I just got word from Gary Taubes that the Larry King Live show he taped is airing tonight at 9 PM Eastern Time. He will be on discussing his book Good Calories, Bad Calories with Mehmet Oz and Andrew Weil.
Hope you can catch it despite my not alerting you until the 11th hour.


  1. I am going to try an watch this. Isn’t 9:00 eastern time 6:00 Pacific time? I hope that they will show it again later this evening. I would love to see what doctor Oz and Dr. Weil have to say about good calories, bad calories. I respect both of these doctors but they can make me grit my teeth.
    Hi Mary–
    It should be shown at 9 PM Pacific Time. Hope you get to watch it although it’s terribly frustrating.

  2. I just finished watching the show.
    Yep, it certainly was frustrating. Andrew Weil, who I consider short on substance, actually scored some points with me. Meanwhile, the female jockette fitness instructor served as a perfect example of how the combination of an enormous ego, a strong personality and little knowledge can impress their personal beliefs on the masses. This is the exact process by which Keys made the world believe that fat is bad and that low fat, high carb is how we should eat.
    The problem with shows like this is that they confirm whatever bias a viewer already has. If one comes to the show with a low-fat bias or a low-calorie bias, he can go away saying that the show confirmed his bias and that whatever ill-educated idiot parrots the line he likes won the debate.

  3. I was so terribly disappointed that Mr Taubes was lost in the drama created by the blathering, pompous heart surgeon and the personal trainer who looks more like a man than a woman. At least Dr Weil was reasonably supportive, probably the reason he wasn’t heard from again! I have no idea what the purpose of the comedienne was, except to further dilute Mr Taubes message.
    I hope Mr Taubes gets more chances to speak in interviews alone, so he can really explain his message.
    Yeah, it’s a real drag when they try to make these shows ‘entertainment’ instead of serious debate. None of the other people have a book out; Gary should have been given the time to explain his book without all these other ignorant twerps taking pot shots at it.

  4. I saw it. It was great. Of course he didn’t have enough time to say everything I was hoping to hear! But he made some great points!

  5. Hi Dr Eades,
    Well, it’s a small world and here in the Antipodes (Latin for “Down Under”), my wife and I have just finished watching LKL and I must say that Andrew Weil was a complete surprise. He endorsed the book, saying that it was a must-read and that all his students were being ORDERED to read it. Gobsmacked is how I felt. Jeeze, maybe this book IS going to be the turning point!
    All the Best and fingers crossed.
    I sure hope it will be a turning point.

  6. I used to like Mehmet Oz. Oh well…
    I have read part of this book when I got it from the library. I want to buy it so I can take a longer time to really, pardon the pun, digest everything 🙂

  7. Hopefully it will find its way onto youtube or somewhere else on the net, its the only hope for non US readers of this blog. 🙂
    Hey Neil–
    Some readers have posted links to the transcript of the show, so you can at least read it.

  8. watched it. that Oz guy would never shut up… and in that format it’s impossible to actually discuss anything in clear detail.. It’s sort of, here, talk about this for ten seconds… now times up, let’s hear from a celebrity… ok, next topic for ten seconds… times up again, let’s hear from another celebrity….
    A real pain when what you want is information and what they want is what they think is entertainment.

  9. WOW!
    I really hope you post on the show last night Doc. I was very surprised Dr. Weil agreed with Taubes and I was not surprised Dr. Oz looked like an idiot. Who the hell wants to eat steel cut oats with flax seed oil and boiled quinoa like Oz? I do agree with him when he recommends building muscle mass.
    I’m so glad Taubes stood up to Oz and reminded him about the science and his research. It seemed to me that Oz has bought into the conventional wisdom of how to lose weight.

