they just *know* it is wrong).

    Reply
  2. Larry

    Did you see this in Arizona?

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42379077/ns/health-health_care/?ns=health-health_care

    The state government may add a $50 fee for medicaid patients who are overweight or have diabetes who don’t follow their doctor recommended weight-loss diet. Considering the failure rate of doc recommended diets, this would be like a money making perpetual motion machine. $50 for being overweight. Next year, $50 dollars for gaining weight on our slimming diet. But stay on that diet, or we’ll bill you another $50.

    Another program doomed to fail.

    Reply
  3. Larry

    The WebMD article quotes Barbara Rolls* spouting the usual only calories count nonsense. Have you seen her book, Volumetrics? I think it was a precursor to the Eat This, Not That series of books. The book shows two pictures, and explains how the meal on the left was modified to become healthier and transformed into the meal on the right, the one you should eat. What I found most obnoxious about the book was that the healthier meal on the right, while having less calories, was almost always larger. It was like she saying, “Look, Fatty, we both know that given a choice, you’re going to choose the larger meal, so why not stuff yourself in a low calorie way?”

    In my life, I’ve been fat, I’ve been thin, I’ve been fat again, rinse, repeat. But the one constant has always been, when I’m really hungry, I eat a big meal. When I’m not so hungry, I eat a smaller meal. But what has made the difference is since I’ve gone almost completely no carb, I get hungry less often, and my hunger isn’t as great. My near zero carb meals are generally half the size or less of my carb heavy meals, but far more satisfying and stay with me longer.

    *I’ve seen pictures of Barbara Rolls and, honestly, she looks like one of those people who can eat a few carrot sticks and then say, “I’m stuffed,” Maybe the content of her meals don’t count, but changing the content in mine has made a world of difference.

    As usual, they’ve got the causality backwards.

    Reply
  4. Be

    While this whole discussion has gotten way off track, I agree with Verimius – it does matter. You either believe in science or you don’t. You can’t have your cake after you’ve eaten it. Bravo Verimius!

    Reply
  5. Lori

    It’s kind of funny how the article says that the Atkins diet will correct your weight, improve your lipids, and help control blood sugar and insulin levels, but may nevertheless make you die of a heart attack or stroke. So…none of these bodily systems are related, apparently? Or, what’s bad for your heart is good for all your other organs? It’s been said that engineers study whole systems, whereas doctors study parts of the human body separately.

    Yeah, isn’t that amazing?

    Reply
  6. Karen J

    Regardless of how much Atkins weighed at the time of his death (which was a direct result of his treatment), the elephant in the room is that the records were obtained illegally by people who wanted to smear him by taking advantage of the ignorance of people who don’t know the medical implications of coma inducement.

    I believe Eades had some recent comments about Eckel.
    Here: http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/lipid-hypothesis/rooting-out-more-anti-low-carb-bias/

    The PCRM’s behavior after Atkins died was disgusting. Trying to portray him as obese — when the hospital records they obtained showed his weight at 195 the day he was admitted to the hospital — tells us all we need to know about their commitment (ahem) to truth.

    Reply
  7. Verimius

    Eckel’s belief in creationism calls into question his overall competence as a scientist. Scientific evidence is strongly in favor of a 4.5 billion year old earth, and also in favor of evolution. If he’s willing to let his personal beliefs override the evidence in one area, then why not another?

    Reply
  8. Greg

    Even if they hadn’t gotten the info through fraud and even if the numbers meant what they claim (no to both, of course), the PCRM’s takeaway that, if Atkins was fat when he died, that his work is disproven, is unscientific and ridiculous. N=1, right? It would make a nice press release but would be meaningless. Which, of course, they know, but cynically don’t care.

    I’ve seen T. Colin Campbell talk online about Atkins’ supposed weight and supposed heart problems as if they reflected all of low-carb also. Really? All we have to do is find one person (who may or may not have practiced what they preached) and then we’re done studying whatever issue they promoted? How ridiculous. Same kind of crap the Dr. Oz show tried to pull on Gary Taubes – let’s compare cholesterol numbers (the numbers the show chooses to look at, never mind what each person is genetically predisposed to have, never mind what the numbers might have been before whatever eating plan they’re on). A test group of *one* without any assurance of adherence to the plan they espouse is absolutely meaningless scientifically.

