Since we’ve all seen the sticking power of the low-fat-is-best meme, we all know how much critical thinking it takes to overcome it. Based on this interview with one of the upper echelon of American youth, I fear we might be doomed to low-fatism for a long, long time.
Jesus didn’t just weep; he broke down and sobbed.
(Hat tip to: Nastybrutish-n-short)


  1. I would bet a steak dinner that she is on a low-fat diet.
    As a side note, I just found a (British) copy of Donaldson’s Strong Medicine. It is, as you have said, quite good. Amazing that he believed everyone would lose exactly 3 pounds per week and that two meals per day would stall weight loss while three would bring it on. Also odd is his belief that water after dinner will result in a stall and that pyruvic acid buildup is what causes obesity.

    Yeah, he had some bizarre ideas along with the good ones. One of the great low-carb researchers of Donaldson’s time, a guy named Pennington wrongly thought that pyrivic acid buildup caused obesity. I’m sure Donaldson bought into Pennington’s argument.

  2. She must be on the AHA/ADA low fat/high carb diet along with statins to lower cholesterol and stop the growth of brain cells.
    Well, it’s pretty obvious that the growth of brain cells stopped at some point.

  3. Just wanted to drop you a note of thanks. Your book was the first one I’d read on the subject. It was very positive, and really moved me to try to get away from unhealthy eating. Well, I went crazy. When I started my triglycerides were 800 and cholesterol was 230. I ate eggs, bacon, mayo, butter, cheese, steaks, etc. etc. I exercised some. Light walks and some weight lifting. In 6-8 weeks, my triglycerides were 180 and cholesterol was 190.
    Stress kills me. When I stress, I eat junk and drink tons of milk(ins/aminos/tryp/ser). So last year I developed diabetes. My glucose was 550. I was prescribed metformin, and I immediately went back to the diet. In 6 weeks my glucose was 100-120. I stopped taking the medicine after the first three weeks. Unfortunately stress again got the best of me. My glucose has been creeping up. It took a year but it got to 300, and I had to do something. You know what I did. I’m reading now between 130-170. Interestingly, a meal that is almost all protein will lower my glucose. So, I’m highest in the morning.
    Anyway, the point of this is that for me, the low-carb (really low glycemic) diet is the way to go. This last time I’ve taken no medicine and tracked my readings and diet every day. I went to an endocrinologist, told him all my results, and he said he couldn’t recommend low carb. I just walked out.
    You know, Dr. Mike, I’m not stupid. Do they train Doctors to be scientists? Since medicine changes so fast, seems like they would. I myself can reason, test, measure, and draw conclusions. I know what works for me.
    And, most importantly of all, I can read. I’m sure you’ve seen and enjoyed this:
    In any other sciences, incredibly divergent data such as these authors find would be trumpeted. Instead important results are hidden in a title and conclusion that are nothing more than a red herring.
    So here’s my question. What is the scientific history that backs up low fat diets? If low-carb diets are of questionable safety, where is the long term! data that backs up the low fat diet?
    Thanks again Dr. Mike. It’s wonderful that Doctors such as you and your wife, as well as Dr. Atkins would risk your reputations to take on all the mainstream nonsense(unhealthy) that is out there.
    Hi David–
    There is very little scientific history that backs up low-fat diets. You can read all about it in great detail when Gary Taubes’ new book Good Calories, Bad Calories comes out in about a month.

  4. I’m ashamed to say that girl’s from my home state. Yikes! God help us all!!!
    Hi Jimmy–
    Better escape while you still can.

  5. Not fair. No one mentioned that her lip gloss was very nice.
    Dr. Donaldson was my physician in New York in the 1950s. He scared the hell out of me because of his authoritarian stance but he was actually right on target with me about my diet.
    I’ve been wanting to ask you, Dr. Mike, about Pennington. I bought the June 1960 Holiday magazine with the Du Pont diet article. It’s the basis for my physician, Dr. Melvin Anchell’s Steak Lover’s Diet which I followed in the early 1960s.
    Since I use your formula to estimate my protein needs (about 28 grams per meal), I’ve always been curious about your take on Pennington’s regimen.
    Any comments?
    Hi Marly–
    I’ve read most of Pennington’s papers, and I pretty much agree with him on everything but his mistaken notion about pyruvic acid. I don’t know what specific regimen he recommended in the June 1960 Holiday magazine, but his medical papers indicate that carb restriction is the best way to lose weight.

  6. Did you ever stop to think that the poor girl was probably just very nervous and didn’t even hear the question? How many people, when told bad news by their doctor, never hear another word he/she says after that. This young woman felt she had to say something so she just blurted out one of her stock answers without realizing it had nothing to do with the question. She just needs more practice speaking in public.
    BTW, thanks for the link to Sirena Huang’s TED mini-recital. I really enjoyed that.
    Hi Grandma Ann–
    Sirena Huang, I’m sure, could have done much better on the question than Miss South Carolina. And she’s only 11 years old.
    Glad you enjoyed the recital.