  10. I missed the show, but was able to find the transcript:
    Gary seemed to get a fair shake from Dr Weil (very refreshing), but Dr Oz and Jillian Michaels were very combative. A quote from Jillian: “the reason you’re not losing weight on a low carb diet is because you’re probably eating too many calories. And protein can be converted into fat.”
    Yeah, wow–that’s it.
    It sounds like she needs to do a little more homework, at least out of respect for the situation. I don’t think she read the book, and she was certainly more interested in being RIGHT than paying attention to anything anyone said that did not completely agree with her. I guess I shouldn’t be very surprised at that behavior. I wish I had seen the show, but maybe next time he’s on…
    The new text/submit thingie is working weird…sorry if post appears multiple times.
    Hi Lena–
    Your comment looks fine. It came across with no problem.
    I agree. Jillian needs to spend a little time with a basic physiology text before she shoots off her mouth on national TV.

  11. Dr. Mike,
    A transcript of the show can be found here: http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0710/19/lkl.01.html
    I found it interesting that Dr. Oz ate “100 percent whole grain cereal,” for breakfast then goes on to say, “I have nuts because I get hungry all the time. I eat every couple hours.” That sounds healthy! Where Gary Taubes said earlier, “I have lunch at 2:00 or 3:00,” after eggs and sausage cooked in lard. That’s how I would rather have my day go, I would hate to be thinking about having to eat every couple of hours, I would get nothing done. And Dr. Oz is a surgeon! I would rather have my surgeon focused on the operation then wondering where his snack is.
    How true, how true.

  12. Frustrating indeed. Credit to Dr. Weil for actually reading the book “cover to cover” and giving a fairly resounding endorsement, as well as emphasizing the insulin-as-cause argument. Unfortunately, the “Oprah” factor with Dr. Oz is huge, and I imagine most viewers will simply come away confused. Dr. Oz certainly showed how entrenched the conventional wisdom is and Jillian (though mercifully quiet most of the time) demonstrated how to angrily guard one’s particular turf. Funny, that’s the kind of anger I felt toward Keys, et al after finishing Good Calories, Bad Calories, mostly on behalf of my loved ones and the public at large. Personally, I was fortunate enough to be born at a time where I could discover Protein Power in 2000 at the age of 42, early enough to prevent the train wreck.
    I’m going back through Good Calories, Bad Calories with my highlighter now. What a service Gary Taubes will have performed for untold millions if his writing succeeds in breaking through the entrenched dogma!

  13. Dr. Weil was great. He was the only one who acted as if he really read the book and listened to the message before crafting his response.
    Dr. Oz came off as a sleaze. He espouses the portion control and exercise line, yet if you look at how he describes what he personally eats, it’s low carb high fat vegetarian! lots of tofu nuts and fish. By no means 6-11 servings of grain a day. What my army friends call “malicious compliance” – you say you’re doing SOP but really doing what you wanted in the first place.
    The trainer was scary. She was the only one looking right into the camera and not at the host. She called Taubes dangerous and wicked for the exercise reporting. Yeesh.
    The Biggest Loser lady who lost her 100 pounds with 2 hours of exercise and portion control and few starches and sugars, was adamant that that could work for everyone because it worked for her. Yah try selling anecdotal…
    And the host sitting in for Larry King was awful. Kept interrupting. Actually she reminded me of the Fred Willard character in the dog show movie “Best in Show” who kept interrupting with tasteless, off=topic color commentary. Oh well, such are talk shows nowadays and that’s why I normally don’t watch them.
    Pretty accurate summary.

