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Comment Re:danger vs taste (Score 1) 630

Aside from the very valid points others have raised...

Of course you can lose some weight in the short term by gaming energy balance. And the reason said experiment has been done "again and again and time again" is because in the long term, you will need to consistently cut more and/or burn more to keep losing the same amount of weight, and in 95% or more of cases you will be unable to keep that up, and eventually will gain that weight back and likely more.

The person who suffers giganticism will also lose weight with such a strategy. But no one would suggest that restricting intake or increasing expenditure will *cure* giganticism, or that too much expenditure *caused* it...we recognize that it is a hormonal problem that cause a person to grow abnormally. Even though thermodynamics apply as surely as it does with obesity (and indeed you can stunt developmental growth through starvation), they is not the primary or even really a particularly relevant factor.

Now that doesn't mean that obesity isn't caused by simple caloric excess, but it does prove that thermodynamics do not make it necessarily so. In fact, the only way one would be justified in claiming such a thing was if you could (a) prove beyond any reasonable doubt that there is no similar biological disruption involved in common obesity, or (b) show clinical results where simply trying to create negative energy balance via caloric restriction and increased exertion (aka standard diet and exercise advice) reliably reverses obesity over the long term. There is far too much evidence otherwise to claim (a), and the only way you can justify (b) is through the the standard rationalization practiced by the medical community today..."it's not true that our standard prescription of diet/exercise is 95+% ineffective, it's 100% effective but there's a 95+% non-compliance rate." Of course it's a tautology, the only indicator of 'compliance' is success...and you easily could substitute 'prayer' for 'diet/exercise' and it would be just as true. (You didn't lose weight, obviously you're not praying hard enough, fatty!)

So does the fact that you can temporarily shed some weight by effectively starving yourself via diet or exertion justify your initial claim that simple control of caloric balance (whatever that even means in the real world) is the "precisely one thing...nothing else" that a fatty needs to know to be a former fatty? It may be the conventional wisdom, but, to use the vernacular, it's fucking retarded.

Comment Re:danger vs taste (Score 1) 630

Most sodas aren't made with sugar, they're made with Corn SYRUP, which is fructose only. Real table sugar is made up of multiple sugar forms and is easier to digest, and better for your body than pure fructose.

Ummm...no. The 'corn syrup' you cite is 'high fructose corn syrup', not 'ALL fructose corn syrup'. Specifically it is HFCS-55, which 55% fructose/45% glucose and small amounts of other sugars. It is 'high-fructose' compared to ordinary corn syrup which is virtually 100% glucose or maltose (two bound glucose molecules).

'Real' table sugar is sucrose which is a glucose molecule bound to a fructose, I.e., 50-50 glucose to fructose. So far, there is precious little evidence of any significant difference in metabolic effects between sucrose and HFCS. The big thing with the advent of HFCS 35-40 years ago is that people have been consuming so much more total sugar overall since its introduction.

Comment Re:danger vs taste (Score 1) 630

Going from fatty to not fatty requires precisely one thing: reducing the amount of calories in versus the amount of calories out. Nothing else.

Going from a giant to a normal height person requires precisely one thing: reducing the amount of calories in versus the amount of calories out. Nothing else. After all, the only way that a person becomes a giant is through consuming more calories than they expend (if you don't agree, you are denying the laws of thermodynamics), so logically reversing the thermodynamic balance should reverse the condition. Right?

Or...just maybe, thermodynamics does not tell us anything useful about the causation of (or potential cures for) biological problems. That whole mindset is a result from one of science's greatest obstacles to arriving at the truth...that the first thing we learn about a given topic (in this case, the discovery of biological calorimetry around the turn of the 20th century) becomes a lens through which all further observations are interpreted, and it is not until those initial assumptions are challenged that it becomes clear that the initial observations did not imply nearly what was assumed. The relationship of cholesterol to heart disease is another example of this dynamic...the initial discovery of cholesterol and the first crude methods of measuring it, and then the discovery that atherosclerotic lesions were rich in cholesterol, led to assumptions that it was dietary cholesterol that was the main determinant of serum cholesterol and high total serum cholesterol was the primary cause of heart disease. Both of these assumptions were disproved nearly 40 years ago but yet that flawed initial science holds considerable sway over nutritional advice to this day.

Comment Re:danger vs taste (Score 5, Insightful) 630

The sweet taste also triggers insulin production, when causes hunger when the sugar that the tongue predicted doesn't show up in the stomach.

There is a quite a bit of contrary evidence to that hypothesis. For one thing, the onset of Type II Diabetes, the most glaring result of disturbed insulin response, is associated with decreased rather than increased first-phase insulin response, so if artificial sweeteners are increasing first-phase insulin response it is not clear why that would be a problem.

