Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Defending Taubes against a Skeptic

There was a story on NPR's The Story last week about Bernadette Lacy, a woman from Washington D.C. working forty plus hour weeks creating stress and ill health for her body(this was before the recession). Feeling stressed and unhealthy her doctor tells her to cut her hours which she does. This has the side effect of decreasing her bank account. And, when she tries to get back into the workforce she's not the same vibrant employee she was before. What else could her doctor have recommended? Here's a similar situation where I'll try to describe a better option.
I read a poorly conceived review of Gary Taubes Why We Get Fat in the June 2011 Skeptic magazine by Harriet Hall, M.D. A few thought experiments and the database I'm working on containing the math of the calorie and insulin relationship show Gary's book to be on the right track and her to be using an odd map of the world.

One notion Harriet Hall expressed was that some people are predisposed to being overweight because they store calories more efficiently than the rest of the population. Looking at the statistics from my database (Link1, link2 ) and an understanding of insulin explains why Gary's on the right track and Harriet Hall has embraced a bad scientific idea. 
            Gary Taubes argues that the reason that Americans are overweight is because we overstimulate insulin release eating carbohydrate . We eat too much carbohydrate because in the 1950's researcher Ancel Keys from the the University of Minnesota argued that the reason that we get fat is that we had too much saturated fat and cholesterol in our diets and since then this idea idea has ruled nutrition science, despite evidence to the contrary. 
            Getting back to Harriet Hall's review if I for example am efficient at storing calories then I don't need many calories to conduct my daily life like running with my Jack Russell Terrier Kirby and writing blog posts and poker articles. Carrying an efficient fat storage idea out to conclusion means that people who have this capability shouldn't need many fat cells in total to meet their energy costs or fat storage needs, so instead of getting fat, someone who “stores fat efficiently” should be thin. Carbohydrate foods that Taubes talks about like rice, corn and wheat stimulate the highest percentage of insulin of any food, and contain the least amount of energy according to my database.
           My hypothesis, slightly modified from Taubes, is based on the data and is that people who are fat have cells that extract very few calories from the food they eat(for starters by eating too many carbs) and also have the same expenses(or greater) than the average person and this also comes along with a larger insulin release. The expenses are organs,gut, brain, muscles, etc. They require energy to run. If, as I hypothesize, they earn very few calories per cell from food but have the same expenses as an average weight person they need more cells to cover the same costs(they inflate). Eating a carb heavy diet increases the frequency of the number of cells you need because carbohydrate foods in comparison to foods like meat gives your body a low return in comparison to its visual size(and a human gut is only so big). The effect experienced by the majority of people who are overweight is a low energy return on every cell and their fat storage too has a low amount of energy given their size. So they need larger populations of all types of cells(fat included) to maintain the same energy level. Imagine a similar situation which is currently being experienced by most American workers is that they need to work more hours to cover the same costs as they did years before. The same thing happens in a body consuming too many carbs.
            Getting back to bad doctors advice, what happens when you tell someone with a lower wage to cut time from work? They don't produce enough to cover their costs creating debt. What would happen (hypothetically) to someone who earns a low amount of energy per cell if you put them on a low calorie diet? They would feel an immense hunger very frequently. When they got back on a normal diet they would have to eat in even higher volume to payback the debt.

            What is the solution? You need to come up with a system of selection, specific to the person and environment that selects for efficiency relative to resources. Hmm, if only there was someone out there who came up with such a system?

*cough* Art DeVany *cough* Doug McGuff, and all the other great Paleo writers and thinkers out there.

Do you want to place the body in your care under stress? If it's already the situation cutting calories is not the answer, but neither is continuing the status-quo.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Is the LA times article about the sale of full tilt true?


The LA times reports that Full Tilt has been sold to european investors which could lead to to a payback of US player funds. Also reported is the news that poker pro Phil Ivey will be dropping his lawsuit as he believes the company is taking the right steps to payback players. Many in the poker community are wondering is the article true?

The author of the story is the same author that wrote the article about poker player Chris Fargis joining a Wall Street Firm. It seems likely that he would have been contacted with this information due to this prior article.

The first portion of  Full Tilt to be sold to European investors is vague. But, this is because the source of information, full tilt's attorney's, wish to remain anonymous. The later portion of the article quotes Phil Ivey's attorney and I find no signs of deception.

The early article vagueness is consistent with Full Tilt's attorney source and the later portion contains no signs of deception. My read is that Phil Ivey is withdrawing his suit making me extremely confident that he thinks Full Tilt is going to pay the players back. I  trust the article because I would always trust a read that Phil Ivey makes.