  14. One of the most disturbing things about the calorie ‘theory’ (it is just that in my view) is that it puts all 3 macro food groups on the same level. Nutritionists will claim that “a calorie is a calorie” and that “it doesn’t matter whether calories come from carbs, protein or fat”.
    The calorie theory assumes that your mouth equates with the door of a solid fuel burning appliance. You open your mouth and load in carbs, protein or fat all of which are treated by the body as a solid fuel to be combusted for energy. Aside from the obvious disconnect with the principles of thermodynamics that consider loss of energy through biochemical processes, the body doesn’t just burn all protein or fat for energy. Its needs some protein for basic things like tissue repair. Same issue with fats. Carbs, especially simple sugars are another matter. If one consumes glucose it can only be used for energy in one form or another.
    Taubes stressed this point over and over in his book. But it will be ignored when it doesn’t fit with the thinking of those such as Oz and especially Lyons. Oz is a prime example. He tells us he starts his day with a high carb breakfast, the very time of day when continuous glucose monitoring studies have found that carbs have the greatest impact on blood glucose. After that Oz tells us he needs to eat every 2 hours. That certainly goes a long way towards inspiring my confidence in the need for carbs. Meanwhile, Lyons, preaches the need for extreme exercise in order to lose weight.
    If you have a cat in your family (I do) you probably know that cats are carnivores. There is no question about this. Carbs are poison to a cat. But experts in animal nutrition will claim that “a calorie is a calorie”. So it is alright to put cats on a high carb diet.
    To give an example, one brand of cat food sold only though vets, who also just happen to prescribe it (no conflict here), has a formulation called ‘Preventative Formula’ implying that it will prevent illness. The macro ingredients are listed as 1. chicken meal, 2. rice, 3. corn gluten and 4. corn. Now we all now that the carbs are supplied in 3 forms so they will not be shown as the single biggest ingredient. In fact this is a very high carb formula. Chicken meal is the garbage that can’t be used for human food. So its protein quality is questionable. Fat is there in a reasonable quantity. So the diet is probably high carb, low protein, moderate fat. By now Dr Eades is probably cringing in horror because he knows where this is leading.
    Anyone who has followed the incidence of such things as obesity and type II diabetes in cats will know that its rise has paralleled the trend in humans. Makes you want to shout “It’s the carbs stupid”, right? Not according to the experts. The problem according to them is……………wait for it: cats don’t get enough exercise! That’s why they are getting fat and diabetic”.
    I feed my cat a diet almost devoid of carbs. He sleeps all day and never gains an ounce. And when he sees me exercise he looks at me as if the thinks I have lost me mind. To a cat, exercise is not only unnecessary but a stupid waste of energy. Cats are the ultimate energy conservers. This aside, how many fat animals have you seen in the wild? Probably none. They believe in Taubes, if indirectly.
    The experts who promote the calorie theory apparently believe that organisms are terribly inefficient when it comes to controlling weight and/or are just plain incapable of managing fat storage. What about the miraculous mechanism of homeostasis? Did they forget about that?
    I eat a very low carb diet (less than 30 grams/day). A few weeks ago I was away on vacation for 2 weeks. During that time I did not weigh myself. I had to rely on my physiologic processes. Even though I probably ate too many carbs on a few occasions, I weighed exactly the same when I returned home as I did when I left for vacation. This suggests very strongly that weight gain has its origins in a hormonal imbalance, that carbs are the cause and that those who believe this are very much on the right track.
    Hi David–
    Pretty good summary of the calorie is a calorie nonsense.

  15. I just read the transcript to the show. I think Dr. Weil gets it, at least a bit. He says he thinks the book is important and he is recommending that his colleagues and medical students read it. I think that is a good sign for the future. I think SOME of those people will get it and, eventually, little by little, closed minds will begin to change. Thanks to YOU and other pioneers bringing out the truths!
    Hi Carol–
    Thanks for the kind words. I took a look at the Amazon ratings for GCBC and it looks like the show has catapulted the book up in the ratings. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

  16. He was impressive, as is his book. I was very happy to see Dr. Weil suggest that all doctors read this important book. It is too bad that the preference for soundbites on TV make it tough to explain why half a century plus of medical conventional wisdom is wrong. But what was really telling was Taubes’ clearly made Fat Oprah’s diet doctor nervous when Taubes would throw him a question. Clearly, he knows Taubes is correct and could prove beyond doubt – if he had enough time – that Oz is no wizard, and there was nothing behind the curtain. And that exercise coach? Rhymes with mucking rich.
    Mucking rich, eh? Couldn’t have said it better.