    Exactly. Unless Campbell can prove no vegetarians have ever died from heart disease, his logic is flawed.

    Reply
  9. Swintah

    Agreed with Verimius. To be a standard Creationist (in the if-the-Bible-said-it-I-believe-it sense), one must disregard a heaping ton of facts. I think/hope Fat Throat was trying to emphasize Dr. Gelfand’s disregard of facts (but, of course, only Fat Throat can clarify his/her/its intent.)

    Reply
  10. David H

    You should do a post on Okinawa, Japan. Vegan biased reports say that because the Japanese eat mostly plants they are healthier. However, it is the Okinawans only that live the longest of them all, and surprise surprise… okinawa is not even close to vegan, but it is The Island of Pork. Hahaha Vegans can no longer lie about Okinawans or the Japanese if this is publicised.

    I downloaded a study from awhile back showing exactly that.

    Reply
  11. David H

    (sorry forgot to add) To add to my previous post I am studying at an international school and the Chinese tell me they eat a lot more meat than Ameicans think and they cook with Lard. I looked it up and Per Capita Chinese eat 40 kilos of pork a year while it is 24 Kilos in the USA. This might be one kind of meat, but still. They also slaughter animals fresh and eat all the parts including the organs, and organs are basically superfoods Packed with Vitamins A, B vitamins, Iron and Zinc, Vitamin D, Even Vitamins C and E which are associated with plants.

    Reply
  12. PJ

    I really don’t care whether earth and humans magically sprang into being or ‘evolved’ and since I’m a jungian I’m prone to suspect it might all kinda be the same thing (and several other things besides) in a very weird way in any case. So the doc’s ‘young earth creationist’ stance means nothing to me technically. I’ve known people who were quite intelligent about their job and complete idiots outside that, so I’m willing to let most ‘personal issues’ slide.

    However if the basis of thinking the human should eat certain things and not others for health, is that for a few million years leading up to circa 10,000 years ago that’s what they evolved eating, then I can see how someone who thinks humans just popped into being 6,000 years ago might have an impossible conundrum between personal belief and professional opinion. For that reason, I think it makes sense to include it.

    In sympathy, it is difficult to maintain beliefs in that category and make them play well with the modern world we call reality. As a perfect example, the Letter to Dr. Laura, who also used biblical certainties to apply to the modern world, and you can see the many philosophical dilemmas this causes:
    http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/drlaura.asp

    Re: the comments on Dr. Atkins’ death, one of the truisms in life is that your enemies do not dig up personal insults and intentional lies if they have anything worthwhile to throw at you; they get personal, and they start to lie, as a last resort when they’ve no better ammunition. The very fact that it required intentionally stealing records, intentionally removing all context, and so intentionally lying and promoting those lies in national media, only demonstrates the irrational hysteria–and lack of any decent ammo–of which the crusade against him and his work is comprised.

    At this point it’s difficult to tell if it’s simply that people’s belief in the over-marketed bad science of the last few decades has become their religion, or if the financial (and/or potential-financial [as in funding, recognition, media, etc.]) incentives of doing so are driving the behavior.

    It’s difficult to read a book like Taubes’s ‘Good Calories, Bad Calories’, and look at the last century of science from that perspective, without losing all respect for the strident head-banging of the same message that seems to have its best effect on contributing to the horrible disease and death of a good percentage of the planet. If that were the goal, it would be an impressive accomplishment.

    PJ

    Well said. When the PCRM zealots resorted to stealing medical records and lying about what was in those records, they just exposed themselves for the irrational fools they are.

    Reply
  13. Touchstone

    What Lori said above: in one paragraph WebMD quotes an “expert” who is “wary” but says that Atkins is good for weight loss and for improvement in HDL and triglycerides. Next paragraph quotes another “expert” who is worried that Atkins leads to heart disease. LOL. They are trying to keep their (high-carb) cake and eat it.

    They also bring out another old chestnut, that Atkins does not stress exercise. The 2002 edition specifically points out several times that if you are not exercising you are not doing Atkins. It has a whole chapter called “Exercise: It’s Non-Negotiable” for chrissakes!

    Not that it’s such a big deal (personally, I am w/ Gary Taubes on the exercise/weight loss issue: that eating low-carb leads to weight loss and releases more energy to exercise and not that exercise leads to weight loss). Still, such glaring inaccuracies about Atkins often show the level of “research” of the typical Atkins-basher (they haven’t read the book but they just *know* it is wrong).

