• Your life and health are your own responsibility.
• Your decisions to act (or not act) based on information or advice anyone provides you—including me—are your own responsibility.


The Lipid Hypothesis Has Officially Failed
(Part 1 of many)

In 1977, the US Government issued its first dietary recommendations: eat less fat and cholesterol, and more carbohydrates.  Yeah, that worked.

Feel free to hotlink this image so long as you also make the image a link to http://www.gnolls.org, or put a visible link to gnolls.org under it.

Thanks to George McGovern and the “United States Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs” for killing millions of people via the consequences of obesity—diabetes, heart disease, depression, cancer, dementia, stroke, osteoarthritis, and a host of other totally preventable maladies.

Seriously: we let a Senate committee decide what was healthy to eat? I guess we got what we deserved.

“Low-Calorie” Foods Made Us Fat

To forestall the inevitable cascade of reflexive defenses of the status quo, which are “We started eating more junk food”, “We started eating more food generally. Calories in, calories out” and “People got lazy and stopped exercising”, I’ll point the skeptics to the following study, which uses the same data set (NHANES) as the graph:

The American Journal of Medicine Volume 102, Issue 3 , Pages 259-264, March 1997. Divergent trends in obesity and fat intake patterns: The american paradox. MD Adrian F. Heini, MD, DrPH Roland L. Weinsier

RESULTS: In the adult US population the prevalence of overweight rose from 25.4% from 1976 to 1980 to 33.3% from 1988 to 1991, a 31% increase.
    [WIth a 55% increase in obesity and a 214% increase in extreme obesity. See the original NHANES data.]
During the same period, average fat intake, adjusted for total calories, dropped from 41.0% to 36.6%, an 11% decrease.
    [We were doing exactly what we were told to do: eat less fat.]
Average total daily calorie intake also tended to decrease, from 1,854 kcal to 1,785 kcal (−4%). Men and women had similar trends.
    [Look at that! We weren’t eating any more food…but, somehow, we got fatter anyway.]
Concurrently, there was a dramatic rise in the percentage of the US population consuming low-calorie products, from 19% of the population in 1978 to 76% in 1991.
    [Again, we were doing exactly what we were told to do: eat low-fat, high-carb products.]
From 1986 to 1991 the prevalence of sedentary lifestyle represented almost 60% of the US population, with no change over time.
    [So we weren’t exercising any less, either.]

In other words, we were eating the same number of calories, eating dramatically more low-calorie, low-fat ‘health food’, and exercising the same amount…but we got dramatically fatter!

Why does the “low-fat, high-carb” weight loss strategy fail? Start here with “Why You’re Addicted To Bread”. And here’s how I eat: “Eat Like A Predator, Not Like Prey”.

Then, continue to Part 2!

Live in freedom, live in beauty.


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Why Companies Keep Pay a Secret, and Why You'd Rather Know The Truth

“A new study by researchers at the University of California at Berkeley and Princeton University suggests that if all of our salaries were made known tomorrow, half of us would be made miserable and the other half would be made no happier.”
-Smart Money Magazine, “Why Companies Keep Pay a Secret

The implication is that we’re all better off not knowing the truth.

This, however, is only the employer’s half of the story. This information is indeed of negative value to the organization…but it is of positive value to the workers.

Information, in a free market, causes prices to equalize. However, salaries within an organization are not a free market. The only way to meaningfully increase your salary is by leaving and taking another job, and the only way to meaningfully decrease your salary is by getting fired or laid off.

So there is a free(ish) market in the larger sense of the employment market as a whole, and employees participate in this larger market—while employers would rather restrain them from doing so by withholding information, forcing them to sign non-compete agreements, and so on.

Employers benefit from keeping pay a secret because they can pay some of their employees less than their market value and redirect that profit to themselves. An underpaid employee may quit and get a new job at a better salary, which is indeed a disadvantage to their old employer…but it is an obvious advantage to the employee, who will be much happier at an employer who is not trying to cheat them out of earning their full market value.

In other words, this article is correct in its data, but wrong in its conclusions.

If you’re not convinced, here’s an analogy:

Your Price: $?.??/lb

The article might as well argue that there should be no price tags in supermarkets, that we should each negotiate a price for hamburger with the store the first time we walk in, that we should pay that price (indexed to inflation) for the rest of our lives when shopping with that store—and that none of us should ever be able to find out what anyone else is paying for hamburger.

It should be obvious that such an arrangement benefits the store (who can charge some of their shoppers well over market price) but disadvantages the consumer.

It should also be obvious that while a shopper might be initially dismayed to find out that they were paying substantially more than another shopper under such a system, they would be much happier in the long run to know who was paying what, and to use that information to be able to pay a lower price for hamburger instead of continually wondering whether they were being cheated.

But, of course, the article and study only account for the immediate, short-term effect on the employer.