  17. Dr. Mike,
    I just read the transcript of Taubes’ interview on Larry King. He did quite well given the impossible circumstances which are best summarized by the old saw “never argue with an idiot, he’ll bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”
    Sadly, Gary is trying to debate a sophisticated subject with children in a sand box who are not afraid to throw the sand when backed into a corner!
    I was surprised that Andrew Weil seemed to get it.
    But Oz, this guy knows nothing about a healthy diet – he’s just mouthing the 70’s “health” food mantras. I blame the “Oprah effect” – implied credence if she puts her imprimatur on you. He eats soy milk, tofu and snacks on nuts all day long – has this guy ever heard of the Omega 6 / Omega 3 fatty acid balance? If he wonders why he is so thin, he should compute his percent calories from fat – nuts are off the chart! Sadly, soy and nut fats are not the healthy fats.
    Oh well….
    Philip Thackray
    Hey Philip–
    Well put. You are on the money.

  18. Doctor Mike,
    Could you suggest to Gary Taubes that he do an interview with Terry Gross of NPR’s Fresh Air or someone like her. The one on one format for the interviews that she conducts would allow a much fuller discusssion of his ideas.
    I’ll give him the word. But typically these folks ask you, you don’t ask them.

  19. I was looking for the above on You Tube and found these instead. The first is an older clip that shows Gary Taubes “debating” with Dean Ornish, Barbara Howard and Mehmet Oz (who is the guest host). It shows Ornish being, IMO, deceptive and misleading, and Howard being dogmatic, with Taubes being the only really reasonable one.
    The second shows somebody calling Dr. Oz out, and while I don’t know how scientifically accurate his facts are, he is funny in spots.
    Hey Brad–
    Thanks for the links. I could probably come up with a better reading list than the FoodDude in the YouTube piece, but other than that it was priceless.

  20. I’ve been having trouble posting a comment, suffice it to say that I agree with the other comments. Don’t want Oz anywhere near my body with a scalpel in hand after eating such an awful breakfast and all those nuts. Thought the Food Dude was terrific (thanks Brad)! I recommended Kendrik’s Con book to him rather than Colpo’s, and dissed the metabolic typing book.
    Hope this smaller comment gets through. Don’t know if it’s my Mozilla Firefox that is the problem.
    Hi Karen–
    This comment came through fine. I don’t know what happened to the others. I concur with your analysis of the FoodDude’s book recommendation although I would advise both the Colpo and the Kendrick book. Both have a wealth of material and both have their strong points. And both approach the dissection of the cholesterol-is-bad myth from different perspectives.

  21. What a shock that Dr. Weil was so supportive. This gives me hope that Taubes’ book will become the bestseller that it deserves to be. My only criticism of the book is that he doesn’t mention the work of the late great H.L. Newbold MD who actually managed to publish a few studies on a meat based diet.
    He may have mentioned him in an earlier version. I read several iterations of the book, and the first time around it was filled with an enormous amount of information. In subsequent versions the publisher made him cut a lot of info, so Dr. Newbold may have ended up on the cutting room floor.

  22. I can recommend to all your blog readers the discussion with Brian Lehrer over the Larry King Live show. Much more substantial and reflective: http://audio.wnyc.org/bl/bl091707dpod.mp3
    Thanks for the link, Niko. A much more thoughtful interview indeed. Too bad it didn’t have the wide audience that the LKL show did.

  23. Andre Weil….Wow the guy that doesn’t tuck in his shirt, gets it! My guess is that he has learned the hard way.
    Actually he’s pretty smart and thoughtful, so maybe he actually read and understood. Then again, he did spend the last couple of minutes of his time trying to promote his own book and diet.

  24. Reading the Transcript and really. You can’t get a word in edgewise with Joy Behar or with Oz. I haven’t gotten down to Weil or Jillian Michaels, but I dunno that I want to.
    Terry Gross should have Taubes on Fresh Air. Diane Rehm should have him on the DR Show. I think NPR is the only place where you can have a good interview anymore. *sigh*
    Hey Max–
    You’re probably right. I think that had the interview been with LK instead of that troll Joy Behar it would have been much better. LK’s shtick is to do softball interviews, letting the guests pretty much state their cases whereas Joy Behar’s is to be a smart ass and make the crowd laugh.

