Filed Under: Food Police Meat

When Science And Activist Agendas Collide

Yesterday, JAMA (the journal of the American Medical Association) published the results of a study that’s sure to ruffle some food activists’ feathers. A group of Stanford researchers have declared the low-carb Atkins diet the decisive winner in a yearlong head-to-head competition between four of the nation’s most popular weight-loss plans. Overweight women who followed the Atkins regimen — much maligned by animal-rights loonies and joyless-eating types alike because it places virtually no restrictions on meat intake — shed the most pounds. They also had lower blood pressure than those on the veggie-friendly Ornish diet, the low-carb Zone diet, or fat-tax advocate Kelly Brownell’s LEARN diet.You can bet your bottom dollar (or the dollars for your bottom) that if Atkins dieters hadn’t performed well, activists bent on replacing your tasty treats with tofu would be claiming victory. Instead, the likes of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and the Center for Science in the Public Interest have suddenly gone mute.And Brownell is suffering from a severe case of sore-loser-itis. He defiantly told the Los Angeles Times that "what the study shows is that the best treatments we have are not very effective and all work about the same." (All work about the same? Tell that to the people who on average lost about 5 more pounds on Atkins than on Brownell’s plan.) And he told the Associated Press that the researchers’ results indicate that "nothing works very well." If that’s true, we wonder why Brownell feels that taxing "junk" food would be a successful solution.Too bad he can’t lose any weight on a diet of sour grapes.

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