    Reply
  14. Larry

    Did you see this in Arizona?

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42379077/ns/health-health_care/?ns=health-health_care

    The state government may add a $50 fee for medicaid patients who are overweight or have diabetes who don’t follow their doctor recommended weight-loss diet. Considering the failure rate of doc recommended diets, this would be like a money making perpetual motion machine. $50 for being overweight. Next year, $50 dollars for gaining weight on our slimming diet. But stay on that diet, or we’ll bill you another $50.

    Another program doomed to fail.

    Reply
  15. Larry

    The WebMD article quotes Barbara Rolls* spouting the usual only calories count nonsense. Have you seen her book, Volumetrics? I think it was a precursor to the Eat This, Not That series of books. The book shows two pictures, and explains how the meal on the left was modified to become healthier and transformed into the meal on the right, the one you should eat. What I found most obnoxious about the book was that the healthier meal on the right, while having less calories, was almost always larger. It was like she saying, “Look, Fatty, we both know that given a choice, you’re going to choose the larger meal, so why not stuff yourself in a low calorie way?”

    In my life, I’ve been fat, I’ve been thin, I’ve been fat again, rinse, repeat. But the one constant has always been, when I’m really hungry, I eat a big meal. When I’m not so hungry, I eat a smaller meal. But what has made the difference is since I’ve gone almost completely no carb, I get hungry less often, and my hunger isn’t as great. My near zero carb meals are generally half the size or less of my carb heavy meals, but far more satisfying and stay with me longer.

    *I’ve seen pictures of Barbara Rolls and, honestly, she looks like one of those people who can eat a few carrot sticks and then say, “I’m stuffed,” Maybe the content of her meals don’t count, but changing the content in mine has made a world of difference.

    As usual, they’ve got the causality backwards.

    Reply
  16. Peggy Cihocki

    Verimius says “Eckel’s belief in creationism calls into question his overall competence as a scientist. Scientific evidence is strongly in favor of a 4.5 billion year old earth, and also in favor of evolution. If he’s willing to let his personal beliefs override the evidence in one area, then why not another?” My sentiments exactly!

    Reply
  17. kat

    Regarding Creation Vs Evolution – “6 days” isn’t necessarily SIX DAYS. it could be a many years. but, 2 major problems evolution scientists have that they can’t explain are 1. how does the nucleus of an atom stay together, and not explode? and 2. the lack of Fossil record. it’s the dirty secret they hate to have brought up. if it took millions of years for a species to evolve, there should be a fossil or 2 (or zillions) of that species in transitional forms. but, there are not. they say (simplified) a cow wandered into the ocean and turned into a whale – well, there should be a fossil record of that change. and that is just one example – there are gazillions of species life in the oceans, and on land, mind blowing. I don’t have enough faith to believe it was all by chance.

    I can believe in God and science and Atkins and Paleo and I have no problem with a man’s religious beliefs, or lack of, to judge his abilities as a doctor, nutritionist, or researcher. I hear you, Tom, on the timeline, and I have not studied that period, so, can’t say. there are some things we won’t know.

    thanks, kat
    PS – this cracked me up – (He refers to that organization as The Committee to Re-Erect The Pyramid, a.k.a. CREEP.)

    Reply
  18. Be

    While this whole discussion has gotten way off track, I agree with Verimius – it does matter. You either believe in science or you don’t. You can’t have your cake after you’ve eaten it. Bravo Verimius!

    Reply
  19. Peggy Cihocki

    Verimius says “Eckel’s belief in creationism calls into question his overall competence as a scientist. Scientific evidence is strongly in favor of a 4.5 billion year old earth, and also in favor of evolution. If he’s willing to let his personal beliefs override the evidence in one area, then why not another?” My sentiments exactly!

    Reply
  20. kat

    Regarding Creation Vs Evolution – “6 days” isn’t necessarily SIX DAYS. it could be a many years. but, 2 major problems evolution scientists have that they can’t explain are 1. how does the nucleus of an atom stay together, and not explode? and 2. the lack of Fossil record. it’s the dirty secret they hate to have brought up. if it took millions of years for a species to evolve, there should be a fossil or 2 (or zillions) of that species in transitional forms. but, there are not. they say (simplified) a cow wandered into the ocean and turned into a whale – well, there should be a fossil record of that change. and that is just one example – there are gazillions of species life in the oceans, and on land, mind blowing. I don’t have enough faith to believe it was all by chance.