  25. I watched the Charlie Rose Nutrition Panel with Ornish, Taubes, and Howard posted above. It was moderated by Oz, likely not long after Taubes’ Big Fat Lie article was published.
    What is the deal with Dr. Barbara Howard saying that the therapeutic ketogenic diets prescribed for the epileptic children cause some kind of mental development issues? What’s the basis for her claim? I have never heard of that.
    Kind Regards,
    Hi Alex–
    As far as I know she has no basis for that claim. A recent published case report about a guy in his late 20s who had been on a ketogenic diet for seizure control since he was a little kid showed that he had no mental abnormalities. This is only one report, but it is the only one I’ve seen, so I don’t know how Howard came up with that idea with no supporting data.

  26. Now that I have devoured Taubes book I wonder if he has plans to print the info that was cut from the first draft. I would love to see more from him on this topic and I love his style.
    I don’t think he has plans to print the info that was cut. Maybe he’ll come up with a blog and put it all online, but I doubt it.

  27. OZ: There’s a concept called complementarity, just to blown your brain for a second. This is actually a concept of physics. You can have two mutually exclusive ideas that are both right. And that’s what I think we are looking at.
    TAUBES: Yeah. You can also have two mutually exclusive ideas, one of which is right and one of which is wrong.
    I read the transcript, didn’t see the video. Did this come across on it? I almost choked when I read GT’s response! He’s so soft spoken (in other interviews I’ve seen anyway), was there even a reaction? “We” need a mouth out there!!! Oz has a mouth in Oprah as well as his own, both loud and overpowering! We need someone to “discover” how great low carb is and start talking about it!!
    Weil surprised me, and has quite a few times recently. I think he at least has shown over the years that he’s flexible in his beliefs as new information is uncovered.
    Hi Cindy–
    I was so stunned by Oz’z misuse of the term complementarity that I didn’t even notice Gary’s response. Maybe someone else did and can comment on it.

  28. You heard of Ketocal? It’s a premixed formula (why you need a premixed formula for a diet that’s ninety percent fat calories is beyond me) that’s mostly hydrogenated soybean oil. Might stop seizures, but I wouldn’t trust anybody’s brain with the stuff.
    I wouldn’t either. I bet it doesn’t stay on the market in this form for much longer.

  29. Alex asked about the basis for some connection between ketogenic diets and mental development issues. I wonder if it’s this:
    If so, it sounds like a frankenfood may be responsible, not a ketogenic diet in and of itself.
    I thought the LK/Joybahaw interview was not too bad considering the circus-like atmosphere. Taubes made plenty of points, and thoughtful people, at least, will be more receptive to him than to the Shrill Drill Sergeant.
    Just ordered the book (through your blog, of course). Can’t wait to get it!
    Thanks for the link. And thanks for the book order.

  30. Denise,
    Thanks for the info! I’ll be sure to pick up a copy!
    Dr. Eades,
    I have settled into an IF pattern that works for me. I do the 24 hr IF for a couple of days every now and then. When I am not doing that, I have an 18 to 20 hr fast daily. I do this by skipping breakfast and waiting until noon or 2pm to eat. Then I have dinner at six-ish. Easy. This plan got me out of a three week stall. Finding this high fat, very low carb way of life has been a major blessing and IF is one more piece of the puzzle. Thank you.
    Hi Kristi–
    I’m glad to hear you’re doing so well. Keep it up.

