August 27, 2012

"[M]en don’t believe as strongly as women that fruit and vegetable consumption is an important part of maintaining health..."

According to some new study, which supposedly suggests that men are less "receptive" to "messages" that we ought to eat more fruits and vegetables. It also looked at something called "the theory of planned behavior," which (if I understand this correctly) says that people construct beliefs to match their behavior. Then there's this additional idea that it's because men are less able to get their fruits and vegetables that they develop the belief that it's not really so much of a problem.

By contrast, women — who get their fruits and veggies — end up thinking this food will make them good-looking and long-lived. So, if only men did eat more fruits and vegetables, they'd arrive at the appropriate beliefs. But how do you get men to do that unless they believe it's good?

See how they're trying to reverse things? Do it, and then you'll believe it's good. We don't want to have to convince you that you should do it so that you'll do it. We just want you to do it, and the belief that it's good will follow, pursuant to the theory of planned behavior.

But wait. Is it good? When was it ever proved that eating fruits and vegetables is important? Maybe men don't believe it because it's just been mostly nothing but a folk belief all this time. Why assume the women are the norm and men are misbehaving? Maybe men demand evidence and don't simply follow the dictates of experts.

I got this link from Instapundit, who just says: "FEAR OF E. COLI? Why men don’t eat vegetables." Maybe there is an instinctive resistance at least to raw foods. What I'm resisting is the ever-irritating bullshit science that presents whatever is true of women as what's good.

105 comments:

Gary Rosen said...

"What I'm resisting is the ever-irritating bullshit science that presents whatever is true of women as what's good."

You mean like women are more likely to vote for Obama?

Synova said...

The low carb diets that the men seem to love so much promote vegetables. Lots and lots of vegetables if you're going with Atkins or Paleo or whatever.

Besides which, I thought that women liked the dark greens like Broccoli and Spinach because we're perpetually suffering from iron deficiencies on account of we bleed once a month and never die.

I know I get beef cravings every so often. I like fish and chicken but some days the idea is repulsive, like *this* time I want some real food... preferably something red in the middle and nicely marbled with fat.

What women do they interview for these things?

Jason (the commenter) said...

The more fruit and vegetables you eat, the less room you have for meat.

chuck said...

Ah, marketing. Science needs to sell a product to keep the bucks coming and the academics employed. Just think of it as "nine out ten dentists recommend.." and it will all become clear.

wild chicken said...

About right now I wish it were possible to plant more than zero zucchini plants but less than one.

MaxedOutMama said...

It's the vagina frolics - they produce these instinctive revulsions against womenism.

Michael said...

Read Gary Taubes, Why We Get Fat. The "experts'" food pyramid is upside down. We should eat as much fat and protein as we want, some vegetables, less fruit and almost no non-fiber carbohydrates. Men are less concerned with fruits and vegetables than women and they're right!

AllieOop said...

Michael, watch out or you'll have Crack jumping down your throat about Low Carb diets. He seems to think it's cultish or something.

ricpic said...

The problem for men are those horrible lettucy things called salad.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Whatever else E. coli may be, it's not big enough to beat you up and therefore not the sort of thing guys worry about. Anyone who's been in a bachelor's kitchen doesn't need me to tell them this.

Balfegor said...

Maybe there is an instinctive resistance at least to raw foods.

I know I dislike raw vegetables. And I don't care for salads. But I'm fine with them -- even like them -- roasted, grilled, or stewed. Steamed is iffy. Sometimes good, sometimes bad.

On the other hand, I enjoy raw fish, and I've had raw beef and raw horse and enjoyed both.

Julie C said...

Never been a big fan of fruit. Now that I follow the Gary Taubes low carb plan, I don't feel guilty about avoiding fruit.

What's hilarious is explaining to someone that I lost 30 pounds by eating bacon and eggs every morning. The look of horror they get is priceless.

AllieOop said...

Me too Julie. I eat berries and low glycemic fruits in season once a day, or every other day, mostly with full fat greek yougurt, I've lost more than 30 pounds and kept it off for a year and a half. BUT I wouldn't dream of telling anyone to eat this way, each to their own I suppose.

Joe Schmoe said...

If we didn't eat the fruit that women shoved in our faces, we might still be in the fucking Garden of Eden. So yeah, we're a little bitter when it comes to eating that stuff.

Tim said...

"What I'm resisting is the ever-irritating bullshit science that presents whatever is true of women as what's good."

Yeah, that's a start.

Menstruating is true of women, and it's pretty much a good thing that it happens, but me?

Uh, an unplanned hemorrhage, that's what. Those totally suck.

edutcher said...

The blonde and I have this going all the time. Her parents gave her fruit instead of candy because it was cheaper.