    I can believe in God and science and Atkins and Paleo and I have no problem with a man’s religious beliefs, or lack of, to judge his abilities as a doctor, nutritionist, or researcher. I hear you, Tom, on the timeline, and I have not studied that period, so, can’t say. there are some things we won’t know.

    thanks, kat
    PS – this cracked me up – (He refers to that organization as The Committee to Re-Erect The Pyramid, a.k.a. CREEP.)

    Reply
  21. Walter

    Every time I see might I’m tempted to respond “and flying monkeys might jump out my butt.” Tom, is there a specific comedian I should cite after saying that?

    I think the creationist part is relevant, especially with paleo. As is a vegetarian doctor having been influenced by Hinduism (I’m not naming any names) or for that matter a new age philosophy.

    The simple fact is that we cannot divorce our overall world views from individual issues. There are libertarians out there who do not believe in AGW not because they’ve examined the science and found it lacking, but because they are libertarians. There are also environmentalists who believe in AGW not because they’ve examined the evidence and found it compelling, but because they are environmentalists.

    Its always easier to see this flaw in out groups as opposed to your in group.

    Absolutely. (Not sure who deserves credit for the flying monkeys.)

    Reply
  22. Walter

    Every time I see might I’m tempted to respond “and flying monkeys might jump out my butt.” Tom, is there a specific comedian I should cite after saying that?

    I think the creationist part is relevant, especially with paleo. As is a vegetarian doctor having been influenced by Hinduism (I’m not naming any names) or for that matter a new age philosophy.

    The simple fact is that we cannot divorce our overall world views from individual issues. There are libertarians out there who do not believe in AGW not because they’ve examined the science and found it lacking, but because they are libertarians. There are also environmentalists who believe in AGW not because they’ve examined the evidence and found it compelling, but because they are environmentalists.

    Its always easier to see this flaw in out groups as opposed to your in group.

    Absolutely. (Not sure who deserves credit for the flying monkeys.)

    Reply
  23. Galina L.

    There is not only another PCRM zealot – Dr.Neal Barnard.Actually, he is the founder and president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. According to Wiki, “Up until 2005, Barnard also sat on the board of the Foundation to Support Animal Protection (the PETA Foundation)… Barnard also writes a medical column for Animal Times, PETA’s magazine.” He also is a famous author of the Program for Reversing Diabetes with a low-fat vegetarian diet. Everybody who is interested in the Diabetes knows about his book, and it is a popular argument for the not doing LC for that disease. Almost no one is aware about Dr. Barnard background. Does the background matter?
    Sorry, Tom, if it looks of-topic. I am waiting for the moment when it would be shameful to be among the doctors who were fighting Atkins, Eades, Bernstein and others who really made the difference in the people’s health. Looks like I am waiting in wain.

    His background definitely matters. He has no interest in the actual science; his goal is to get people to stop eating animal products, period.

    Reply
  24. Peggy Cihocki

    Kat says “2 major problems evolution scientists have that they can’t explain are 1. how does the nucleus of an atom stay together, and not explode? and 2. the lack of Fossil record. it’s the dirty secret they hate to have brought up. if it took millions of years for a species to evolve, there should be a fossil or 2 (or zillions) of that species in transitional forms.” Again, I hate to add to the off topic discussion, but as a person who is passionate about the science of evolution, I can’t let that go. 1. This is more a matter of Physics than Evolution and I’m not a physicist, (though I have studied Physics) so can only say that I believe they do actually have it figured out and if they don’t, they most certainly will in due time. Something about strong forces versus weak forces. The attraction between the particles in the nucleus is greater than the repelling forces of the like charges. 2. The “lack of fossil record of transitional forms” is an argument that Creationists and Intelligent Design people love to trot out, but it doesn’t hold up. First there are plenty of fossils of transitional forms already available and others keep turning up, but it is never enough. Secondly, the fossil record is only one of many types of evidence that biologists have that evolution occurred and is occurring–there are plenty of others–DNA studies, to mention only one. Try reading Richard Dawkins’ “The Greatest Show on Earth” and/or Donald Prothero’s “Evolution: What the Fossils say and Why it Matters”. Again, I’m sorry to continue on the divergent topic, but felt I had to. It bothers me that nearly 50% of the people in this country are either in denial or don’t know the science regarding evolution–only a few predominantly Muslim countries are below us in scientific literacy on this topic, and since it is central to the science of Biology…and central to whether one accepts scientific evidence regardless of personal beliefs in other areas…perhaps it is relevant, after all?