And if artificial sweeteners cause an overproduction of insulin in the face of no actual glucose, then consuming them in the absence of no accompanying carbohydrate should be expected to trigger hypoglycemia as insulin triggers body tissues to absorb blood glucose. Yet there is no evidence that this actually happens.

That said, if the choice is between artificial sweeteners and no artificial sweeteners, then the safer bet is not to consume them as they have no precedent in our food supply for most of human evolution. However, if the choice is between artificial sweeteners and the equivalent quantity of sugar (which also has no precedent in our food supply in the quantities consumed in modern diets and has far more well-established deleterious effects on metabolism), the risk of artificial sweeteners seems pretty low in comparison based on currently available evidence.

Comment Re: How about cutting sugar* (Score 1) 68

It appears you're more adept at putting words into my mouth than you are at parsing the ones I've actually written. Perhaps English is not your native language? Perhaps I'm a shitty writer? Perhaps both?

Considering that I explained exactly how I was interpreting your words which you declined to correct, yet you still claim I'm misrepresenting your words, I am leaning towards you being a shitty writer.

I never claimed that they were unfounded.

No, just "nonsensical". *shrug indeed*

I even gave you a particularly outlandish example of what I regard as the obsession with sugar intake -- apparently fruit juice is bad now -- but you declined to acknowledge or respond to it.

And what was the reasoning you gave to counter that particular outlandishness? "'Reduce your intake of fruit juice to lose weight!' Umm, fuck you, I'm running 20+ miles a week, I'll drink as much orange juice as I want. I may even have a soda." Should I somehow interpret that a reasoned argument? Fruit juice is effectively pure sugar with a few vitamins in the mix and is absorbed just as rapidly as soda. That it is fructose instead of sucrose/HFCS does not change much, Even a 100% juice product like OJ still has a very high glycemic index of 71, so I'm not sure why it is so outlandish to suggest that it should be consumed in restricted quantities, particularly by people who want to control their weight or blood sugar. So what makes "Reduce your intake of fruit juice to lose weight!" such an outlandish claim?

Comment Re: How about cutting sugar* (Score 1) 68

Correlation does not indicate causation. Compare the population density of hunter-gatherer societies against agricultural ones. I wonder in which society you'd be more likely to contract smallpox?

I am not arguing causation, only pointing out the observation and that a diet which supports greater population does not mean that individuals might not less healthy overall as a result. There may indeed be other reasons for this observation other than diet, but diet is certainly a reasonable hypothesis. But while your population density = more infectious disease hypothesis might explain why life expectancy dropped with the advent of agriculture, it does not explain the smaller stature and increased dental issues that have also been documented. That is not to say the diet then must have been the primary cause, but again, only that it is a reasonable hypothesis.

Do tell, what is that you think I believe? I've never claimed that sugar doesn't contribute to dental (or other health) problems. I simply stated that it's not the problem. I'm sorry that you failed to parse the word "the" in my post. I suppose I should have been clearer and said "It's not the problem I would be most concerned with."

Based on what you've said, it appears you believe that sugar is at most a minor contributor to tooth decay or any other chronic disease. Even with falling back to your clarified "not the problem I would be most concerned with" position, the fact that you then double down on "nonsensical" (which I think it's fair to interpret as "mostly if not completely invalid") indicates to me that you don't really believe it could have much of a contribution at all.

I regard the obsession over sugar as nonsensical, given that 2/3'rds of the population fails to meet recommended guidelines for physical activity. More than one quarter (28%) of the population is completely inactive. Yep, clearly it's soda that's the problem....

This is the standard form of pretty much every argument you've laid out: the argument that modern sugar consumption levels could cause X is nonsensical because some completely orthogonal factor mitigates X. That in itself is both logically invalid on its face and dismissive of a great deal of contrary evidence, and to me, far more 'nonsensical' than what you are arguing against.

I only raised that point to point out the unsustainable nature of fad diets like Atkins or Paleo. There are people (not you) in this discussion that seem to think modern agriculture is a bad thing. Unless they propose to kill off the bulk of humanity I fail to see what the alternative is.

Well, then I fail to see what what place that has in the discussion other than as a straw man. Even if is true that the only sustainable way to feed the future population is a carb/plant centered diet (I have my doubts, but I'll concede the point here), that in no way implies that *sugar* would be a healthy (or even necessary) part of that diet, or that the arguments that modern sugar consumption is detrimental to health are unfounded.

If you didn't have to work so hard, you'd have more time to be depressed.