Don’t you just love it when someone purports to be an authority, bemoans the fact that nowadays, people have little need of such self-proclaimed authorities and actually—gasp—go find their own information, act upon it, and manage their own issues? Hell, they might even go to an English major!
By now, most everyone has heard of or seen the stupid, misinformed, alarmist, hand-waving diatribe against The Paleo Diet over at “Forks Over Knives,” authored by none other than John McDougall, MD. It reads like someone from high school wrote it.
As such, there’s really no point in going over the masses of bullshit. It’s more wrong than a very wrong thing. And for one thing, Cordain as the authority? Who even hardly cites him, anymore that much? What about Sisson and The Primal Blueprint? How about Wolf and The Paleo Solution—or the many other recent works out there, blogs by MDs, PhD’s, English majors…or even general shit stirring, hit & run guys like me? How about the thousands of commenters in all of the blogs and forums of all of us, detailing their successes, mistakes, adjustments, continued success, more mistakes…in a continuing self-directed process? Yea, I know. It’s anecdotal. Nothing to see here. Move along, citizen. Trust the “controlled” studies and the results of the faceless, whom you’ll never get to question or interrogate as you can in comment sections and forums.
So I did scan through the comments of that poor excuse for an article and came across one thread that illustrates my points, above. Yes, a comment and ensuing thread by none other than Garth Davis, bariatric surgeon. Or, should I say: total, demonstrated failure at helping obese patients lose weight through proper diet, nutrition, exercise et cetera? You know, like this shit stirrer seems to be able to do quite effectively (and Sisson, and Wolf, and Hartwig, and many others). …No “knives” involved—except those Forks & Knives, hardy har har, we use to properly eat real food. Contrast all those cited testimonials with these on his clinic website. And he’s gonna lecture us?
So here’s where the thread begins.
Such a great article. I have been making these arguments to patients and physicians alike. It is amazing how easily people will adopt a fad without looking at the facts. paleo diet is much of the same, and the same has gotten us sick and fat!
Ah, he’s been making these same arguments, eh? You mean those same stupid, alarmist arguments? You mean against the sorts of things my readers, Sisson’s, Wolf’s, Hartwig’s find so much success on without resorting to Knives Over Forks? Perhaps that’s your fundamental problem, doc: you spout the same shit over and over and ultimately, you end up having to cut. What’s that saying about doing the same stupid fucking shit over and over again, expecting other than a stupid fucking shit result?
Here’s some more choice excerpts from the thread.
Dropping processed food will help everybody. BUT epidemiological studies ate clear. The EPIC study, the China Study, The seventh day Adventist study all show that the more meat consumed the lower the life span and the more disease. The paleo diet has very little if any good scientific evidence. That said if you increase your fruit and vegetable consumption you are doing a lot for your health and the paleo diet is A LOT better than the standard American diet.
Oh, gee, thanks doc. By the way, no study shows anything of the sort. Then someone cites Denise Minger’s great work tearing apart The China Study limb from limb—where that original critique post sits at 875 comments, many from researchers and statisticians who confirm the soundness of Denise’s work (in-between the typical ad hominem and argument from authority comments from ignoramuses). The doktor continues and yea, it’s a mess.
Deb your reference to Denise is EXACTLY the reason I started this page. The China study was a HUGE epidemiological study. In order to draw conclusions the raw data has to go through a regression analysis to eliminate confounding factors. A lay person such as Denise simply cannot understand that data. For instance she states that in one area in China they increased grain consumption and then gained weight. What she does not know is that there were several variables causing increase grain including loss of crops. This region ALSO increased meat consumption. There are confounding variables. You cannot simply say there was increased weight because of grain. That blog you referenced is the exact pseudoscience that leads people along the wrong path and the exact reason we are the sickest country in the world. Remember the blue zone studies of the healthiest cultures in the world? None if them are a paleo diet. All of them ate beans. In fact beans were the most common food eaten by people who lived over 100, and yet paleo forbids beans. You say you have read articles on both sides and I can tell you that is not true because there are no peer reviewed journal articles on paleo diet that are worthwhile epidemiological studies.
Where to begin? Did he even read the far more exhaustive critique? Did he catch the part where she actually used the original monograph? Probably no, and no. He’s basically just another wanker so cock sure of himself he can’t be bothered with “A lay person such as Denise [who] simply cannot understand that data.” He can’t even get enough of his own appeals to authority.
