“Pseudo-sciences do not talk about physiology”

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How to detect a pseudo-medicine? It’s very easy: pseudo-sciences do not talk about physiology

Writing about pseudo-medicine is relatively easy. Most pseudo-medicines are simple and self-contained. Being fundamentally fictional, outside of real complications, you do not have to fret overmuch about physiology and anatomy and plausibility and all the other aspects of medicine that make being a doctor a lot like Barbie in a math class. It’s tough. (source)

How do they say we can detect a pseudo-science? It is quite simple: pseudo-sciences are unable to give explanations based on physiology or anatomy that can be verified in scientific experiments. We have a textbook example: the energy balance pseudoscience. Are there any physiologic mechanisms that support this theory? None: it is based on “energies that enter” and “energies that leave”, and physiology is replaced by a mathematical operation that lacks a plausible link with the actual function of our organs and tissues. Clear as day: we have found a pseudo-science.

In obesity you have to talk about energy, not physiology

But, apparently, with obesity it is the opposite: pseudoscience is talking about physiologic mechanisms, because that distracts our attention away from the actual cause, which is “genetic, environmental and behavioral.” No physiology, please! Without mundane and dirty physiologic mechanisms, because we know a lot about physics laws and this is an energy problem. We are damn good at physics.

We need to understand why some people gain weight easily and others don’t. Taubes doesn’t have an answer for that: his “cause” of obesity is more of a “mechanism” that doesn’t really get at the underlying genetic, environmental, and behavioral causes. While we are waiting to understand that, we still have the practical problem that overweight people need to lose weight now. It is undeniable that if you can find a way to reduce total calorie intake sufficiently, you will lose weight. (source)

Just a physiologic mechanism that is irrelevant in order to treat obesity. In obesity it does not matter if we treat causes or symptoms (see).

The two quotes above come from the same website: Science Based Medicine. They can easily see that they are the ones who defend pathetic pseudo-science: they simply have to apply their own detection criteria for pseudo-sciences. To put heroes face to face with their true identity is not cruelty: it is to move forward so that obesity stops being treated with a theory that is pure charlatanism (see).

What are the physiologic mechanisms that support the energy balance theory?

What are the physiologic mechanisms that link our energy intake with all the energy stored in our body, in all its formats? What are the physiologic mechanisms by which “eat less (calories)” works?

What are the physiologic mechanisms that detect a decrease in the energy intake, and how is that information translated into the physiologic signals that reduce the fat that is stored in the adipocytes? What explanation does the energy balance theory give on those physiologic mechanisms?

Why do these people ignore the actual reaction of our body, as can be found in scientific journals, to food restriction and replace it with fantasies falsely based on a general law of physics that has nothing to do with our physiology?

NOTE: I wonder why they use Barbie as an example of someone who has problems with a math class … Are they saying that Ken would not have those problems? I think it’s obviously clear what they’re saying.

Further reading:

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5 respuestas a ““Pseudo-sciences do not talk about physiology”

  1. Meanwhile, weight loss is math. With less than a page of information, you can roughly determine your daily calorie needs. You can also estimate the caloric content of the common foods you eat. Then do the math. That is 99% of weight management – portion control, estimating caloric intake, maintaining caloric output. (source)

    These MDs are going to treat your obesity with maths. And they say charlatans are others.

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  2. CICO denial:
    — Last summer I gained 5 kg of muscle mass
    — How did you do that?
    — I consistently ate more than I expended
    — That’s not a way to gain muscle, bro
    — What are you, a CICO denier? Increasing your muscle mass is an energy balance problem: when people gain muscle mass, it’s always because more calories were consumed than were expended. This is a hard fact, man
    — You are right. No one can break the Laws of Thermodynamics

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