Those Scientists!

Even though I don’t write about it much any more, I think about diet and losing weight and healthy living all the time. I watch you tube videos, read online and magazine articles, and sometimes even buy a book.

And I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before, but I get exasperated at those scientists! They are so gung ho on their theories that they present their information as FACT. They seldom use the word theory in their presentations. So even though you may watch two doctors giving two OPPOSING presentations about the best way to eat and lose weight, both of them will be presented as fact, not as theory.

I listened to one UC doctor who said that sugar was the enemy. His concluding thoughts were reasonable–stop drinking sugared soda. Then I listened to a very popular doctor who thinks that fasting is the solution to all our problems. As a nurse, he made statements of “fact” over and over that I know to be untrue. And aside from his enthusiasm for fasting, he actually adhered to a paleo diet.

Then, I decided to buy the book “Body Respect,” because I realized that I was having issues with feeling very poorly about myself and I did not like that. The title was something I was looking for. However, the author, who is also a doctor, presented pretty much the same message that she has in her previous book (Health at Any Size.) And as a doctor she presented many “facts” about why being overweight does not affect your health. To be fair, the goal of this book was to try to convince health care workers to be more compassionate in their care of the overweight person. But being very overweight does take a toll on your health, IMO. Also, to be fair, just reading this book, which did not really teach me anything new, did manage to calm myself down about how I feel about still being overweight.

And then I got my Nutrition Action Healthletter. Before I got it, I had thought that I would say that I still appreciate Marion Nestle’s advice about healthy eating. And there was an interview with her about how scientists can be swayed by industry funding and their own points of view! One quote from her: ” All researchers have intellectual conflicts of interest.” 

Bottom line: Read a lot, but don’t believe that everything in print is truth. Experiment and find out what works and doesn’t work for you. Later this week I’ll write more about what is working for me now in living the healthiest life possible at age 62 🙂

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6 thoughts on “Those Scientists!

  1. When Jeff went back to school for his Master’s degree in public health, he learned about studies and sponsors and from then on, he looks at who is behind the latest fact-finding, latest and greatest thing, and I’ve tried to remember to do that too although I don’t always do it. But yes – you are so right – most of these facts are just momentarily what’s hot right now, and everyone jumps on board and suddenly it seems legit.

    I’m glad to hear the Body Respect book helped to calm you down. I get to feeling like that too, and then I try to think, how would I be feeling about this body twenty years from now, and that’s when I work hard at letting it go…not always the easiest thing to do, I know.

  2. I get so irritated with those arguments between LC and not or paleo and Weston Price, etc. It’s just stupid. Do what works for you. Eat unprocessed when you can and don’t sweat the small stuff. Too many doctors that are publishing books or on the talk show circuit advocate really drastic stuff and the majority of people don’t need drastic.

    The most sensible book I have read to date was Yoni Freedhoff’s book, which is pretty much like your last sentence 😀

  3. Sometimes I wonder if any of us who have worked on their weight for most of their lives will ever get to the point where we can just ‘be’ and not be thinking/studying/worrying about food and health all. the. time. I hate when I get in that mode – it’s so exhausting.

    I’m sure you are much harder on yourself than any one of us would be towards you. I’m glad you were able to find a calming point for yourself. Blessed relief in that.

  4. I often wonder, what are we doing now that we’ll snicker and laugh at 20 years from now? What is the grapefruit diet of today? Will we look back and think “I can’t believe anyone actually followed [insert food plan of choice here]???

    It can be so confusing and I think you have to be your own scientist and do your own experiments on what works for you. Some people may need to abolish grains completely but that doesn’t mean everyone has to. And just because someone thinks they have the perfect right answer for everyone just means they need to keep their noses in their own business. Every body is different and responds differently to certain foods. Sorry, got off a tangent there.

    All that to say, yes you are right. 🙂

  5. I’m a Clinical Laboratory Scientist. It’s essential that you take what you know works, enter into a time of learning for your health, and also respect your personal genetics.

    While dairy might be great for some, it does not work for me. No matter what “science” says. Onward and I hope that everyone optimizes for themselves.

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