Thursday, March 08, 2007

Quotable Quotes

Who knew?

The results show the Atkins diet is a reasonable choice for short-term weight loss, said Gardner, a vegetarian.

Helps explain....

But the study's lead author warns that the research does not mean dieters should go on the Atkins diet."No, no, no," said Dr. Christopher Gardner, an assistant professor of medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center. "This is not a vindication of the Atkins diet."

Can you see him pulling out his hair?

"You lose weight if you have cholera too,'' said Dr. David Katz, director and co-founder of the Yale Prevention Research Center and a longtime critic of the Atkins diet. "You can't measure overall health by a few cardiac risk factors.''

"It's flawed,'' Katz said."Nothing in this study will change nutritional recommendations I make to my patients,'' Katz said.

Katz argues the debate over best types of nutrition should be over. People need fresh fruits and vegetables and should stay away from saturated fats and junk food, he said.

And your evidence is?

"Once the weight-loss stops, the effect of saturated fat would be negative," said James O. Hill, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado at Denver.

Say it isn't so....

"This study confirms the importance of reducing carbohydrates in the diet," said Dr. Frank Hu, associate professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, who was not involved in the research.

"There has been too much emphasis on saturated fat," he said. "Bagels, white bread, potatoes and soft drinks are the real bad guys in our diet."

Did Ornish really just admit Atkins' is easier....?

"It's a lot easier to follow a diet that tells you to eat bacon and brie than to eat predominantly fruits and vegetables," said Dr. Dean Ornish, creator of the Ornish diet.

Keep repeating after me....

Though the study shows Atkins is a safe and effective approach to weight loss, Rex Healthcare registered dietician Natalie Newell still has concerns."You're eliminating a majority of the grain products, fruits and even some vegetables," she said. "So, the major concern I looked at was 'What are you eliminating from your diet?' Vitamins and minerals that come from fruits and vegetables are very important."

I have a hammer....

Dr. Alice Lichtenstein, a nutrition expert at Tufts University, said she thinks too much is made of the amounts of carbohydrates and fats in people's diets as they try to shed weight. “There is no magic combination of fat versus carbs versus protein,” she said. “It doesn't matter in the long run. The bottom line is calories, calories, calories.”

What part of the improvement to risk factors did you miss?

"If they go on an Atkins style diet, there is not going to be negative consequences to their health," says Sheah Rarback, Nutritionist.

Ya Don't Say....

"I think the one thing that really stands out about that Atkins diet was how simple it was," said Dr. Gardner. "Just drastically limit your carbohydrates, with the emphasis being on refined carbohydrates - white bread, white sugar, soda pop, the high fructose corn syrup."

Wonder if anyone else said this...

Dr. Yoni Freedhoff of the Bariatric Medical Institute said [...] “The currency of weight at the end of the day isn’t carbohydrates or proteins or fats, the currency of weight is calories,” he said. “This study proves that too. You can lose weight on any of these approaches. They all have vastly different distributions of carbs, proteins and fats.”

“What matters are the calories in your food.”

Allow me to speculate...

"It shows that people will steadily go back to their old habits," said Dr. Lawrence J. Cheskin, director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center. "After two years, you might find that everybody has regained everything."

Let me try this one again...

"Health is not measured as the combination of several cardiac risk markers and weight over the course of a year," says Dr. David Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University School of Medicine. "If it were, every patient getting chemotherapy would be 'healthy.'"

Did anyone else say this?

"Some heart indicators were better, but what about the mountains of evidence about high consumption of fruits and vegetables to promote overall health?" says Keith-Thomas Ayoob, associate professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine's department of pediatrics in Bronx, N.Y.

Stupid Public...

"The public may not realize that keeping weight off for one year is no indication of permanence," says Carla Wolper of the Obesity Research Center at St. Luke's Hospital in New York City.

Let me throw this out and see if it sticks....

"Numbers don't lie, but they don't tell the whole story — by a mile," says Jackie Newgent, instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. "There are more than just a couple numbers that determine your overall health. And as cholesterol numbers and blood pressure levels improve, it doesn't mean other heart-health indicators improve."

Oh, did I forget to add...

"A healthy diet is the same as it ever was," Katz says. "Focus on health, and the long term, and your weight will take care of itself."

Hmmm, the hammer, OK, I'll swing...

"It's not about demonizing whole food groups," Ayoob says. "It's about how much and how often, and learning to strike a balance between what we know we need, and what we don't want to live without."

Ouch, that's gotta hurt....

"I'm tired of these diet wars," Ornish says. "It's not low-fat versus low-carb. It's both."

Wait, let me re-phrase that....

Previous studies have shown the Ornish diet and lifestyle program could also reverse progression of prostate cancer and diabetes while the Atkins diet has been proved to worsen heart disease, Ornish said. [...] All nutritionists have or should have concerns over the Atkins diet. High fat diet is in no way a healthy diet.

And I'll add...

That dismays Dr. Dean Ornish, [...] "I'm concerned that this study may cause people to forgo eating a healthy diet for one that's actually harmful for them," he said.

Bored yet?

The key word is "boring," said Kathryn Sucher, a nutrition and food science professor at San Jose State University. That, she said, is the reason so many people drop off the Atkins diet and other highly restrictive eating plans.

Oh really?

[Gary] Foster [...] cautioned, "The lipid story is gradually emerging, but it's still unresolved."