Kit said...

Maybe men demand evidence and don't simply follow the dictates of experts.

Wouldn't the "experts" here, be the men's moms? I'd assume that. Now here, my husband is the raw fruit and veggie nut. Me, not so much, especially the veggies. So, we've reversed roles. He, apparently, listened to his mom, while I didn't and developed food habits like my dad.

bagoh20 said...

There is always a caveman explanation:

Back in the day - even before the 60's - cavemen had to go hunt and bring home the meat. The cave ladies wandered about collecting fruits and veggies. Therefore, each sex values their own contribution more. And women have longer hair so you can drag them home. It's just science.

Lem said...

Extra bacon no lettuce no tomatoes.

Enforcement rather than promotion and attraction.. Notice the older lady with the straight lead.

Men and women are the same, until they are not.

Methadras said...

Women love junk science. Men love junk food. COINCIDENCE?!?!

The Crack Emcee said...

AllieOop,

Michael, watch out or you'll have Crack jumping down your throat about Low Carb diets. He seems to think it's cultish or something.

Do you really want me to jump down your throat again? Really? We didn't have enough fun the other day?

If you can't accept I was talking about YOU, and you alone, then keep what I think out of your mouth because - this is going to shock you - YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT I THINK. And, from what I can tell, you don't know much of anything, so take your almost-diabetic ass away from the computer and keep your opinions on health to yourself, or - better yet - go find someone to give you some "wurst," if-you-can, which, after looking at your photo, I doubt:

There just aren't that many men into Jackie Gleason in a dress,...



AllieOop said...

Crack, honestly , you are a violent bully. You threaten, demean, rant, rave, then cry when I hit back. Are you going to deny jumping down my throat about diet, which BTW I never told anyone to follow.

You are insane.

george said...

Whatever it is inside a person that makes them think of something as food is missing for a lot of us when it comes to vegetables. I could see putting some of them in your stomach to stave off hunger pains if you were dying from starvation but that is about it. If dirt had any nutritional content at all I think it would be more appetizing to me than a leafy, green anything.

In short, if you have to eat vegetables you have defeated the entire purpose of living longer so just what the hell is the point?

mariner said...

ricpic,
The problem for men are those horrible lettucy things called salad.

As I once saw on another blog: "Salad isn't food. Salad is what food eats."

George said...

In general, I think we have a great deal less control over our healthy destiny than we like to believe.

SH said...

"Maybe there is an instinctive resistance at least to raw foods."

Something to that. I eat them often... in stews I cooked for 30+ minutes. Then they are great.

Fruit; that's just a bunch of sugar...

The Crack Emcee said...

As I get older, this incessant nudging to live according to other's diets is one of the most frustrating aspects of the experience. And of course it doesn't stop there - I've got to "care about the environment," and nobody can be allowed to exist - or, so I am told, even CAN exist - without religion or "spirituality," and it seems pretty obvious they'll never be happy until I am with a cock in my mouth.

And there's not a sound basis for any of it. All of it is nothing more than peer-pressure to conform, a source of control, an attack on me as a straight male and as a free individual.

If you've got a weight or health problem, deal with it, and leave me out of it. If you want to "save the planet," go take a hike. And if you see gays as better or worse than anybody else, or even worthy of comment, then I'm sure there's a "community" you can find away from me.

More and more, I feel like Jack Nicholson in "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest," disrupting this goddamned insane asylum for the simple right to be me,...

bagoh20 said...

Don't take it personal Allie. This Romney ascendancy is really getting to him. You'd think he might give you some slack since you're one of the ones here who isn't a fan of the Romney, but we all have fallen short.

SH said...

"Maybe there is an instinctive resistance at least to raw foods."

Something to that. I eat them often... in stews I cooked for 30+ minutes. Then they are great.

Fruit; that's just a bunch of sugar...

AllieOop said...

Thanks Bagoh, once again you prove what a brave gentleman you are.

Andy Freeman said...

> What I'm resisting is the ever-irritating bullshit science that presents whatever is true of women as what's good.

There are millions of women who believe/preach that a positive mental outlook will help with conception.

Yet, a guy who says that a negative mental outlook will reduce conception is so stupid as to deserve being run out of public life....

The Crack Emcee said...

AllieOop,

Crack, honestly , you are a violent bully. You threaten, demean, rant, rave, then cry when I hit back.

You don't "hit back" - you're a fucking wet noodle, impressive only to yourself. And that's the worst thing about your comments:

They're not funny or informative, and have nothing to back them up - not even the force of personality - all they do is remind me the internet has no boundaries because, clearly, it can endlessly accommodate such a waste of space.

Call 9-1-1, Allie, you need help,...

The Crack Emcee said...

bagoh20,

Don't take it personal Allie. This Romney ascendancy is really getting to him.

Jesus, dude, you're becoming as funny as she is,...

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Synova said...
The low carb diets that the men seem to love so much promote vegetables. Lots and lots of vegetables if you're going with Atkins or Paleo or whatever.


You just made that up. Why?

Joseph said...

Wait a moment ... This is beginning to sound like one of those echo chambers that's more commonly found on the Left. (Usually we wingnuts reserve this style of argument for discussions of deregulation of immigration.)

The ability to eat more vegetables in more times (made possible by freon) and places (made possible by heat engines) has been one of the glories of Western Civilization. It's one of the leading reasons for the increase in life expectancy.

In any case, E. coli should not be a problem if those vegetables are cooked ... preferably using either fossil fuels or nuclear energy.

JorgXMcKie said...

I'm resisting the bullshit diet policy in general. There is way too little actually "known" about the effects of diet on health, and a good deal of what the policy makers *think* we know is unproven. For instance, too much salt is bad for your health.

To date there is no good evidence that too much salt is bad for any except that 1% or so of the population with a genetic problem of the kidneys voiding excess salt *and* high blood pressure.

Basically, all those friendly folk who really, really, really want to run your life became Food Nannies [or Food Nazis] because scaring the hell out of people over what damage can be done [maybe] by what you eat allows them to dictate to the general population in ways otherwise impossible.

Check it out. Is there a single one of those types who doesn't attempt to use govt power to *make* you eat or not eat what *they* have decided is proper, despite a total dearth of scientific proof?

As a side note, I would like to see a law passed that says no one working for the MSM or any form of government may talk about any research until they can prove that they understand what statistical methodologies are, how they work, and can tell the difference between correlation and causation. I figure this would shut up all bur two or three people in the MSM and not many more in govt.

Unknown said...

Sorry to get all evo-psych, but in primates that eat meat, the males typically hunt and the females typically gather. Developing too much of a taste for meat as a female probably meant a fitness-affecting rebuke.

A study of vegetarianism amongst males as a function of testosterone would be interesting.

Walt said...

Two things: experts very frequently don't know what they are talking about, and some people can't resist the charm of a prescriptive assertion -- that's how good boys and girls behave.

Alex said...

Fact is the only people complaining about "food Nazis" are the ones who want to consume endless quantities of bacon burgers, giant Big-Gulps of sugar water and french fries. Yeah heaven forbid WE should want you to take better care of yourselves.

Jeremy said...

Life's too short to eat stuff that tastes terrible.

Gabriel Hanna said...

What Gary Taubes prescribes will work if you stick to it. The same is true for nearly any diet.

But Gary Taubes left out of his book all the experimental results that went against what he prescribed, and so I react to that book about the same way Crack does, or the way I do to a Michael Moore documentary.

He is not doing science in that book, he is doing advocacy. When he has studies on his side he cites them; when the studies go against him he cites anecdotes.


Sometimes he repeats out-and-out falsehoods, such as "You don't get fat because your metabolism slows, your metabolism slows because you're getting fat." Fat people do not have slower metabolisms than thin people. The fatter you are, the more you have to eat to support the fat, because fat cells need a continual supply of calories in order to exist (fat cells do not passively store fat).

He is uncritically accepting of anything that supports his claims. For example, he claims that Americans exercise and diet more than ever, yet are still gaining weight. The gaining weight part is true, but Americans are eating more and exercising less, and many studies have shown this. It has been known for many years that people lie about how much they eat and how much they exercise--every study on diet or exercise has to address it--and it is very hard to believe that Taubes didn't know this and is just being naive.

In order to evaluate a book like his you need to be someone who knows a great deal about the total literature on diet, because he is only showing you those things he wants you to see.

But the majority of his followers have only read his side of the story. I see this sort of thing on many topics, of course, not just about diet.

AllieOop said...

Hyperlipid

The Daily Lipid

Blood Sugar 101



AllieOop said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AllieOop said...

Dr.Rosedale, metabolic medicine

Dr.Bernstein's Diabetes Solution

Wheat Belly


AllieOop said...

Dr. Volek and Dr.Phinney, science behind low carb diet

hoyden said...

I lost 85 lbs on a paleo diet after years of gradually gaining weight over 20 years. I avoid high glycemic index foods and do regular exercise. For me high fat foods satisfy hunger cravings better than carbs.

DEEBEE said...

All we have to do is force humans to be "good" for some time and then they will continue to be good. Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot all succeeded.

AllieOop said...

Lecture Pad, cardiology, diabetes, lipidology

Lindsey Meadows said...

I wonder if restaurant menus don't play into this as does what males expect women to eat and vice versa.

A lot of selections are just plain "too much", huge steaks, 1/2 pound burgers and all that and there is some pressure, right or wrong, to eat "slim" on dates or to eat vegan"ish" while we in turn like our men to eat "rugged".

Menus often give what are clearly "woman's related choices" - not in a sexist way, but to perhaps reflect the social pressure and give us an out to eat the fruit and yogurt lunch. After a while we aren't consumed by food and get used to it perhaps.

dreams said...

People should eat lots of vegetables maybe but they should eat little or no fruit. Fruits are sugar though the fiber in fruits mitigates the glycemic effect of the sugar some. We have an diabetic epidemic inadvertently encourage by the government's misguided dietary guidelines pushing grains and other high carbs low fat diet. Fruit juice is very bad and the main cause of obesity of babies.

"You mean like women are more likely to vote for Obama?"

Single women are more likely to vote for Obama, married women overwhelmingly are for Romney.

AllieOop said...

Mark Sisson, The Daily Apple, paleo

Robb Wolf The Paleo Solution

odah said...

hey guys ..let's be like women and torure ourselves and feel guilty about everything we put in our mouths that isn't supposedly healthy ..forget that to get the proper nutriants from store bought produce ..your taking in large amounts of poisons ..via pesticides , herbacides ,and all the stuff spreyed on after it was picked to keep the vegies looking good

dreams said...

Sugar is a toxin. see..

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17Sugar-t.html?pagewanted=all

Lindsey Meadows said...

morning allie..

i am wondering if there were opinions from men if they like their women as carnivors or veggietypes and overall if they would rather be with a thin woman or a fat woman or in between.

AllieOop said...

Robb Wolf, The Paleo Solution

dreams said...

Check out Peter Attia of the The eating Academy. He and Gary Taubes are friends and have team up on a new nutrition venture.

http://eatingacademy.com/

dreams said...

@Allie

"Dr.Rosedale, metabolic medicine"

I bought his book.

odah said...

the food we eat in the Us and the world today is just not as safe as it once was .. i have stopped eating red meat ..until i can afford to order grass fed beef ..

AllieOop said...

Morning to you too Lindsey, who knows? I guess some would prefer women to just shut the hell up, unfortunately for those types, male doctors and scientists are also concerned with nutrition and disease, and some of them are conservatives, go figure.

dreams said...


"Mark Sisson, The Daily Apple, paleo'"

I have his book too.
Problem is I'm already old with a lifetime of metabolic disease. Sadly for me.

AllieOop said...

Dr. Peter Attia, The Eating Academy

There ya go Dreams.

dreams said...

Allie,

Yeah, I say better late than never.

Mel said...

Paul said "Whatever else E. coli may be, it's not big enough to beat you up and therefore not the sort of thing guys worry about. Anyone who's been in a bachelor's kitchen doesn't need me to tell them this."

Until you've spent a week in the hospital with it, leaving your wife to deal with your illness, her job and your three small children at home while you and an amazing medical team work on not dying, this may be true. My husband, however, is terrified of food-borne illness now.

Mel said...

Odah said:
hey guys ..let's be like women and torure ourselves and feel guilty about everything we put in our mouths that isn't supposedly healthy ..forget that to get the proper nutriants from store bought produce ..your taking in large amounts of poisons ..via pesticides , herbacides ,and all the stuff spreyed on after it was picked to keep the vegies looking good

Two words: container garden

Paco Wové said...

One of the great things about America: everybody gets to be a food crackpot in their very own way.

dreams said...

"What I'm resisting is the ever-irritating bullshit science that presents whatever is true of women as what's good."

We get these stories because we're all feminists now, not just women but all the metrosexual males. The only real men in the media or anywhere else are the conservative males (it seems to me, a conservative) and of course it is well known that they don't care about women not even apparently their mothers, sisters and daughters at least that is the meme I'm receiving. Its certainly being pushed.

Lee said...

Gabriel, if Taubes is a fraud, then there must be some explanation other than he's right why all I did was cut out sugars, sweets, and starchy foods, lost thirty pounds, and... here's the catch... did not spend so much as fifteen seconds feeling hungry at all during any of this time.

Nor does it explain why I started feeling better -- more energy, better mental acuity -- from day four.

Nor does it explain my proven inability to lose weight using the more conventional portion-control methods such as Weight Watchers. My wife lost sixty pounds on Weight Watchers, I'm not knocking them, but it doesn't work for me.

Granted, it's a hypothesis, not a fact, but the part of Taubes thesis that at least appears true based on my personal experience is that my body does not tell me when I've had enough carbs. Some of us, apparently, are immune to the feedback mechanism provided by insulin that tells your brain you've had enough to eat. So for us, trying to satisfy hunger by eating carbs is like trying to attain a sense of self-worth by snorting cocaine. When we're eating them, we feel good, but the hunger starts again almost immediately.

By chewing fat and eschewing the carbs, however, we can acquire that "full" feeling and not feel at all deprived.

Maybe my body shouldn't function this way. Maybe it's bad genetics. Maybe it's from years of bad habits formed as a kid. There's all sorts of ways to finger-point at why some of us are like this. But it doesn't matter, we have to deal with the body we've got, not with the perfect body we wish we had.

Until I get my new body, Taubes is the one I credit for my weight loss.

Rusty said...

ricpic said...
The problem for men are those horrible lettucy things called salad.


Not at all. Because you can put things like bacon bits and cheese and and ham and stuff to mask the icky taste of lettuce.

Paco Wové said...

G. H. didn't say Taubes was a fraud. Right there at the beginning of his comment: "What Gary Taubes prescribes will work if you stick to it." G. H. says that there is evidence both ways for the diet's efficacy, and Taubes is selective in his presentation.

One possibility is that, while the diet in itself is no better or worse than "mainstream" dietary advice, it often works better in practice because it is easier for a lot of people to follow. This is just a wild guess on my part -- I will acknowledge that diets and dieting are something I know very little about.

Roger J. said...

For the produce growers out there: run an advertising campaign that implies that consumption of vegetables increases testosterone and other forms of virility--You will have to fight men away from the vegetable buffet.

Lindsey: in terms of what men like in the way of women's body configurations? At my advanced age makes no difference. Any woman is desireable. As long as they can't run faster than I can. Thats a downer. :)

Lindsey Meadows said...

I'm thinking more in the lines of that some women, me included to be honest, have learned eating habits not only growing up but in response to social pressures and expectations. That later part seems crazy but it is true.

I was taught never to eat more than your date, when in doubt order salad, and above all stay thin. I'm pretty sure some of that carried over into lifetime food choices. I haven't eaten a steak in years and am no longer sure if I miss it or not.

AllenS said...

Jeremy said...
Life's too short to eat stuff that tastes terrible.

Remember this, life can always be shorter.


ndspinelli said...

"Each to their own" Bravo, Allie!! You're found your inner libertarian. I'm not kidding. Telling what you like and what has been successful for you is great. It was the evanglical that made you insufferable @ times

AllieOop said...

Again Spinelli, I am enthusiastic about what I'm interested in, BUT I've never told anyone to follow any particular way of eating. I merely presented the material, then expected people to make up their own minds. That's not being evangelical, a food nazi or a food nanny.

We all become insufferable in our own unique ways I suppose.

Peter said...

Perhaps it's not so much fear of e. coli infections (not to mention listeria- see http://www.cdc.gov/listeria/outbreaks/ ) as annoyance at swarms of fruit flies in the kitchen, and having to poop every twenty minutes or so?

Which is to say, perhaps there's something genetic in men that makes us prefer a low-residue diet?

AllieOop said...

Also, I have never harangued people, demeaned them, threatened them, ranted or raved over nutrition, as some lunatic has done over cults and Mormonism. I haver never accused anyone of being a sheep and a follower over nutrition as some lunatic has over cultism.

I've presented numerous links with real science to back up my own observations on nutrition, unlike some lunatic who presents information from other lunatics to back up his insane assertions regarding Romney and Mormonism.

Lee said...

> Right there at the beginning of his comment: "What Gary Taubes prescribes will work if you stick to it."

That's fair enough, Paco, I suppose, but the implication of fraud is still there, e.g.,

> "But Gary Taubes left out of his book all the experimental results that went against what he prescribed..."

If he did that on purpose, that's fraud of a sort, is it not? But so far, wading through Taubes' book, I find no such tendentiousness on his part. At least in "Good Calories Bad Calories," he seems more than willing to discuss other contradictory studies.

> "He is not doing science in that book, he is doing advocacy. When he has studies on his side he cites them; when the studies go against him he cites anecdotes."

That's really as specific as G.H. gets. Maybe G.H. is right, but just doesn't support the statement. I don't know. But I think Taubes main point is, that's what everyone in the diet racket is doing. Milton Friedman once famously observed that economists actually know very few facts, implying that economics is mostly hypotheses and theories. Taubes shows that the same is true regarding nutrition and dieting. This is hard to avoid because humans aren't lab rats.

> "Sometimes he repeats out-and-out falsehoods, such as "You don't get fat because your metabolism slows, your metabolism slows because you're getting fat."

I don't recall that Taubes argued that so much as observed that it could be true for all we know. Are fat people lethargic because they're fat or fat because they're lethargic? I don't know, and neither does Taubes or G.H. or you.

But G.H. is not above asserting his opinions as factual, e.g.,

> Fat people do not have slower metabolisms than thin people.

And he knows this, exactly, how?

My mom suffered obesity all her life. She didn't know about the Atkins diet even though she was a nurse. She was about 5'4" and weighed anywhere from 225 to 300 pounds. The only time I ever saw her relatively thin was when she was morbidly depressed and going through a divorce. She tried diets many, many times. We're talking about a woman who had the will power to quit cigarettes for good after an addiction that had lasted decades, but she could not stick with a diet for very long. She confided to me that she could not lose weight without going down to 800 calories a day. Nobody can sustain that for very long. To me, that sounds an awful lot like a slow metabolism, but what do I know?

> One possibility is that, while the diet in itself is no better or worse than "mainstream" dietary advice, it often works better in practice because it is easier for a lot of people to follow.

And maybe it's easy to follow because it's more natural...?

BarryD said...

Vegetables are what food eats.

ndspinelli said...

Allie, The "to each their own" was simply something I had never seen in your "enthusiastic" comments on food. I'll try and not compliment you again on it.

dreams said...

AllieOop was open-minded enough to check out the low carb and she bought into it as a lot of us have. I had been aware of the low carb for a few years and had resisted it until I eventually check it out and became convince by the evidence. It seems to me that sharing important info is a courtesy.

Matthew Sablan said...

I had one girl tell me that I ate the hippiest of foods for being so Republican.

The Crack Emcee said...

Lindsey Meadows,

I'm thinking more in the lines of that some women, me included to be honest, have learned eating habits not only growing up but in response to social pressures and expectations. That later part seems crazy but it is true.

I know it is - I've been making that point since this particular dialogue began on another thread - and it IS crazy. Unlike the majority of men, women don't exhibit a desire to possess their own minds, which is why we have so many cults and gurus.

You asked what kind of woman I'd prefer, which was followed by Allie's comment that it's one who would shut-up (an idea I'm sure she got from me telling her to do so) which is kinda true:

Rather than a body type, I prefer SMART WOMEN (Which I notice wasn't an option in your choices - very revealing) someone who says things I'd actually want to listen to and discuss - not because they agree with my position but because they offer new vistas for reasoning - there's so much room out there for thought that, to encounter someone like Allie who is trapped into these second-rate, hand-me-down ideologies just makes me despair for what's becoming of humanity, and - especially - for women. (Men, when they get enough, will fight but women go down with the bull-ship.)

Anytime I can listen to a woman, and not think "what a fucking loon," is a good day,...

Joe said...

For reasons I won't get into, this is being looked at in reverse. Rather than wonder why men eat fewer vegetables, the question is why to women eat more?

I believe the answer goes back to the demonization of dietary fat. Women were very susceptible to this message and diet drinks, light beers, low-fat diets heavy in fruits and vegetables were all initially pushed at women.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Lee:And he knows this, exactly, how?

Because I didn't sleep through biology class. Fat is stored in cells. Cells need energy in order to live. Fat is not passively stored. Fat cells continually convert fat to other things and back, expending energy the whole time.

Rule of thumb is:

calories to maintain weight = 10 times your weight in pounds. It's not exact, it's qualitatively right.

A guy who weighs 300 pounds HAS to eat more than person who weighs 150, all else being equal, and he eats roughly twice as much, in calories.

See those news stories on people who have to be carried out of their apartments through a hole in the wall, by a forklift, and see how much they have been eating.

For every person who has lost weight with low carbs, there's a person who's lost weight with low fat. Different things are easier for different people. Almost any diet will work if you stick to it, any number of studies have shown that.

But so far, wading through Taubes' book, I find no such tendentiousness on his part. At least in "Good Calories Bad Calories," he seems more than willing to discuss other contradictory studies.

And there it is--you're reading one book, and a book that is selectively presenting evidence. It's great that Taubes from time to time discusses a contrary result, but how do you know that for every one he talks about there's not 50 more he isn't discussing? You don't, you're only getting what he shows you. You will have to pick up other books, or perhaps read journals, to try to get a sense of the total work that has been done.

She confided to me that she could not lose weight without going down to 800 calories a day.

Lots of people who struggle with their weight claim this is true. Unless you follow people around to see what they eat, you cannot trust what people self-report.

And maybe it's easy to follow because it's more natural...?

