I’m often asked where do I get my ideas for fat science. They are almost all unoriginal reports of what I read. I used to get things from the Journal of the American Medical Association and the New England Journal of Medicine and Pediatrics and other mainstream medical journals that all doctors read regularly. These frequently have peer reviewed, that is to say, credible, articles about obesity, the No. 1 issue of medicine in the world. I still get lots of yummy information to report to you from those sources. Very rarely do I have to wait a week for something important to report. And, also, we do some book reviews.
But then I found ConscienHealth.org, a group of advocates and experts in nutrition science and obesity research. They publish every week online. And I also found ObesityandEnergetics.org that provides lists of articles that are researched and sorted by Professor David Allison, now at Indiana University, Bloomington.(1) Now it’s like trying to drink from a a fire hose. These guys provide too much from a much larger swath of medical literature to relay to you, my dear readers of fat science. The problem has become not one of finding a new breakthrough, but one of narrowing down to just one per week. Maybe I should quit my day job, whatever that is, and just write about fat science on a daily basis.
Most of the big news that needs to be told about fat science is that what seems to be the party line is fake news. ConscienHealth.org mostly has to relate news that is bogus and explain why so. That is what got me interested in this topic in the first place. David Allison, my ObesityandEnergetics.org source, has been on the minority side of some issues in the past, but he ascribes to the bedrock of science enunciated by Lord Kelvin, a famous Scottish physicist and engineer and advocate of good hard science who famously said that, “when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it. But when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind. It may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely, in your thoughts, advanced to the stage of science, whatever the matter may be.” I agree we need more math in fat science, and the math can be hard. My math SAT scores were not as high as my verbal scores. But I am still interested in learning about the math.
So there you have it, the story of the sources of fat science, but I’m so overwhelmed that I can’t pick something specific to report today.
1. Obesity and Energetics Offerings A Joint Collaboration of Scholars From: IU School of Public Health-Bloomington | UAB Nutrition Obesity Research Center.
1. R. Meerman, A. J. Brown. When somebody loses weight, where does the fat go? BMJ, 2014; 349 (dec16 13): g7257 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.g7257
John DiTraglia, M.D., is a pediatrician in Portsmouth. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 740-354-6605.