  31. So, managed to muddle through Behar’s incessant failed attempts to add value when I came across, what, in my opinion, was a reason to get to the bottom. This little exchange.
    OZ: There’s a concept called complementarity, just to blown your brain for a second. This is actually a concept of physics. You can have two mutually exclusive ideas that are both right. And that’s what I think we are looking at.
    TAUBES: Yeah. You can also have two mutually exclusive ideas, one of which is right and one of which is wrong.
    Nice. Thanks for the link to the FoodDude on YouTube. That was fun. I’d like to give that dude five minutes alone in a room with Mehmet Oz and a $1000 credit at Amazon.com (linked through mreades.wpengine.com of course).
    From now on, I think we should refer to Dr. Oz as Mehmet of Oz. Because he seems to pull his ideas on diet from some fantasy universe, and Frank Baum’s is as good as anyone’s.
    Hey Max–
    You’re right about Oz. What a dork. Not only did he use a stupid example, he used it incorrectly. Complementarity doesn’t mean two mutually exclusive ideas, both of which are correct. It involves the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, which loosely states that you can’t determine both the wave form and the particle form of a quantum entity at the same time. Such an entity displays either its wave form or its particle form during any given measurement, but never both.
    As I said, what a dork.

  32. I didn’t get a chance to watch but will be sure to read the transcript.
    For a chance to be both amused and horrified at the same time, check out thse old ads. The last one will no doubt have Jesus weeping. There are four altogether so be sure to click on the next at the bottom of the page. They are quick reads.
    They left Jesus weeping and me laughing. I particularly love Jim Lileks’ comments on the ads. His is one of my favorite blogs.
    Thanks for the fun.

  33. Hi Doc–I’m glad to hear Weil was supportive. In one of his books he does write that some people are carb sensitive, will need to be careful with both the amount and types of carbs they consume, and can do well on a low carb diet.
    BTW what’s wrong with nuts? They are one “consolation prize” on a low carb diet.
    Hi Paul–
    I don’t think there is anything wrong with nuts. I eat them all the time.

  34. OK, I’ve watched the Larry king Show interview a few times now, and here is what is so aggravating to me about how things went down.. Sometimes when there is an apparent disagreement ( which Joy seems to love, by the way ), there is not really a disagreement of any substance, at all. For example, in the segment with Dr. Weil, Gary has just made the point that “carbs can affect everyone differently”, and he mentions that Atkins had recommended restricting them greatly, at first, getting the weight off, and then adding them back in slowly until you find the level ( weight stabilization ) that YOU can tolerate. Weil then acts like he disagrees with that ( “you can’t ask people to do a drastic change”), but all he is then really saying is to do the same thing, just from the other direction. In other words, he says ‘yes’, reduce your carbs ( but not drastically at first ), and keep reducing them until you get to the set point, for you. Duh. I don’t see a real disagreement here. And, I prefer Atkins method of severe restriction, with a gradual adding back ( if you must). Because if they are bad for you, better to over-compensate against them first, no?
    In my experience I have found that people do much better going for more restrictive carb lowering early on and slacking off later after they’ve lost some weight.

  35. Jack LaLanne Hurts My Brain….
    Not really a comment on today’s post, but relevant I think nonetheless. Most of us know who Jack LaLanne is, the fitness guru. Anyway, I base a lot of my beliefs about nutrition on research done by finding really healthy/long-lived people and simply observing what they ate/eat. The best example I can give for this sort of research is Weston Price’s work.
    Most of the time, this process works out in favor of your ideas, ie lower carb, whole foods, higher fat, good protein, etc. However, Jack LaLanne seems to fly in the face of everything, especially because of the fact that at over 90 years old, he is still working out 2 hours every morning and sharp as a tack.
    What does he eat? 50 grams of soy protein per day, egg whites, tons of veggies and fruit, VERY little fat and occasionally fish. What the heck?! From everything I’ve read and seen in my own practice, he should certainly be dead by now.
    I chalk up his continued health to a few things and wondered what your thoughts were:
    1) Superior Mental Attitude. Simply doesn’t seem to be bothered by anything except fat, lazy people.
    2) Daily exercise
    3) Very high, natural antioxidant intake
    4) Mostly whole foods diet
    I would love to hear your thoughts on this paradox of a man.
    Hi Daniel–
    I, too, have been a follower of Jack LaLanne for a long time. I never missed his show when I was a kid. But, the fact that he is doing so well despite his diet doesn’t really mean anything to humanity at large. A friend of mine has an uncle who is now in his early 100s, and this guy smoked like a stack until just a few years back, drank a whole lot, and generally lived a dissolute life. But he’s still here and still has his mind. Does this mean we should follow his lifestyle? Winston Churchill lived to be 90+ and he was fat and smoked and drank. Picasso was the same. He lived to be in his 90s and didn’t quit smoking until he was in his 80s. None of these people followed what I would consider an optimal diet, yet they all lived forever. You can’t fraw conclusions for the rest of humanity based on the specific circumstances of one person.