    Reply
  25. Galina L.

    There is not only another PCRM zealot – Dr.Neal Barnard.Actually, he is the founder and president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. According to Wiki, “Up until 2005, Barnard also sat on the board of the Foundation to Support Animal Protection (the PETA Foundation)… Barnard also writes a medical column for Animal Times, PETA’s magazine.” He also is a famous author of the Program for Reversing Diabetes with a low-fat vegetarian diet. Everybody who is interested in the Diabetes knows about his book, and it is a popular argument for the not doing LC for that disease. Almost no one is aware about Dr. Barnard background. Does the background matter?
    Sorry, Tom, if it looks of-topic. I am waiting for the moment when it would be shameful to be among the doctors who were fighting Atkins, Eades, Bernstein and others who really made the difference in the people’s health. Looks like I am waiting in wain.

    His background definitely matters. He has no interest in the actual science; his goal is to get people to stop eating animal products, period.

    Reply
  26. Peggy Cihocki

    P.S. I should add that I have nothing against anyone–Muslim or Christian, Vegan or Vegetarian, or whatever–who chooses to adopt a particular belief and ignore the scientific evidence to the contrary. That’s a personal choice to which we all have a right. Just don’t try to push those personal beliefs on others. And no, I would not want to be treated by a doctor who chooses on religious grounds to ignore a large body of scientific evidence. You can’t cherry pick which scientific evidence you accept and which you don’t.

    Reply
  27. Gabrielle

    I started reading that article, but couldn’t finish because of all the nonsense. They say the only thing the Atkins diet does is count calories. Lol.

    I’m actually not using the Atkins diet but rather my own version of it, but i know enough about the Atkins diet to know that what these guys are saying is a bunch of bull. I especially loved this paragraph:

    Carbohydrates, especially in the form of vegetables, grains, and fruits, are more efficiently converted to glucose. And this more efficient use of glucose has developed over a long period of time, according to Frank. “Fruits and berries are much more indicative of early man’s eating pattern than eating only protein, and we haven’t changed all that much physiologically.”

    I love how “vegetables, grains and fruits” turned into “fruits and berries” there. Lovely bit of magic, don’tcha think? And then saying the Atkins diet promotes only protein. Priceless. And better yet, there is no commenting on WebMD, nor is there a way for me to call the people who manage the site to rant. Bah.

    I’m pretty sure my Irish ancestors weren’t able to fill up on fruits and vegetables all year.

    Reply
  28. Peggy Cihocki

    Kat says “2 major problems evolution scientists have that they can’t explain are 1. how does the nucleus of an atom stay together, and not explode? and 2. the lack of Fossil record. it’s the dirty secret they hate to have brought up. if it took millions of years for a species to evolve, there should be a fossil or 2 (or zillions) of that species in transitional forms.” Again, I hate to add to the off topic discussion, but as a person who is passionate about the science of evolution, I can’t let that go. 1. This is more a matter of Physics than Evolution and I’m not a physicist, (though I have studied Physics) so can only say that I believe they do actually have it figured out and if they don’t, they most certainly will in due time. Something about strong forces versus weak forces. The attraction between the particles in the nucleus is greater than the repelling forces of the like charges. 2. The “lack of fossil record of transitional forms” is an argument that Creationists and Intelligent Design people love to trot out, but it doesn’t hold up. First there are plenty of fossils of transitional forms already available and others keep turning up, but it is never enough. Secondly, the fossil record is only one of many types of evidence that biologists have that evolution occurred and is occurring–there are plenty of others–DNA studies, to mention only one. Try reading Richard Dawkins’ “The Greatest Show on Earth” and/or Donald Prothero’s “Evolution: What the Fossils say and Why it Matters”. Again, I’m sorry to continue on the divergent topic, but felt I had to. It bothers me that nearly 50% of the people in this country are either in denial or don’t know the science regarding evolution–only a few predominantly Muslim countries are below us in scientific literacy on this topic, and since it is central to the science of Biology…and central to whether one accepts scientific evidence regardless of personal beliefs in other areas…perhaps it is relevant, after all?