Here is Dr. Campbell’s response to your above reference. Remember he is the former chair or nutrition at Cornell and hold a PhD in nutrition. Needs (sic) has no qualifications. Just a blogger with opinions.
Well, ok, how about another blogger with “opinions,” then? Ned Kock. Only, this one happens to be a PhD-level engineer and mathematician—who actually writes code for his own statistical analysis. Here’s his China Study posts, and guess what? Using even a different data subset then Denise and different multivariate analysis, he largely reached the same findings.
So, for example, in his post The China Study II: Wheat may not be so bad if you eat 221 g or more of animal food daily, Ned finds this:
What we haven’t done yet, however, is to look at moderating effects. And that is something we can do now. A moderating effect is the effect of a variable on the effect of another variable on a third. Sounds complicated, but WarpPLS makes it very easy to test moderating effects. All you have to do is to make a variable (e.g., animal food intake) point at a direct link (e.g., between wheat flour intake and mortality). The moderating effect is shown on the graph as a dashed arrow going from a variable to a link between two variables.
The graph below shows the results of an analysis where animal food intake (Afoods) is hypothesized to moderate the effects of wheat flour intake (Wheat) on mortality in the 35 to 69 age range (Mor35_69) and mortality in the 70 to 79 age range (Mor70_79). A basic linear algorithm was used, whereby standardized partial regression coefficients, both moderating and direct, are calculated based on the equations of best-fitting lines.
From the graph above we can tell that wheat flour intake increases mortality significantly in both age ranges; in the 35 to 69 age range (beta=0.17, P=0.05), and in the 70 to 79 age range (beta=0.24, P=0.01). This is a finding that we have seen before on previous posts, and that has been one of the main findings of Denise Minger’s analysis of the China Study data. Denise and I used different data subsets and analysis methods, and reached essentially the same results.
Here’s some other specific posts to check out, all basically confirming the lay English major, know nothing’s findings.
- The 2012 red meat-mortality study (Arch Intern Med): The data suggests that red meat is protective
- The China Study II: Fruit consumption and mortality (not protective)
- The China Study: With a large enough sample, anything is significant (“with a large enough sample one can easily ‘show’ that drinking water causes cancer”)
- The China Study one more time: Are raw plant foods giving people cancer? (“Thanks again […] to Ms. Minger for making the data available in easily downloadable format and for doing some superb analyses herself.”)
- The China Study again: A multivariate analysis suggesting that schistosomiasis rules! (“Denise herself posted the data she used in her analysis. This data is from the China Study. So I decided to take a look at that data and do a couple of multivariate analyzes with it using WarpPLS […] So, in summary, this multivariate analysis vindicates pretty much everything that Denise said in her July 16, 2010 post. It even supports Denise’s warning about jumping to conclusions too early regarding the possible relationship between wheat consumption and colorectal cancer (previously highlighted by a univariate analysis”).
Is that enough, Doktor, you condescending little asswipe? You fucking failure!
Go to hell. Straight. Or, how about getting your inflated head out of your ass, do some real research and thinking for yourself and turn yourself into an real asset to obese people.
It is hard to argue with someone who believes mingers critique is a slap down. It just tells me you have no background in reading scientific data. Minger selected data to make a point without factoring in confounding variables and doing statistical analysis. Taking a statistics course does not make you a statistician. The actual china study was printed in Nature, one of the premiere scientific journals that only accepts peer reviewed statistically analyzed data. You cannot take raw data and make conclusions like she does. Her opinions were printed in her blog, not a journal. The problem is that lay people just cannot understand the difficulty of statistical significance and therefore will believe anything anybody tells them. That is the gigantic problem we have. The Weston price foundation is one of the least scientific organizations I have ever studied. Why would people believe Minger over physicians and epidemiologists? I think because most statisticians are not as eloquent. While others are spewing nonsense the scientists are studying. Recently the European Union did the largest epidemiological study to ascertain why Europe is having increased obesity and cancer. The first article was published in the journal of Clinical Nutrition. The answer: meat. Funny enough it is the same answer found in the china study. Same answer found by ornish and essylstyn. I am an evidenced based medicine doctor. Years ago I wrote a book espousing the virtue of the zone diet. But unlike everybody else I am not wedded to one idea. I can make serious scientific investigation. The serious science is clear, meat is bad for you. Very bad for you.
What a moron. And he cuts into people.
Ok commenters, your turn. I’m particularly interested in other sources confirming some of Denise’s work. You can also contradict the Doktor’s completely unsupported, well contradicted claim that “…meat is bad for you. Very bad for you” if you like.