  36. Yikes, Dr. Eades! I put these comments on the wrong page! Imeant to put them on the IF page! When I couldn’t see them on the IF page, I posted something else! Oh, bother!
    No problem.

  37. I hope your silence isn’t fire related. You’re in Santa Barbara, yes? I’m in Simi Valley. It got a bit close to us. The ash is dreadful and everyone is coughing and depressed.
    No, as you can see from my post today, my silence isn’t fire related. We get a little smoke off and on here, but, in general, it’s been pretty nice.

  38. Dr Mike
    We hope your long absence has nothing to do with the tragic fires in California.We pray all is well with you and yours.
    Hi Ken–
    Thanks for the good thoughts. We’re fine. Just travel weary.

  39. Here is the segment with Dr. Andrew Weil from the Larry King Live appearance:
    Dr. Weil actually READ the book unlike the other members of that panel. Isn’t it interesting they had someone who lost weight eating low-fat and exercising for hours a day rather than a low-carb weight loss success story? Wouldn’t it stand to reason when you are discussing a book about eating a high-fat, low-carb diet that you would want to feature someone who has done well on such a diet? Am I missing something (besides the obvious bias)?
    Hey Jimmy–
    Thanks for the YouTube. I’m glad it’s out there. Weil certainly did appear to have read the book, and he was undoubtedly Gary’s advocate on the show, but he did default at the end to promoting his own flawed diet.
    And, no, I don’t think you’re missing anything. There was a ton of bias in the selection of the other guests and the host, too, for that matter.

  40. Dr.Eades Help im confused ! Forgive my ignorance for the question here but i’m new to Low Carb so i’m still learning. On the Ornish vs Taubes debate i’m still confused what to think when Ornish kept pulling out the pet scan of the arteries to show that they opened up on the Low Fat. What should i take from that. Thank you ! HJ
    Hi Harry–
    There is way too much to go into to clarify the Ornish pet scans. At some point I’ll probably do an entire post on debunking the studies Ornish is so fond of. Just take my word for it now that these studies do not mean what he says they do. I’ve written one post already on a similar study allegedly showing that saturated fat causes arterial problems.

  41. Isn’t it interesting that the only person to have read the book in its entirety considers it groungbreaking and is recommending it to everyone he deals with? Dr Weil shows he can be persuaded with actual evidence.
    I have to say that deliberate or not, the interview was a setup. Behar, Oz and Michaels did not read the book yet proceeded to criticize it. Oz especially, went all over the place with what he was saying, making it impossible for Taubes to present the point of the book. I didn’t have an opinion of him one way or the other, but after this I’m just embarrassed for him.
    I can’t blame the personal trainer, Jillian Michaels, for her forthright opinion based on her years of successful outcomes. I also think she was just as set up as Taubes. I’d say that she was given very little warning and information on the book before she was invited to speak on the show. I saw it in real time, and at the end of her talk, she accuses Taubes of being just another person who puts some info together so that he can sell books! It was very obvious that she has no idea of Taubes’ reputation and the considerable years he put into his research–this segment is missing on youtube and elsewhere.
    As to her success Michaels forgets that 99% of us can’t exercise four hours everyday, and the twenty pound weight losses some of her contestants have managed to pull off in one week on The Biggest Loser just aren’t possible in the real world. I think Taubes and Michaels were talking apples and oranges, and neither were given the time to really get into it. Taubes especially didn’t get a chance to elaborate on the exercise for weight-loss research.
    Hey LC–
    Good to hear from you; it’s been a long time.
    I pretty much agree with your assessment, except that I’m a little less benign than you about Jillian Michaels. I don’t care whether she was set up or not, I think it’s unconscionable for someone to make the accusations that she did, especially since she’s never read Taubes’ book. I disagree with Dean Ornish on virtually everything, but I wouldn’t accuse him of writing his views just to sell books. I assume that he’s ideologically committed to what he preaches, and he writes it in his books to convey his own beliefs, not simply to sell books. The idea that Gary, who put 5-6 years of his life into this project, would simply write what he did simply to sell the book. There are a lot easier ways to sell books than to spend the time he did doing the research and writing it up. A lot easier ways. And for her to accuse him of selling out, and doing it with the condescending tone she used beggars belief until one realizes what a shallow vessel she must really be.

