6

votes

True or False about Weston Price?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created May 04, 2013 at 10:45 AM

I was reading an article on Quackwatch about Weston Price. Here is one quote:

Much of "holistic dentistry" is rooted in the activities of Weston A. Price, D.D.S. (1870-1948), a dentist who maintained that sugar causes not only tooth decay but physical, mental, moral, and social decay as well. Price made a whirlwind tour of primitive areas, examined the natives superficially, and jumped to simplistic conclusions. While extolling their health, he ignored their short life expectancy and high rates of infant mortality, endemic diseases, and malnutrition. While praising their diets for not producing cavities, he ignored the fact that malnourished people don't usually get many cavities. Price knew that when primitive people were exposed to "modern" civilization they developed dental trouble and higher rates of various diseases, but he failed to realize why. Most were used to "feast or famine" eating. When large amounts of sweets were suddenly made available, they overindulged. Ignorant of the value of balancing their diets, they also ingested too much fatty and salty food. Their problems were not caused by eating "civilized" food but by abusing it. In addition to dietary excesses, the increased disease rates were due to: (a) exposure to unfamiliar germs, to which they were not resistant; (b) the drastic change in their way of life as they gave up strenuous physical activities such as hunting; and (c) alcohol abuse.

What do you think about it?

Here is the source in case you are interested Link

Medium avatar

(10611)

on May 05, 2013
at 12:42 AM

That would be, like, affirmation.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on May 04, 2013
at 10:05 PM

thhq, don't go cherrypicking who you like to pick on now... pick on everybody equally lest we think you have a bias!

Medium avatar

(10611)

on May 04, 2013
at 08:40 PM

I appreciate anecdotal observations of ancestral populations whether they're by plains buffalo hunters, pioneers or dentists. The former were not trying to extract useful dining tips, merely observing. I prefer to draw my own conclusions from the observations.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 04, 2013
at 08:35 PM

I wonder if Quilt foundation is going to be on Quackwatch some day...

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 04, 2013
at 08:33 PM

Were you a vegetarian by any chance?

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on May 04, 2013
at 08:19 PM

@VB I have no idea. The cavities accelerated slowly over several years, so it could have been random chance. It might be something that would have happened anyway, due to gradual decay that hadn't become apparent yet. I also started taking much better care of my teeth over that time, so maybe I'm a mutant whose teeth are degraded by fluoride instead of reinforced?

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 04, 2013
at 07:54 PM

Most people are skeptical of Price because he did not have a peer-reviewed cross-referenced scientific study, just some anecdotal observations. However, we cannot simply dismiss them just because they are not written in APA format. After all, so many studies that are published are short-term and not well thought-out, don't you agree.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 04, 2013
at 07:50 PM

Oops - sorry - I mean I want some valid, scientific arguments FROM THAT GUY WHO WROTE THE ARTICLE IN QUACKWATCH. I agree with you totally.

Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

(7370)

on May 04, 2013
at 07:18 PM

Sorry, you only asked for opinions in your question.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on May 04, 2013
at 07:13 PM

Taubes is someone that Quackwatch should be all over...WAP is on a higher plain than the cherry picking journalist...

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 04, 2013
at 06:54 PM

I agree that it is important to be critical, but I want some valid, scientific arguments.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 04, 2013
at 06:39 PM

Thanks for sharing - why do you think you started getting cavities?

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 04, 2013
at 06:34 PM

Strong first post. Agreed.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on May 04, 2013
at 05:28 PM

It's not necessarily moralistic to say that people who have traditions and cultural controls around substances are more likely to be able to use it in a healthy way. In fact, isn't that one of WAPF's big ideas?

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on May 04, 2013
at 05:27 PM

Actually, this is an interesting point to be getting anecdotes on. I was malnourished for several years (like, emaciated and physically falling apart from eating hundreds of calories below my basal metabolism), and never had a cavity even though I was eating plenty of grains. When I started eating enough, without really changing the things I ate, my health improved by leaps and bounds but I started getting cavities at an accelerating rate.