"Natural" for who? Chinese and Japanese find high-carb diets to be "natural". Let's also note that "natural", for the majority of human history, meant short and hard lives wandering from place to place eating whatever was in season, or whatever they could catch. "Natural" doesn't explain anything.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

To the people who think vegetables are OK, but fruit are basically poison: Tomatoes are fruits, peppers (sweet and hot) are fruits, and you can have my tomatoes and peppers when you pry them from my cold, dead hands. Just sayin'.

(That goes for the fruit you thought you were talking about, too. About this time of year, a middle-aged woman's fancy turns to Asian pears and blueberries. And, around here, marionberries, which oddly enough have absolutely zilch to do with Marion Barry, though if you are picking them and get pricked by a thorn, I understand it is permitted to yell "Bitch set me up!")

Methadras said...

AllieOop said...

Again Spinelli, I am enthusiastic about what I'm interested in, BUT I've never told anyone to follow any particular way of eating. I merely presented the material, then expected people to make up their own minds. That's not being evangelical, a food nazi or a food nanny.

We all become insufferable in our own unique ways I suppose.


Maybe you can pass off this little bit of philosophy to Mayor Bloomberg.

Joe said...

BTW, one thing that cracks me up are adherents to high fat and/or protein diets who eats lots of fruits. The other day I watched a documentary where the narrator said that he ate nothing but protein and saturated fats while he poured heavy cream over peaches and strawberries.

deborah said...

GH, I think the Weighty Matters review is a poor one. Taubes explicitly states that there are people who don't have a problem with carb consumption and remain thin. Also, the reviewer misunderstands Taubes to mean thermodynamics don't matter, when what Taubes meant was thermodynamics aren't the issue regarding people who become fatter and fatter due to high-carb diets. Taubes' overall point is that fat cells continually bathed in insulin are reluctant to release fat and low carb diets reduce insulin production and surges.

kyleb said...

Fruit is just nature's desert tray--full of sugar. All you ever get when you challenge someone about eating fruit is a bunch of BS about how it's "natural". But chemically, it's just a bunch of fructose with water. You could mix corn syrup with water and pop a vitamin c pill to replicate the effects of eating most fruit.

Vegetables are great...raw. To cook them is to destroy them. And most only taste good cooked. The same people telling you to eat this stuff spent the last 50 years telling glutinous wheat should be most of your diet.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@deborah:Taubes explicitly states that there are people who don't have a problem with carb consumption and remain thin.

The same is true of low-carb diets as is true of high carb diets: They work if you stick to them, and different people find different diets harder to stick to. But that's not what Taubes tries to emphasize, and not what he spends most of the book saying.

he reviewer misunderstands Taubes to mean thermodynamics don't matter,

Except that Taubes repeatedly and explicitly says the laws of physics don't matter, have nothing to do with it. At best, this is sloppy writing, to keep saying something and taking it back.

Taubes' overall point is that fat cells continually bathed in insulin are reluctant to release fat and low carb diets reduce insulin production and surges.

If that were the case, the books would not have been titled "Good Calories Bad Calories" and "Why We Get Fat". If that is true, then insulin is just like thermodynamics--true but trivial. Taubes is writing books blaming carb consumption for the obesity epidemic, and that simply does not stand up under the total evidence, only the cherry-picked evidence he presents.

AllieOop said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Crunchy Frog said...

I was taught never to eat more than your date, when in doubt order salad, and above all stay thin.

The sad thing is, your dates would probably have preferred you just ordered a cheeseburger.

It's primarily gay guys and other women that want gals to look like Olive Oyl. Most straight dudes prefer women to look like... well, women.

AllieOop said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AllieOop said...

Getting fat is bad when you stop, from Hyperlipid

deborah said...

"If that were the case, the books would not have been titled "Good Calories Bad Calories" and "Why We Get Fat". If that is true, then insulin is just like thermodynamics--true but trivial. Taubes is writing books blaming carb consumption for the obesity epidemic, and that simply does not stand up under the total evidence, only the cherry-picked evidence he presents."

Your first two sentences don't make sense to me. The book is directed toward fat sequesterers who are sensitive to weight gain from starchy foods and resist weight loss due to a vicious cycle of carb/insulin cycling...hunger -> carb intake -> insulin surge -> satiation ->blood sugar drop -> hunger...all the while the fat is not released from the cells because of the continued surges of insulin (due to a mechanism in the cell wall that easily lets glucose in, but does not easily let fat breakdown products out).

As far as carbs and an obesity epidemic, it seems straight-forward to me, especially the insight of how wheat has been genetically modified to produce shorter stalks with denser heads and a greater amount of gluten. It's apparent to me that the fast food/junk food industries have led to an obesity epidemic, and that Taubes' book points out a carb connection.