  42. I think perhaps the pot’s calling the kettle black a bit if you call Oz a dork–look again at your reply about complementarity. Not that there’s anything wrong with that–my kids’ refrain “Mom, you’re such a dork!” is often initiated by my quoting of my 2 favorite bloggers–you and James Lileks. Only a dork could fully appreciate both of you!
    Guilty as charged.

  43. Taubes presents a compelling case for the position that carbohydrate, not fat, is the cause of not only the growing epidemic of obesity, but also the the growing incidence of diabetes and other chronic conditions. The fact that a physiologic need for carbohydrates in human nutrition has yet to be established makes the probability high that Taubes and others in his camp are right. The fact that glucose can be synthesized from protein and that the brain actually prefers ketone bodies for fuel renders impotent any argument that carbohydrates are required to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. This begs the question as to why anyone would eat any significant amount of carbohydrate.
    While Taubes is also probably correct in stating that some will tolerate carbohydrates better than others I find the position of those such as Atkins who recommended that we find our carbohydrate tolerance nonsensical, unless it is used to discover the level at which they become a problem which for many is close to zero.
    But probably the best advice Taubes gives in his book is to view everything with healthy skepticism even when something looks to be on solid ground. What if not just the low fat, high carbohydrate diet theory but just about all research in the medical field is also mostly wrong? In an article called ‘Why Most Published Findings are False’ http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.0020124medical writer John Ioannidis, sounding every bit like Taubes, claims this is probably the case.
    Ioannidis states that the hotter a scientific field is (low fat and statins come to mind) and the more scientific teams are involved, the less likely it will be that any research findings will be true. And it’s not just in research related to drugs that this is the case. It has been my observation that some of the most flagrant promotion of questionable results of research is in food supplements. Here, a writer of popular health issues finds some research that suggests (not proves) an apparently positive effect for say vitamin X at 10 times the normal physiologic level. They then extrapolate this result to 100 times the normal physiologic level and write a best selling book on the new miracle nutrient. Given the right circumstances this can set off a self-perpetuation information cascade.
    To paraphrase Inspector Clouseau of the Pink Panther fame “I suspect nothing. yet I suspect everything.”
    Hi David–
    Nice analysis of the situation, and, in my opinion, right on the money.
    I actually wrote a post on the Plos article when it first came out.

  44. But Dr Mike, that’s exactly what I mean about her being set up. Michaels would have some idea of who Atkins or Ornish are, but unless you were connected to or interested in following science journalists, you would not know who Taubes is. I actually have followed his articles in magazines and anthologies way before this, so I knew when he took low carb on, that is was going to be a major work. Obviously, no one informed her of Taubes’ reputation and opus.
    You and I have also browsed through enough diet books to know she has good reason to accuse some authors of compiling info out of other people’s books in order to come out with their own–I’m thinking especially of the eight minute guy, George something!
    Hi LC–
    I don’t know who the George something guy is, but I wouldn’t denigrate his book – especially on national TV – without at least knowing something about it. I thought her behavior was classless and inexcusable.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *