1

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The alternative hypothesis?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created January 08, 2013 at 3:37 PM

I came across this quote at Peter Attia's site presented as the alternative hypothesis:

"Obesity is a growth disorder just like any other growth disorder. Specifically, obesity is a disorder of excess fat accumulation. Fat accumulation is determined not by the balance of calories consumed and expended but by the effect of specific nutrients on the hormonal regulation of fat metabolism. Obesity is a condition where the body prioritizes the storage of fat rather than the utilization of fat."

I have a confession. I've never read GCBC (gasp!), but if this is the actual alternative hypothesis I gotta say I think its something that I can get behind. It's not pointing to one specific hormone, but to undernourishment and hormonal dysfunction.

I know Taubes is known as the insulin king and all, but if you take this particular quote is it not an umbrella under which most paleo peeps are now working including the Jaminet's, Guyenet and the like?

Edit: This isn't suppose to be a rehash of the insulin hypothesis debate. I honestly for a long time thought that the whole of the alternative hypothesis could be summed up with "carbs drive insulin drives fat"....I always found that far too simplistic. But, in the context of this particular quote I believe the alternative hypothesis has much more validity.

269cc064c414e6dfadbc7755f2582d60

(53)

on January 08, 2013
at 08:06 PM

My understandig is that Taubes emphasizes the role of carbohydrates and means if people eat less carbs they will not gain fat independent of other factors like sport. And this is the point where there is no common undesrstanding about carbs. There is no answer for your question yet. And I think we are still on a very beginning phase to adress reasons for obesity and why do some people consume more calories than they burn. People are very differently relating genetic/epigenetic/homeostasis and complexity of human body system does not allow to give simple answers.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on January 08, 2013
at 06:50 PM

The thing is that Taubes, Attia, Guyenet and everyone else AGREES that the amount of fat you gain (or lose) is determined exactly by your calorific balance. That's not the point. The question is "WHY do some people consume more calories than they burn?" This is the question that GT is trying to address.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on January 08, 2013
at 06:46 PM

Amen!!!!!!!!!!!

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on January 08, 2013
at 06:18 PM

Actually its what I know about A&P that leads me to like this. I agree that it is both, and they play on each other via the hormonal and neurological pathways that we know of. At least that is my take on it.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on January 08, 2013
at 03:54 PM

Yeah, I probably should. I suppose I've seen so much pointing that its so much more complex than JUST insulin that I skipped it. But if you will account for the entire hormonal machine and feedback loops as this paragraph seems too I can see the value of the alternative hypothesis.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on January 08, 2013
at 03:51 PM

yeah. you don't have to call it the umbrella. just an observation on the paleo approach of sufficient nutrient density and recognizing a general undernourishment of people who are obese. quality of calories essentially. your stance is noted :).

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on January 08, 2013
at 03:41 PM

Sounds like out and out Taubsism to me. You should read GCBC, it's a good book despite the whole Insulin Hypothesis thing. No-one does a better job of debunking the whole Diet-Heart hypothesis.

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4 Answers

4
F0a9dea438e7943fa05da318773e785e

on January 08, 2013
at 04:13 PM

I will also say that I disagree, but because I have studied both sides. And while I won't get into everything, yes I think you should read GCBC AND I think you should pick up a good anatomy and physiology textbook. I don't think it's necessarily one answer or the other, but a combination of both. I wish both sides would come together on this and stop pointing fingers at each other. We have a complex metabolic functional system that is part calories in calories out and yes the type matters, but it may not be as cut and dry as either side would it to be.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on January 08, 2013
at 06:18 PM

Actually its what I know about A&P that leads me to like this. I agree that it is both, and they play on each other via the hormonal and neurological pathways that we know of. At least that is my take on it.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on January 08, 2013
at 06:46 PM

Amen!!!!!!!!!!!

4
Ee6932fe54ad68039a8d5f7a8caa0468

(2668)

on January 08, 2013
at 03:41 PM

i don't feel like arguing about this, and i disagree with it, but it is certainly not "the umbrella underwhich most paleo peeps are now working, including the jaminets, guyenet..."

this sentence alone disqualifies it: "Fat accumulation is determined not by the balance of calories consumed and expended."

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on January 08, 2013
at 03:51 PM

yeah. you don't have to call it the umbrella. just an observation on the paleo approach of sufficient nutrient density and recognizing a general undernourishment of people who are obese. quality of calories essentially. your stance is noted :).

3
489497642ad41d4b45db4d07dbe54353

(978)

on January 08, 2013
at 04:10 PM

I like this hypothesis. And the fact that reducing calories causes weight loss in some people does not negate it to me. Kind of like how reducing carbs can lower blood sugar in some type 2 diabetics, but if the person goes back to eating a "normal" diet, their blood sugar is still above normal. It is not a cure, but a symptom mitigating treatment.

The fact that some people will not gain weight despite calorie intake, and others will points to the fact that we handle calories differently.

1
269cc064c414e6dfadbc7755f2582d60

on January 08, 2013
at 06:07 PM

Calorie intake does matter always. Even if you eat only fat but too much of it you will gain weight. It will take longer comparing to carbs. I would change the Peter Attia's hypothesis as following: "Fat accumulation is determined not ONLY by the balance of calories consumed and expended..."

269cc064c414e6dfadbc7755f2582d60

(53)

on January 08, 2013
at 08:06 PM

My understandig is that Taubes emphasizes the role of carbohydrates and means if people eat less carbs they will not gain fat independent of other factors like sport. And this is the point where there is no common undesrstanding about carbs. There is no answer for your question yet. And I think we are still on a very beginning phase to adress reasons for obesity and why do some people consume more calories than they burn. People are very differently relating genetic/epigenetic/homeostasis and complexity of human body system does not allow to give simple answers.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on January 08, 2013
at 06:50 PM

The thing is that Taubes, Attia, Guyenet and everyone else AGREES that the amount of fat you gain (or lose) is determined exactly by your calorific balance. That's not the point. The question is "WHY do some people consume more calories than they burn?" This is the question that GT is trying to address.

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