Stanford Health Policy Forum
Dr, Chris Gardner, Associate Professor Medicine and Director of Nutrition Studies at the Standford Prevention Research Center, Stanford University
Paul Costello, Chief Communications Officer, Stanford School of Medicine
The science of obesity: what do we really know about what makes us fat? An essay by Gary Taubes
Science - The Soft Science of Dietary Fat by Gary Taubes
What caused the obesity epidemic?
The obesity epidemic began between two National Health and Administration Examination Surveys between the late 1970's and the early 1990's
1. High Fructose corn syrup was introduced in 1977 and by the early 1980's it had replaced sugar in soft drinks.
2. Low fat diets are instituted as healthy diet by a Senate Committee run by George McGovern.
NYT - Diet and Fat: A Severe Case of Mistaken Consensus
Obesity as a hormone regulatory disorder:
Nature - Treat obesity as physiology, not physics
Before the Second World War, European investigators believed that obesity was a hormonal or regulatory disorder. Gustav von Bergmann, a German authority on internal medicine, proposed this hypothesis in the early 1900s.
After the war...
...physicians embraced the ideas of the University of Michigan physician Louis Newburgh, who argued that obese individuals had a “perverted appetite” that failed to match the calories that they consumed with their bodies' metabolic needs. “All obese persons are alike in one fundamental respect,” Newburgh insisted, “they literally overeat.” This paradigm of energy balance/overeating/gluttony/sloth became the conventional, unquestioned explanation for why we get fat.
Diet Detective - Interview with David Ludwig Phd.
Diet Detective: I know you’re an advocate of low Glycemic foods. Can you tell us, in the simplest terms, what is Glycemic index and load, why does it matter, and when we’re shopping or eating out how can we find out the GI/GL on the spot? Is there a calculation we can use?
Dr. Ludwig: Since the dawn of our species, humans have consumed foods that digest slowly, supporting our energy and metabolism for many hours after eating, and helping us maintain a healthy body weight. However, in our fast food/fake food culture, we have increasingly become dependent on high glycemic foods that are digested quickly and raise blood sugar rapidly.
Harvard Gazette - When a calorie is not just a calorie
The study, led by Harvard Medical School (HMS) Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Cara Ebbeling and Professor of Pediatrics David Ludwig, finds diets that reduce the surge in blood sugar after a meal — either low-glycemic index or very-low carbohydrate — may be preferable to a low-fat diet for those trying to achieve lasting weight loss. Furthermore, the study finds that the low-glycemic index diet had similar metabolic benefits to the very low-carb diet without negative effects of stress and inflammation as seen by participants consuming the very low-carb diet.