Thursday, February 21, 2013

A fight that isn't.

Many of us do long for a simple world, one where we can find the perfect way of eating that prevents and cures all ills, and for some of us, when we think we have found it, it turns into the proverbial sacred cow that no-one better say anything bad about it.  There are also those of us that recognize that it is one thing to have a sacred cow, and another thing to exercise caution, but apparently that doesn't always make for the best of stories, so we have to make up fights.  And that's what I noticed when this article popped up in my feed.

The headline and the final paragraph basically scream "Scientists are fighting about whether or not calories matter!" but if you will read the actual article you will find that's not true.  Dr. Carmody and the others part of that symposium are not telling people that they should ignore food labels and calories--they are merely saying that food processing has changed in the past hundred years that Atwater came up with the conversion so we probably need to change the way we do things to provide scientifically accurate information.  So the "fight" and partisanship that suppossedly exists between Dr. Carmody and Dr. Nestle doesn't exist, period.

I have previously blogged about how we can actually look at calories while examining the quality of food and hope that I made a good case for finding a balanced approach to eating healthy while loosing wt.  (I should probably add that I do get a little cranky, however, when people are quoted as saying "just eat less" and there's no discussion about food quality.  Did I tell the story about my patient who carefully watched his calories during the day so he could have a six-pack of beer nightly?)  I also find this news from Dr. Carmody's group exciting for a couple reasons.  One, I just get excited about the potential for newer and more accurate ways to measure things (because I am a nerd).  Two, I hope that those who have been obsessing over every single last calorie might be able to loosen up a bit and have a little bit more room in their life to look at quality of food.  Three, I hope that those who have thrown out looking at calories will be tempted to take a second look at how much they are eating (I'm looking at you, low carb people who are pigging out on your almond/coconut flour brownies!)

So is there any information that we can take from this.  Keep eating food that is unprocessed and without a lot of add ons as it is more likely to fill you up faster and longer to keep you from overeating.  And pay attention to how much.

Take home message--look at calories and quality.  If you are going to rubberneck a fight, make sure one actually exists.


  1. But did the guy who drank the 6 pack lose weight?

    1. Hahaha! I believe he did! Developed liver disease later though. :(