A402a961303d312055dc0b253f29deac

(320)

on May 04, 2013
at 04:49 PM

No WAP earplugs; only did some quick reading on WAP stuff, and looked solid. QW throws him (without references) in the same bucket as quacks (with references), that's dishonest, and that's all. No zealotry in my post, only a little bit of sarcasm.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on May 04, 2013
at 04:20 PM

You're telling me that in 50 years, we'll have a Quilt foundation promoting his quackery? Jebus help us.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 04, 2013
at 03:57 PM

He was a dentist and examined people's teeth.. How is this outside his field of expertise?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on May 04, 2013
at 03:17 PM

A dentist who made some insightful observations outside his field of expertise...quilt like in a way....

Medium avatar

(10611)

on May 04, 2013
at 03:12 PM

There's a big difference being underfed and fitting into the class that paleos consider malnourished.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 04, 2013
at 02:33 PM

Yea, I mean, if the article's intent is to discredit the guy, I think they failed is what I'm saying. Not that I agree with WAP's pov 100%, but that article = fail if their goal was to convince people he's quack IMO.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 04, 2013
at 02:31 PM

Yea, I don't know if that sentence is true, it just seems... Odd? Like if malnourished people didn't get cavities then wouldn't people who eat straight sugar n wheat be malnourished and not get them? Or if they mean fasted people they should say that or at least have studies on it. I'm not saying its wrong, it just sounds off to me.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 04, 2013
at 02:15 PM

@ stephen- I don't know if this proves anything but I was anorexic (i.e. malnourished) for 5 years and don't have any cavities.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on May 04, 2013
at 01:58 PM

I don't recall caring whether Price was right or wrong. Interesting guy though.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on May 04, 2013
at 01:54 PM

You need to take your WAP earplugs out because they are causing you to mistranslate to your own biases. I didn't read anything about stupid natives. Just a piece on a somewhat helpful dentist who is not a god.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on May 04, 2013
at 01:53 PM

Quackwatch gets it wrong sometimes, particuarly blinded by evidience-based medicine bullshit.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 04, 2013
at 01:24 PM

Malnourished people don't get cavities?

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 04, 2013
at 01:22 PM

I guess they're not going to mention the people he helped with nutritional therapy back in the states with an insanely high success rate..

  • F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

    asked by

    (15515)
  • Views
    4K
  • Last Activity
    1405D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

6 Answers

12
50998cf02173d87f1a9c0dc20a30396f

(130)

on May 04, 2013
at 06:31 PM

Actually, Gary Taubes, in his book Good Calories Bad Calories brings in evidence from other doctors saying pretty much the same things that Weston Price did - that a Western diet high in processed foods, white flour and white sugar is the basis for the maladies of western civilization.

The contentions that Quackwatch makes about them being malnourished, etc., are not based on fact. Many other doctors, Albert Schweitzer included, did not find these people to be malnourished, and although they may have had some diseases, they were nothing like what they saw once these people adopted a western diet.In fact, he brings in the work of Cleave, a British naval surgeon, who realized that cavities are the "canary in the coal mine" - appearing right before heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other maladies set in. Sounds like he confirmed what Weston Price said.

I find Quackwatch to be highly biased against anything but "mainstream" medicine. If you read Taubes' book, you will learn that most of today's nutrition information is not based on solid evidence but on a lot of speculation, politics and ignoring opposing findings. And, anybody who did not agree with them was ignored or ridiculed. That's just what Quackwatch does - ridicule anything not mainstream.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on May 04, 2013
at 07:13 PM

Taubes is someone that Quackwatch should be all over...WAP is on a higher plain than the cherry picking journalist...

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 04, 2013
at 06:34 PM

Strong first post. Agreed.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on May 04, 2013
at 10:05 PM

thhq, don't go cherrypicking who you like to pick on now... pick on everybody equally lest we think you have a bias!

6
Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 04, 2013
at 01:28 PM

That article is a mix of half truths to support the author's bias. Yes, they probably exercised less, overindulged in poor food choices, converted to an unbalanced diet, but none of that proves wap was wrong.. They got cavities and sick because they compromised their food choices and probably activity levels.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 04, 2013
at 08:35 PM

I wonder if Quilt foundation is going to be on Quackwatch some day...

Medium avatar

(10611)

on May 04, 2013
at 03:17 PM

A dentist who made some insightful observations outside his field of expertise...quilt like in a way....

Medium avatar

(10611)

on May 05, 2013
at 12:42 AM

That would be, like, affirmation.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on May 04, 2013
at 04:20 PM

You're telling me that in 50 years, we'll have a Quilt foundation promoting his quackery? Jebus help us.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on May 04, 2013
at 01:58 PM

I don't recall caring whether Price was right or wrong. Interesting guy though.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 04, 2013
at 03:57 PM

He was a dentist and examined people's teeth.. How is this outside his field of expertise?

