Meta-analysis: Impact of carbohydrate vs. fat calories on energy expenditure and body fatness

Sometimes, a meta-analysis (quantitative study of studies) is just what the doctor ordered to inoculate us against the shortcomings of our own cognition.  When a topic has been studied extensively and it has produced many studies of varying quality, this lends itself to incorrect conclusions because we can find studies to support almost any belief.  This is problematic because we naturally tend to gravitate toward evidence that reinforces pre-existing beliefs, and away from evidence that challenges beliefs.  Called confirmation bias, this phenomenon afflicts all of us and has to be actively managed if we want to arrive at reliable knowledge.  Systematically examining a body of evidence and integrating it mathematically is a useful tool for combating this bias.  A new meta-analysis examines the effect of carbohydrate vs. fat calories on energy expenditure and body fatness, giving us the most objective view of this question to date.

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The impact of weight loss on the drive to eat

Weight loss engages a “starvation response” that acts to regain the lost weight, and this is a key reason why weight loss is difficult and often temporary.  This starvation response includes an increase in the drive to eat and a decrease in calorie expenditure.  Using a clever study design, Kevin Hall and colleagues recently quantified the contribution of eating driveContinue ReadingContinue Reading

Book Review: Syndrome X, The Silent Killer

Gerald Reaven is the researcher who first identified the state of insulin resistance and played a central role in defining its consequences.  Understanding insulin resistance is worthwhile, and if we want to do so, his work is one of the most informative places to look.  I recently read his general-audience book Syndrome X: The Silent Killer, and I’ll shareContinue ReadingContinue Reading

Bad sugar or bad journalism? An expert review of “The Case Against Sugar”.

I’ve been asked by a number of people to review Gary Taubes’s new book, The Case Against Sugar. I reluctantly agreed that it would probably be a good idea for me to do so. In this post, I’ll provide something that is not available anywhere else (to my knowledge): a review of the book fromContinue ReadingContinue Reading

Book Update

Hello, folks.  My book, The Hungry Brain: Outsmarting the Instincts that Make Us Overeat is due to be released on February 7, and I’m very excited about it.  It’s substantially different from any other book on overeating and weight management, and I believe it will inject much-needed information into the public discourse on obesity.  Given thatContinue Reading

Goodbye, Staffan Lindeberg

I recently heard the sad news that Staffan Lindeberg, MD, PhD, lead researcher of the Kitava Study, has died. Staffan was a dedicated researcher and physician at Lund University in Sweden whose work was inspired by the evolutionary health principle.  After reading Boyd Eaton and Melvin Konner’s seminal 1985 paper on Paleolithic nutrition, in Staffan’sContinue ReadingContinue Reading

Food Reward Friday

Food Reward Friday

Today’s lucky “winner”… waffles!!! Waffles apparently have a long history in Europe, with roots dating back as far as the Middle Ages (1).  Modern waffles have been around for about 500 years, and they remain popular in Europe and Europe-influenced countries.  As a teenager, I remember eating delicious gaufres in Western France, sometimes with fruit and whippedContinue Reading