I’ve been fairly reluctant to discuss, let alone post, about this topic. At times, the adage “any press is good press” seems fitting. Those old enough will know when I say it has a very “Paris Hilton-esque” feel to it. But I’ve been asked enough times to write/speak on it, and I think it’s important. LOTS of folks have done a stellar job of this, so instead of poorly re-inventing the wheel, this will be more of a compendium of referenced reviews, vs. my own review. I might add an opinion or two, though. That’s been known to happen.
If you’ve been involved with something for any length of time, you see things come, go and change; the drugs we give in cardiac arrest. How we attack a structure fire, or coordinate a rescue. The technology used in both EMS and firefighting. This is called evolution. This is, hopefully, based on experience, data, and science. And you don’t revisit poor or dangerous techniques. You learn, fix, and move forward.
Nutrition seems a little…different. It’s one of the harder sciences to nail down bullet proof studies. The amount of variables, especially in human based trials, is particularly hard to control. Despite that, in the last 20 years things have come a long way. But when you start mixing personal bias and diluting the science…we end up with situations like Ancel Keys and the 7 (20?) nations study, Loren Cordain (aka “The God Father of Paleo”) refuting the importance of carbohydrates in evolution, Gary Taubes with the Good Calories, Bad Calories disaster, and the complete mess of T Colin Campbell and the China Study. What happened in all these? Ego and money.
Ego and Money struck again with “Game Changers”. I watched with alongside my partner in crime/nutritionist/all-around-badass physique athlete, Jamie Granville. It was an interesting viewing—one of us was bringing up every skewed and biased point, the other was watching with jaw-clenched silence. Take a guess who was who J. My biggest question was “why???”….why would someone put this much time and energy into something (to me) that clearly flawed, if not blatantly wrong? I assumed every nutrition advocate, researcher, and coach was feeling/thinking the same thing. Over the next few weeks, we were able to see the emergence of some INCREDIBLY well written pieces breaking down the points that had my jaw clenched, and had Jamie throwing socks at the screen.
These are outlined below, in no particular order; if I recall, the first review I came across was from Jackson Peos from Australia, and then Tim Rees. Take a read; they are lengthy, but worth it. Nutrition is supposed to be about optimizing health and performance…not about profit or pushing biases that borderline on fanatical.