    Reply
  29. Peggy Cihocki

    P.S. I should add that I have nothing against anyone–Muslim or Christian, Vegan or Vegetarian, or whatever–who chooses to adopt a particular belief and ignore the scientific evidence to the contrary. That’s a personal choice to which we all have a right. Just don’t try to push those personal beliefs on others. And no, I would not want to be treated by a doctor who chooses on religious grounds to ignore a large body of scientific evidence. You can’t cherry pick which scientific evidence you accept and which you don’t.

    Reply
  30. Gabrielle

    I started reading that article, but couldn’t finish because of all the nonsense. They say the only thing the Atkins diet does is count calories. Lol.

    I’m actually not using the Atkins diet but rather my own version of it, but i know enough about the Atkins diet to know that what these guys are saying is a bunch of bull. I especially loved this paragraph:

    Carbohydrates, especially in the form of vegetables, grains, and fruits, are more efficiently converted to glucose. And this more efficient use of glucose has developed over a long period of time, according to Frank. “Fruits and berries are much more indicative of early man’s eating pattern than eating only protein, and we haven’t changed all that much physiologically.”

    I love how “vegetables, grains and fruits” turned into “fruits and berries” there. Lovely bit of magic, don’tcha think? And then saying the Atkins diet promotes only protein. Priceless. And better yet, there is no commenting on WebMD, nor is there a way for me to call the people who manage the site to rant. Bah.

    I’m pretty sure my Irish ancestors weren’t able to fill up on fruits and vegetables all year.

    Reply
  31. gallier2

    2 major problems evolution scientists have that they can’t explain are 1. how does the nucleus of an atom stay together, and not explode?

    Oh my god, how dumb must one be to even consider that evolution has anything to do with atom nuclei?

    That’s of the resort of nuclear physics and the explanation was found in ’70s.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strong_force
    and even if it wasn’t a solved problem, it would have no bearing on anything evolution says or not, because nuclear physics has nothing to say about evoluton.

    As for the fossil record, it is so full of transitional forms, you couldn’t expose them in one place.
    kat, it would be a good idea to read things (books, sites, magazins) that are not written by the know-nothings of your specific cult.

    Reply
  32. gallier2

    2 major problems evolution scientists have that they can’t explain are 1. how does the nucleus of an atom stay together, and not explode?

    Oh my god, how dumb must one be to even consider that evolution has anything to do with atom nuclei?

    That’s of the resort of nuclear physics and the explanation was found in ’70s.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strong_force
    and even if it wasn’t a solved problem, it would have no bearing on anything evolution says or not, because nuclear physics has nothing to say about evoluton.

    As for the fossil record, it is so full of transitional forms, you couldn’t expose them in one place.
    kat, it would be a good idea to read things (books, sites, magazins) that are not written by the know-nothings of your specific cult.

    Reply
  33. dlm

    Dr. Atkins gained 50 lbs while being treated in the hospital — what drugs?

    I remember his book from around the 60s (and the general knowledge that starch and of course sugar make you fat, avoiding them helps you lose weight). If orthodox medicine had not vilified him and forced lowfat/high carb on us, I might not have become hypoglycemic and diabetic (and who knows what other health deficiencies I have that could be blamed on poor diet).

    The medical industry has a LOT to answer for. You could begin to believe they want to keep you sick and sicker forever, to make more money.

    I don’t think they’re that evil. Just misinformed and/or unable to admit they’ve been wrong for the past 40 years.

    Reply
  34. dlm

    Dr. Atkins gained 50 lbs while being treated in the hospital — what drugs?

    I remember his book from around the 60s (and the general knowledge that starch and of course sugar make you fat, avoiding them helps you lose weight). If orthodox medicine had not vilified him and forced lowfat/high carb on us, I might not have become hypoglycemic and diabetic (and who knows what other health deficiencies I have that could be blamed on poor diet).

    The medical industry has a LOT to answer for. You could begin to believe they want to keep you sick and sicker forever, to make more money.

    I don’t think they’re that evil. Just misinformed and/or unable to admit they’ve been wrong for the past 40 years.

