Tuesday, August 18, 2015


So now we learn that the Paleo Diet may not be all it is cracked up to be. Or so says Yet Another Diet Study.

Kenneth Roberts decided to study the popular diets back in his day (pre 1945 for "An Inquiry into Diets", which the linked post cites):

…every diet, in the opinion of one or more diet experts, is either based on the erroneous ideas of a faddist, or is downright dangerous.

Hitherto, in consulting references on any given subject, I have usually been able to discard the majority as inaccurate, biased, unreliable, or untruthful … Diet books are different. Most of them are written by medical experts who have studied for years to find out exactly what happens to seven cents’ worth of liver when it meets a Welch’s bacillus in the upper colon of a sedentary worker aged forty-five.

I haven't tried this link...

Whatever the popular diet, wait a few years and new YADS will disparage it.


jaed said...

There are other factors, of course... but it's a mystery to me why seemingly none of the diet studies take into account the extremely high probability that people differ enough that no diet is optimal, or even harmless, for everyone, even if it works well for some percentage.

james said...

And I'll bet a lot of the studies use WEIRD people as subjects for convenience.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

We probably did do better than thirty years on average, though I can't say how much. Disease, accidents, and low-intensity warfare brought the numbers down.

As for diet, most of mankind has starved part of the year. Finding or acquiring more food sources usually doesn't result in a tribe being better fed for 100 years, but of growing to a greater number of members at subsistence levels. Even a healthy prefered diet isn't any good if you don't have enough of it.