Finally, the comments after the Weighty Matters link are instructive. The author brought up the guy who went on Twinkie diet and lost weight, and a commenter pointed out the dieter also had a daily protein shake and substantial serving of vegetables.

I don't think the author read the book thorougly, but picked and chose points to refute.

dreams said...

The book that got me to thinking more about food, different diets and on the path to low carb was Michael Pollard's book. "In defense of Food"
It was that book where I first became of Gary Taubes and his books.

http://michaelpollan.com/books/

dreams said...


It was Michael Pollard's book where I first became aware of Gary Taubes and his books. I have a tendency to inadvertently leave out words for some reason.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

dreams,

Michael Pollan. The only Pollard to make national news in the last couple decades was an Israeli spy, and his first name was not "Michael."

You manage to link Pollan's own website and still call him "Pollard." Either you're doing it on purpose, or you're just not seeing what you type.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@deborah:Your first two sentences don't make sense to me. The book is directed toward fat sequesterers...

The books are not titled "Good Calories/ Bad Calories for Fat Sequesterers", or "Why Fat Sequesterers Get Fat."

especially the insight of how wheat has been genetically modified to produce shorter stalks with denser heads and a greater amount of gluten.

For the last 7000 years! Why are we only getting fat in the last 30?

I don't think the author read the book thorougly, but picked and chose points to refute.

So it's a bad thing to pick out a few things from one book to argue about--in a blog post available for free--while it's a good thing to cherry-pick studies in a couple of books running to many hundreds of pages, which you charge people for. What a curious moral system.

Alex said...

Hanna - tell me what bad science Taubes engaged in.

Balfegor said...

re: deborah:

hunger -> carb intake -> insulin surge -> satiation ->blood sugar drop -> hunger

What I don't understand is why it isn't possible to satiate by stocking up on peas or boiled cabbage or even just chicken or something.

My own experience losing weight was that it was easy enough once I just made all my portions smaller, cut out rice (if I see a pot of rice before me, I will eat the whole thing even if it's like 10 portions) and filled up on peas or other worthless energy-poor "foods". Not the most pleasant or varied dining experience (a lot of just frying up a chicken tender with peas and carrots with pepper + garlic + soy sauce), but once I lost 25 pounds or so, it took a long time for it to come back. A huge chunk of that time was spent in Japan where, for whatever reason, I could eat at restaurants every day and have as much convenience store junk food as I liked without gaining any weight (restaurant portions are probably just that much smaller), but even after returning to the US, the rate of weight gain was quite modest.

deborah said...

The books are not titled "Good Calories/ Bad Calories for Fat Sequesterers", or "Why Fat Sequesterers Get Fat."

Fat people are largely fat sequesterers. Lean and average people don't have to worry about carbs so much, weight-wise, but their lipid profile might not be so hot because carbs yield glucose which is processed by the liver and converted proportionally highly into LDL ('bad' cholesterol), which are the ones that collect in coronary arteries.

For the last 7000 years! Why are we only getting fat in the last 30?

Television, less activity, food companies manipulating carbs such as potatoes, corn, and sugar into savory/sweet and addictive foods, etc.

So it's a bad thing to pick out a few things from one book to argue about--in a blog post available for free--while it's a good thing to cherry-pick studies in a couple of books running to many hundreds of pages, which you charge people for. What a curious moral system.

Yes, it is a bad thing when the author is writing as sloppily as he claims Taubes to be:

"Taubes' manifesto is straight forward. Carbohydrates make us fat and they do so independently of the first law of thermodynamics. Forget about calories, you can eat as many or as few of those as you'd like, ultimately weight is purely about carbohydrates."

That is not Taubes' premise. There is no reason to take this author's blog post seriously because he not only gets personal toward Taubes, but also has his own weight-loss book to sell. I'm not saying Taubes is a saint, at all, but that the blog post is inaccurate and unprofessional.

deborah said...

Balfegor, like you, it's pretty easy for me to take weight off. I'm female and 53 and the hard part is keeping it off. The addictive properties of carbs, life stuff, etc., makes it a challenge. I'm sensing you're younger, happier, and male :)

Taubes' book is a godsend for the diabetic and pre-diabetic (metabolic syndrome) population.

dreams said...


"You manage to link Pollan's own website and still call him "Pollard." Either you're doing it on purpose, or you're just not seeing what you type."

It was a mistake on my part. As to not seeing what I type, that is probably true. I tend to see what I'm thinking unfortunately and not what I'm writing and sometimes I inadvertently leave out words too.
In my defense, I've never had to do much writing in my life.

AllieOop said...

Don't worry about it Dreams, we knew what you meant.:)