    Reply
  35. Amy Dungan

    I was dismayed this morning to see WebMD magazines on the waiting room table at my doctors office (while waiting to get blood work done). I wonder how many people pick those up and think they are getting top notch information.

    Unfortunately, probably most of them.

    Reply
  36. Amy Dungan

    I was dismayed this morning to see WebMD magazines on the waiting room table at my doctors office (while waiting to get blood work done). I wonder how many people pick those up and think they are getting top notch information.

    Unfortunately, probably most of them.

    Reply
  37. Jeffry Gerber, M.D.

    Hi Tom,

    I liked your story about Atkins Bashing on Web MD. I just gave a lecture to the medical staff at my local hospital about the benefits of carbohydrate restricted diets. Here is a link if you are bored:

    http://denversdietdoctor.com The 2nd video down.

    BTW, I love to discuss the Ansel Keys story of bad science that you discuss in great detail in your movie! I still recommend your movie to my patients

    All the best,
    Dr Jeff Gerber

    Glad to know there are doctors enlightening other doctors on the topic. That’s where the change will happen, at the grass-root level.

    Reply
  38. Jeffry Gerber, M.D.

    Hi Tom,

    I liked your story about Atkins Bashing on Web MD. I just gave a lecture to the medical staff at my local hospital about the benefits of carbohydrate restricted diets. Here is a link if you are bored:

    http://denversdietdoctor.com The 2nd video down.

    BTW, I love to discuss the Ansel Keys story of bad science that you discuss in great detail in your movie! I still recommend your movie to my patients

    All the best,
    Dr Jeff Gerber

    Glad to know there are doctors enlightening other doctors on the topic. That’s where the change will happen, at the grass-root level.

    Reply
  39. Nick S

    Noting that someone is a Young-Earth Creationist in this context is neither ad hominem nor tangential. Being a YEC in the first place means that you’ve rejected the proper philosophy of science (hypothesize, observe, re-hypothesize, observe, conclude) in favor of the philosophy of religion (conclude, observe, manipulate or cherry-pick results, employ rhetoric to attack opponents.) YEC is a formalization of all of the worst practices of science.

    More important to this discussion, though, is the fact that YECs reject several notions without which an understanding of human digestion and diet is practically impossible. One cannot discuss prehistoric humans’ diets without acknowledging that there were prehistoric humans in the first place. There is also no reconciling the fact that the food that God explicitly told man to eat (see Ezekiel 4:9, for example) is not a healthy food for humans. Finally, an understanding of why humans eat as they do requires an understanding of the *evolved* traits which dictate that our diet be based on animal protein.

    That’s my main issue with the guy as well, assuming he truly believes humans have only been around for 6,000 years.

    Reply
  40. Nick S

    Noting that someone is a Young-Earth Creationist in this context is neither ad hominem nor tangential. Being a YEC in the first place means that you’ve rejected the proper philosophy of science (hypothesize, observe, re-hypothesize, observe, conclude) in favor of the philosophy of religion (conclude, observe, manipulate or cherry-pick results, employ rhetoric to attack opponents.) YEC is a formalization of all of the worst practices of science.

    More important to this discussion, though, is the fact that YECs reject several notions without which an understanding of human digestion and diet is practically impossible. One cannot discuss prehistoric humans’ diets without acknowledging that there were prehistoric humans in the first place. There is also no reconciling the fact that the food that God explicitly told man to eat (see Ezekiel 4:9, for example) is not a healthy food for humans. Finally, an understanding of why humans eat as they do requires an understanding of the *evolved* traits which dictate that our diet be based on animal protein.

    That’s my main issue with the guy as well, assuming he truly believes humans have only been around for 6,000 years.

    Reply
  41. Sarah M

    I googled what you said and read this:

    “The Atkins diet recently gained renewed popularity after studies showed that people lost weight without compromising their health. The studies showed that Atkins dieters’ cardiovascular risk factors and overall cholesterol readings changed for the better.”

    Here:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4230348/ns/health-fitness/

    Do you have info on any of these studies? It’s hard to know the credibility of whatever I find on Google myself. thanks

    http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/297/9/969.short

    http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/nejmoa0708681

    http://www.ajcn.org/content/81/4/762.short

    http://www.annals.org/content/153/3/147.short

    Reply

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