I'm so confused....

"It's news that contradicts current healthy-eating advice — a diet heavy on meat and cheese and void of whole grains and fruit can help you lose weight and may even help reduce heart-disease risk, according a study released this week," Leslie Beck "The surprising findings suggest that dieters who lost faith in the low-carbohydrate regime out of concern for their health, might want to reconsider the weight-loss plan."

Finers in my la la la la la

"This is the message of this article -- focus on lifestyle and environmental factors and don't worry about the macronutrient composition of the diet, particularly if you can achieve the NHLBI guidelines of a 5 to 10 percent weight loss," says Dr. George Blackburn, chair in nutrition medicine at Harvard Medical School. "I think that was my message for the past 20 years."

Tell us what you really think.... - One day they're in, the next day they're out again. But whether we're talking about Atkins or South Beach, low-carb diets are one kind of fad that never seems to die.

[and....GASP!....] If you haven't tried a low-carb diet, you may not know that many of these programs restrict all kinds of carbohydrates, and not just the obvious ones, such as bread, rice, and pasta. For example, Atkins, perhaps the best-known low-carb diet around, also excludes most grains, beans, fruits, potatoes, and starchy vegetables, while allowing lots of beef, pork, chicken, eggs, and butter.

A diet that's rich in meat and high in fat can take a toll on your health. [emphasis theirs]

Are you paying attention yet?

Dr. Gardner, [...] still thinks his study is "neat."

"The low-fat message that we had for a long time backfired on us. It was overly simplistic. People went out and bought low-fat cookies and ate the whole box. Maybe this is another piece of evidence that a general, low-carbohydrate message has more merit than people might have given it before."

Just don't do it as recommended....

Gardner said Atkins might work because of its simplicity. Carbohydrates typically account for the biggest proportion of the North American diet. The Atkins diet is also high in protein, which makes people feel fuller longer."Just to say (eat) low carbohydrates doesn't mean anything under the sun goes, including butter and pork rinds and steak and whip cream," Gardner said.

Get it? Got it? Good!

"We've all been worried that the high saturated fat content of Atkins would be bad for you," said study author Christopher Gardner, an assistant professor of medicine at Stanford. The plan's high-fat levels "still make us nervous," he said, "but I think the weight loss that comes with the diet must be more powerful" in keeping cholesterol and other heart risk factors at bay.

File this under I just won't believe it...

''But all diets work. It doesn't really matter which program you're using. When you reduce your calories and get more exercise, you lose weight,'' Burke said. ''Atkins might have had the best results, but I'd like to see what would happen a year from now, or two years from now.''

But of course...

"Yes, on the Atkins diet, the women may have lost a little bit more weight, but I'm not so sure about their quality of life - that's the kind of information that just isn't in here," said dietitian Bonnie Taub-Dix, a New York City weight-control specialist and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.

Keep repeating the message again and again....

Because blood glucose reacts particularly strongly to excessive carbohydrate intake, lowering carbs "might assist blood sugar control," said Harvard endocrinologist Dr Barbara Kahn. "But the [potentially] harmful part has to do whether all those fats over the years are going to lead to more cardiovascular disease. That's the next thing that needs to be studied."


So have you read any other notable quotes? If you have one, share it in the comments!


  1. This was great Regina!

  2. Regina - your comments today addressed the point I wanted to make on your first reaction to the study. I think the government got a lot a bang out of its $2 mil. Admittedly assigning people at random and minimal supervision has some limitations, but it also has some real world advantages. Rob

    ps glad I wasn't enrolled, and assigned to Ornish.

    pps some days my computer doesn't mesh with the comment sign in. Haven't figured out what's going on

  3. Admittedly assigning people at random and minimal supervision has some limitations, but it also has some real world advantages. Rob

    If you want to know what people, potentially told to follow a diet they may or may not like (or think highly of) do over a year, yeah, $2-million well spent.

    That wasn't the objective of the study...if you want to know if a particular diet actually works, you need to make sure people are actually eating according to that diet. Ya know what I mean?

    Even with the half-hearted attempts, people lose if we can only get a good solid long-term study to show if following A) a diet properly and B) with very detailed monitoring....then I'll be impressed.

    Maybe I'm becoming a cynic? Or maybe it's a bit of frustration since in the real world, I see everyday people succeed in losing weight - and keep it takes an effort, it takes support (I'd say 95% of the time) and it takes finding something you can live with for LIFE.

    Any diet can get weight off to some degree....but finding what will work beyond that, when you're at your goal weight - that really, in my mind, is critical - if you go back to what you ate before, no-brainer, you're going to gain the weight back no matter what diet you did to lose weight.

  4. Anonymous5:31 AM

    if they're worried about how the consumption of "all those fats" will harm us in the long run, why don't they take a look at the masai or inuit? how and why do these people alway get ignored?

  5. Anonymous8:36 AM

    Thanks, Regina, for providing my favorite nutritional information and entertainment day after day. I don't have a good quote to share about the latest study. All I can speak of is more than four years of faithful adherence to Atkins, resulting in my lowest adult weight, leanest body mass, best blood profile, and happiest disposition ever. To h*ll with studies.

  6. Anonymous6:04 PM

    Thank you for making me laugh and making those assorted diet stooges look as ridiculous as they are. Truth will out!

  7. Another great post Regina! Thanks!