Paleo Diet Advocates Fear Modernity

…according to David Gorski at Science-Based Medicine.

Gee, I hadn’t noticed that fear.  Maybe it’s subconscious.

Dr. Gorski makes some good points along with others I disagree with.  I expect the commentators at SBM will address many of the controversial points.  They’re a smart readership.

One uncommon observation of his is that the “complementary and alternative medicine” believers tend to embrace the paleo diet and lifestyle.  I’ve noticed that also.  To the extent that the CAM folks are often unscientific or anti-scientific, those of us examining the paleo diet from a scientific viewpoint have to be wary of “guilt by association.”

A major point that Dr. Gorski didn’t address is that living hunter-gatherers studied over the last century or two don’t have nearly as much cardiovascular disease and death as modern Western societies.  That’s a common meme in the paleosphere, started by the prominent paleo book authors.  (I’ve not reviewed the original sources.)  I’m talking about lower rates of heart attacks, strokes, hypertension, peripheral arterial disease, and premature death.  Note that the mere presence of atherosclerosis may not correlate with these hard clinical endpoints.

6 responses to “Paleo Diet Advocates Fear Modernity

  1. At SBM they tend to view all things as quackery categorically that they think fits their definition of quackery, which is not science but the hallmark of a priestly caste.

    Knowingly try to trick someone out of money for a treatment that you know doesn’t work is a reasonable target for criticism. They do this pretty well. But it is very different from a treatment like a Paleo Diet that seems to work pretty well, but may not be scientifically conveyed (in popular books and blogs) or in other aspects may not scientifically correct at all (I mean is there a real authentic Paleo Diet). These are two different things, but let’s not throw out the baby with the bath-water. That’s my view. Your thoughts?

    In addition, how can you draw that conclusion that they fear modernity when everyone is blogging, taking pictures, facebooking, and flying to conferences to learn from others and share their results?

  2. I wonder if anyone knows how Dr. Gorski defined modernity? That would seem to be the crux of the matter. If he defines modernity as eating Special K cereal and the SAD diet then that would explain his comment? “Modern” food technolgies, processing, GMOs and so forth?

  3. We just have not yet completely sorted out human metabolism but I have normalized my blood glucose as a type 2 diabetic by keeping my daily carb intake at around 75 grams. How doctors and dieticians can criticize my approach absolutely baffles me…my own doctor and poeple like Hope Warshaw let alone the ADA and American Heart Association. Very confusing. I dont listen to them needless to say or my A1c would go right back up and they’d be telling me to eat low fat to get it down. That doesnt work.

  4. I would fear modernity but I am too busy uploading and downloading bytes.