The Science of Slim

Good to see so many of my favourite resources getting listed at the end.  A good video for bringing paleo to the infomercial crowd… loud, repetitive, and seemingly designed to go toe-to-toe with Jenny Craig/Weight Watchers ad’s….

9 thoughts on “The Science of Slim

  1. Overall, I agree with the premise, but the video simplifies things too much. For instance, I don’t believe that our recent ancestors were necessarily healthy because they were slim. There really isn’t any question that people became LESS healthy with the advent of grain agriculture, and his cute animations clearly showed an Egyptian woman. MANY Egyptian mummies were riddled with inflammatory disease, even though they were thin – I think his message stops short of telling the whole story. I, for one, do not subscribe to the idea that just because one is thin, they are automatically healthy. It’s a bigger story than that, and I think that if we ignore such details, the message of better health and less inflammation remains muddled.

    I liked the video because I already understand how grains, beans, and starchy carbs harm the metabolism, but many folks still need to be apprised of those details. The video is successful in telling PART of the story, but with an emphasis on weight loss instead of health, we are still pushing the old standard- I don’t think I would share or recommend this video for these reasons, and if I do, I will link it with more of the correct information.

    Nice effort, but not quite hitting the mark!

    1. Ann,

      Whilst I agree that the detail and the overall story behind this video is incredibly complex, you have to remember who this video is pitched at and what their bias is from the get go. Yes, thin doesn’t equal health in your mind or mine. But it does in most. And I’m sorry, but the message of “eat well to lower your inflammation and avoid chronic diseases of civilisation” is just not sexy enough to appeal to people hearing the competing message of “eat this food/do this math, and you’ll get skinny, and getting skinny = sexy = happy = world peace.”

      If this video is enough to pique someone’s interest; enough to get them to listen to an alternative and to dive down the rabbit hole, then I’m all over it like white on safe starches. Afterall, I can guarantee to you that 95% of the paleo community came into paleo to look good naked. That it improved their health markers and opened their eyes to another way of looking at food along the way is a bonus.

  2. The video is well done, and I agree with the main message at a very high level, but underneath that it’s a bit too heavy on the low carb bias. Potatoes are insane food? Sugary fruits like pineapple?

    It’s playing to the crowd that wants to hear that they don’t have to exercise and they can still eat as much as they want. Sorry it’s not that simple for everyone.

  3. Is this video (group) stating the overfeeding of their “sane” foods will not lead to weight gain (clog the sink)? I would agree that free living individuals who are primarily eating those foods would likely not gain weight (for multiple reasons), I would argue that participants in a clinical setting (metabolic ward) overfeeding study including only ‘sane’ foods would still lead to weight gain and likely some reduction in ‘markers of health.’

    I know we don’t live in metabolic wards and counting calories for most purposes is a waste of time/bad idea.

    What you your take?

    1. I guess it would depend on the ‘rules’ of the overfeeding study. If you want to lock me up for 72 hours and overfeed me a predetermined amount of food, and I’m a poor student that you will pay $200 for doing that, then yes – my motivation to eat more food than I need will go up and I will by-pass my normal appetite controls, forcing that food in. Is this the normal run of things in free-living individuals eating foods which promote a high-degree of satiety and avoiding/limiting foods which can disrupt satiety mechanisms? I doubt it for most people. It is not that you can’t overeat these foods – you most certainly can, if you want to, for whatever reason motivates you to do so. It is just that these foods are less likely to be disruptive to those sateity signals.

      I think people need to keep in mind who the target audience is for this sort of thing (people who believe in dieting, calorie counting, energy restriction, exercise – as the keys to weight loss), and they need to consider what is meant by the concept of heuristics…

      http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/heuristic

      The information in the video might be enough to allow people to try it and see for themselves, encouraging them to seek more information and to acquire a more in-depth knowledge on the subject. So the video might suggest that eating “sane” foods allows a person to eat (overeat) all they want. Whilst it is still possible to ACTUALLY overeat “sane” foods, it is unlikely a person will, eating more “sane” foods will often lead them to eating less insane crappy food, and along the way they will learn that yes it is still possible to overeat anything, sane or otherwise, helping them to fall into an eating/lifestyle pattern which suits them. They can reflect on the video and think that the information wasn’t 100% accurate but it got them in the door.

      I could make the same argument for my paleo gateway drug, Loren Cordain’s books. In those original books, Cordain is still very much against saturated fat. The accuracy of the books was out of step with the evidence and evolutionary template, but it got me into to it and I was able to learn for myself whether I needed to avoid saturated fat or not.

      Put yourself in the situation of knowing nothing about nutrition and you are about to start Weight Watchers for the tenth time or try something different, like the SANE approach. Without being all literal and nit-picky, which source of nutritional information is going to be the most accurate?

      1. Yes that makes sense. Keep the message simple, as it will appeal more to the masses.

        That being said, why can’t the focus just be on real foods. The fact that he is excluding starches and sugary fruit to me is a red flag. A lot of people will identity it with low carb, and even worse Atkins.

        Why even bother telling people they can eat all they want and not exercise. Can’t it be a bit more honest? Eating this way will let you eat will keep you in tune to your body’s true hunger signals, instead of searching for me quick empty calories. Although exercise is healthy it is not required for weight loss.

  4. I think it is a great video to inspire people with a clear message. If the viewers are keen they can chase up the references at the end, or any number of excellent web sites related to the modern health problems. Also, It is produced in America, the land where nearly everybody is selling something LOUDLY,- so the message needs to be simple and clear. I thought it a great vid :-)

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