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 04, 2013
at 02:33 PM

Yea, I mean, if the article's intent is to discredit the guy, I think they failed is what I'm saying. Not that I agree with WAP's pov 100%, but that article = fail if their goal was to convince people he's quack IMO.

6
A402a961303d312055dc0b253f29deac

(320)

on May 04, 2013
at 11:01 AM

Quackwatch is often right, but it's mostly a platform that is on the side of the perceived "mainstream".

The article provides no sources or details whatsoever. I don't even bother to go into detail when the article is so profoundly uninformed. Just one example:

Their problems were not caused by eating "civilized" food but by abusing it.

I translate: "These stupid natives are gluttons." The paleo folks got over the calorie-in-calorie-out model, not because it is necessarily completely wrong, but because a healthy human body should be easily capable of energy homeostasis without reliance on counting something. The author of the article assumes that the standard nutritional theory is correct and "invalidates" WAP by subtly alluding to this perceived correctness. It is intellectually dishonest.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on May 04, 2013
at 01:54 PM

You need to take your WAP earplugs out because they are causing you to mistranslate to your own biases. I didn't read anything about stupid natives. Just a piece on a somewhat helpful dentist who is not a god.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on May 04, 2013
at 05:28 PM

It's not necessarily moralistic to say that people who have traditions and cultural controls around substances are more likely to be able to use it in a healthy way. In fact, isn't that one of WAPF's big ideas?

A402a961303d312055dc0b253f29deac

(320)

on May 04, 2013
at 04:49 PM

No WAP earplugs; only did some quick reading on WAP stuff, and looked solid. QW throws him (without references) in the same bucket as quacks (with references), that's dishonest, and that's all. No zealotry in my post, only a little bit of sarcasm.

3
589dbc46d802621f759a2a05ec1aa72c

on May 04, 2013
at 09:04 PM

I have to wonder where they got the idea that malnourished people don't get many cavities. One of the main signs of childhood malnutrition is rotten teeth. As for the "feast or famine" native way of eating versus the "abusing" of sweets, I think the critic is shifting the goalposts somewhat. If a "feast or famine" pattern of consumption of whole foods is less dangerous than a feast-or-famine way of eating cookies and ice cream, well, then, the whole foods are safer by that measure. Likewise, if a stable habit of eating just enough calories and not too many is safer with whole foods than with modern processed foods, that also speaks well for whole foods. But to suggest that modern processed foods are healthful because eating them steadily and in balance is safer than feast-or-famine with whole foods, is to mix up the variables.

3
Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

on May 04, 2013
at 06:51 PM

I don't follow Weston Price, but I do like Quackwatch. I think it's important to be critical of people that are espousing dietary advice, etc. whether mainstream or alternative. Since this bothers people, maybe they will research how Price conducted his studies and came to his conclusion. I will admit to being very skeptical of alternative medicines that provide little to no scientific data, and are million dollar industries, such as homeopathy. But a back and forth of criticism is healthy.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 04, 2013
at 07:50 PM

Oops - sorry - I mean I want some valid, scientific arguments FROM THAT GUY WHO WROTE THE ARTICLE IN QUACKWATCH. I agree with you totally.

Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

(7370)

on May 04, 2013
at 07:18 PM

Sorry, you only asked for opinions in your question.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 04, 2013
at 06:54 PM

I agree that it is important to be critical, but I want some valid, scientific arguments.

1
Medium avatar

(10611)

on May 04, 2013
at 02:07 PM

I like it because it makes Price human. His observations are interesting but loaded with his Neolithic career path...who but a dentist would fixate on teeth and draw interesting conclusions about sugar from them?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on May 04, 2013
at 08:40 PM

I appreciate anecdotal observations of ancestral populations whether they're by plains buffalo hunters, pioneers or dentists. The former were not trying to extract useful dining tips, merely observing. I prefer to draw my own conclusions from the observations.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 04, 2013
at 07:54 PM

Most people are skeptical of Price because he did not have a peer-reviewed cross-referenced scientific study, just some anecdotal observations. However, we cannot simply dismiss them just because they are not written in APA format. After all, so many studies that are published are short-term and not well thought-out, don't you agree.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!