  7. Come on, you guys, you’re being too harsh. It’s a well known fact that US Americans are mapless…. 🙂

  8. I know this is off topic, but I have been alternatly seeing different design templates for your blog. This morning it was completly different from normal. Now it is normal again. Are you in the process of a redesign?
    If so, the new blog looked pretty spiffy. The only downsides I can think of was the very large header of the new layout and the lack of highlighting (now blue) for the comments of each post.
    Hi Freddy–
    Yeah, I’m working on a new design. My webguy sent it to me to look at and I didn’t really know how to pull it up, so I inadvertently redid the blog briefly. I’m glad you liked it. I want to change some of the features on it, but overall I like it quite a bit. Stay tuned.

  9. I beg your pardon. My American youth children would stare in disbelief if you said to them out loud that a South Carolina beauty princess was “the upper echelon of American youth.”
    Probably a bad choice of words on my part. Young women in these beauty pageants (I think this was the Miss America pageant) are supposed to be not only beautiful, but educated, articulate, talented and poised.

  10. Maybe it’s the low fat diet that’s getting in the way of US Americans finding their maps. With all the problems of the high carb diet, maybe there’s something in the way.
    FWIW, as someone who is more of a federalist, I think South Carolina generally winds up in the bottom five on any measure of public school efficacy, and there’s probably a state’s rights issue at the bottom of it. God forbid some eggheads in DC set some basic curriculum standards. FWIW, I also don’t think high stakes testing is a real solution so much as beefing up the curriculum and making a HS degree something meaningful.
    For once, Max, you and I are in complete agreement.

  11. Oh yeah, forgot something off topic that I’d been meaning to share with you.
    Lawmakers want tech updates at State Department
    The topline of the story made me think of you from earlier this summer. State took in $243 Mil in expedited passport fees over some time
    period that will come available for use in the 2008 budget. The article, likely based on
    some State/OMB insiders’ comments, points towards IT upgrades with the money. I am sure that you would push for staffing increases in passport processing, or at least that the tech upgrades should be directed to passport processing efficiency, if not returned to those who paid them and received less than the regular service when they were expecting expediting. I don’t work at State (State’s loss), but I think I could probably make the need for expediting a thing of the past. Done it in other places before government, so why not, other than the loss of a revenue stream. Please don’t be too steamed.
    I’m only steamed over the thought of all the people whose vacations/business trips were ruined by bureaucratic bungling over this issue. These are experiences and dollars that can never be recovered by them. And that’s not to mention all the angst and despair they experienced. Of course, looking on the positive side, most of these people had never had an encounter with our supposedly benevolent government up close and personal. This might give them a little more pause at the voting both, but I doubt it.

  12. Dr. Mike:
    I think this is just a case of pure nerves. Some people just don’t think on their feet they need time to think on the question and then answer. Besides the pressure of being timed, she is one of these. However, you don’t want someone like this representing America much less a state.
    Generally, I find the younger generation’s diction (listen to telephone solicitors sometime), spelling, grammar, punctuation and sentence structure abilties appallling. Some youngster’s will outgrow this condition, however some won’t.
    I agree. I hope she grows out of it. I’m sure she will have this video of a constant reminder of how she used to be. Maybe it will be instructive for her children.
    And I know it’s nerves. But, these things select out the young women who have the most poise and can deal semi-intelligently with subjects about which they don’t have a clue. I remember I had such a question during my interview for med school that I BS’d my way through, and since I got in it’s proof that it can be done. Before anyone writes in asking what that question was…I don’t remember. I repressed it because it caused me much angst. And, surprisingly, I didn’t immediately (as is my typical wont) leap and and research the bejesus out of it so that I wouldn’t be caught with my pants down again.

  13. Come on folks.
    Verily she obviously is thick as mince but it is called a beauty pageant and not a brains pageant!
    Some are beauty, some are beauty AND brains. I assume this is the latter or she wouldn’t have been asked the question.

  14. Hi Dr. Mike,
    After a week away, I was looking forward to your posts and as usual, you came through with great ones!
    Jesus isn’t the only one weeping these days. I was doing some sobbing of my own when I read this just recently:
    BTW, just as a bit of trivia what is the only state that has USA on their plates? New Mexico. Back when the Olympic games were held in Atlanta, I was both entertained and appalled by a story in the paper about a man in New Mexico who tried to order tickets for events by phone when they first went on sale. The salesperson refused to sell them to him because “they could not send tickets to people living in foreign countries.” No amount of talking could persuade her or her supervisor that New Mexico was indeed a part of the United States.
    Hi Esther–
    Glad to have you back. Thanks for the Denver Post article. It will make for great blog fodder in the days to come.
    When I lived in Santa Fe, NM the paper always had a story or two about how people who should have known better – including sometimes federal officials – thought that New Mexico was a part of old Mexico.

  15. FYI…This was the Teen Miss USA.
    She was a finalist, top 5. I watched on the tube as it happened. To her credit they were all pretty bad. They started off to be very funny, but soon were very sad. The only one who gave a decent answer was the winner – Colorado.
    Hi Javier–
    I’m glad to know that brains won out in the end.

  16. Lucky she was so pretty because I sure did not understand a word of what she said.
    Lucky, indeed. But she’s young, so let’s hope she learns from this.

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