The politics of eating is a funny thing.
At Massive Health, we talk about the power of feedback loops to change behavior. The answer to why they work is nuanced. Boiled down, though, it’s simple: our brains are wired to reward us for learning patterns. When there isn’t a good feedback loop, we still draw conclusions, but they are much less likely to be the right ones. One of the reasons there are so many diets (yep, over 100 named ones) is that it’s hard to figure out what works. The lag between eating a certain way and the way it affects your body is long.
There’s a lot of research on eating both questionable and valid. One of the reasons we love building The Eatery is that, for the first time, it gives insight into the way people eat at massive scale. We hope to be able to start answering some of these questions with that big-data buzz word.
Yesterday, we released an infographic that got people talking. A lot. It has a bold claim: eating fat doesn’t make you fat. With all the questionable data on eating, where did we get ours? A lot of it came from a book “Why We Get Fat” by Gary Taubes, which is a shorter version of his much longer literature-review book “Good Calories, Bad Calories”. Both are great books (the first has 18 pages of sources) and we definitely recommend people read it. Those weren’t the only sources, however. Here are the primary sources we used behind the infographic.
Sources and Resources
- Gardner, C.D., A. Liazand, S. Alhassan, et al. 2007. “Comparison of the Atkins, Zone, Ornish, and LEARN Diets for Change in Weight and Related Risk Factors Among Overweight Premenopausal Women: The A TO Z Weight Loss Study, a Randomized Trial.” Journal of the American Medical Association. Mar 7;297(9):969-77.
- Ernst, N. D., and R. I. Levy. 1984. “Diet and Cardiovascular Disease.” In Present Knowledge in Nutrition, 5th ed., ed. R. E. Olson, H. P. Broquist, C. O. Chichester, et al., pp. 724-39. Washington, D.C.: Nutrition Foundation.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). 2000. “Major Trends in U.S. Food Supply, 1909-99.” Food Review. Jan.-April; 23(1):8-15.
- Jenkins, D. J., C. W. Kendall, L. S. Augustin, et al. 2002. “Glycemic Index: Overview of Implications in Health and Disease.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Jul; 76(1):266S-73S.
- Johnson, R.K., L. J. Appel, M Brands, et al. 2009. “Dietary Sugars Intake and Cardiovascular Health: A Scientific Statement from the American Heart Association.” Circulation. Sep 15;120(11):1011-20.”
- Astwood, E.B. 1962. “The Heritage of Corpulence.” Endocrinology. Aug;71:337-41.
- Wertheimer, E and Shapiro, B. 1948. The Physiology of Adipose Tissue. Physiological Reviews. Oct;28(4):451-64.
- Mayer, J. 1968. Overweight: Causes, Cost, and Control. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall.
- Wilder, R. M., and W.L. Wilbur. 1938. “Diseases of Metabolism and Nutrition.” Archives of Internal Medicine. Feb; 61:297-65.
- Frayn, K. N., F. Karpe, B. A. Fielding, I. A. Macdonald, and S. W. Coppack. 2003. “Integrative Physiology of Human Adipose Tissue.” International Journal of Obesity. Aug;27(8):875-88.
- Berson, S.A., and R.S. Yalow. 1970. “Insulin ‘Antagonists’ and Insulin Resistance.” In Diabetes Mellitus: Theory and Practice, ed. M. Ellenberg and H. Rifkin, pp. 388-423. New York: McGraw-Hill.
- Lustig R. 2006. The ‘skinny’ on childhood obesity: how our western environment starves kids’ brains. Pediatric Annals. Dec;35(12):898-902, 905-7.
- Lustig R., Sen S., and Soberman J.E. et al. 2004. Obesity, leptin resistance, and the effects of insulin reduction. International Journal of Obesity And Related Metabolic Disorders. Oct;28(10):1344-8.