Archives for: August 2008, 10
With the release of The Genotype Diet, and the excitement that comes with that, the skeptics have also become excited. The lack of double-blind placebo-controlled study is one of the criticisms they start out with.
First off, many popular diets don't have a similar study done on them. Yet, because they never claim to be scientific (many are written by laypersons), they don't get this criticism. People try them if it sounds doable and see what happens. There's often no harm in that, as most foods and most exercise plans are quite safe. Some may be dangerous in the long-term, as they often drastically reduce whole categories of calories (fats or carbs, usually) but they often aren't done for the long term. For BTD and GTD to be based on science, and science that many scientist and doctors are not expert in, has invited a lot of criticisms that the layperson-written-diet-book hasn't.
Secondly, science is based on observations, some of which are decades in the making, as in BTD and GTD.
Thirdly, double blind studies are expensive, and have to have some big dollars behind them. Especially when you consider the number of variables involved in testing 6 types, or more (if you test BTD with Secretor Status instead). Most companies and organizations with enough money to fund that type of study would have their bottom line threatened by the success of it, as it steers customers away from those things that make them those big bucks (such as pharmaceuticals or processed foods).
Fourth, all the diets Dr. D'Adamo recommends are healthy and balanced, and full of a variety of whole foods. They steer us clear of many processed foods, which over time are proven to be dangerous. While skeptics may consider his ideas dangerous, his diets are certainly not. Many good ideas, even truths, were once considered dangerous.
Fifth, all studies that do exist have a percentage of success and failure. If the success rate is 80% (which is probably much higher than any regular diet's success rate) there's another 20% who see poor results from the diet. It is still classified as a success, but what of those who fall into the minority? How do you account for those? Too often they are swept under a rug, deemed insignificant. The same problem exists for studies done on pharmaceuticals, they don't work for everyone, and my fail miserably for a small percentage. (They are also moving toward more individualized targeted drugs, based on genetics and individual detoxification pathways.)
*Another sucker-punch a skeptic will throw in, is to imply that it's all about making money. Selling books doesn't really make that much money. And last I checked, there were no D'Adamo frozen meals being sold in the grocery store. (I wish there were, that'd be great, but it is not the direction Dr. D'Adamo is going in.) It's healthier to prepare your own food from whole ingredients, and all you really need to do any of the diets is a book. Dr. D'Adamo's books can be checked out from the library or purchased used. If anybody has financially benefitted from my choice in diet, it has been local and organic farmers and free-range ranchers.
So if I am in a minority, and the medically established diet, or food pyramid, doesn't work for me, where does that leave me?
I've said it before, and I'll say it again, it was not until I gave up my top avoids/toxins based on blood type that I lost any weight. When I follow the diet, I lose weight and improve health, when I don't, I don't. Cutting my calories way back, cutting my fat intake back, and exercising 10-12 hours a week did not lose any weight. (Low carb made me feel like a ball of sludge, so I didn't try Atkins for long, I admit.) So I am a cluster of anecdotal evidence. Meaningless by the reasoning of skeptics. I however, don't consider it meaningless. Stupid to try anything out of the realm of medically proven double-blind-studied diets? Well, I don't think so. I could have waited for more evidence, but if I had I wouldn't have the life that I do. I would have been subjected to numberous double-blind-studied pharmaceuticals, such as Vioxx, Phen-fen (sp?), antidepresants, continued repeated courses of antibiotics, NSAIDs, Tagamet, cholesterol-lowering drugs, etc. We all know where some of those "safe" solutions have led some people. Instead, I follow the right healthy diet for me, and rarely have to take many prescriptions or over-the-counter drugs.
I don't consider anecdotal evidence to be meaningless. Evidence and observations are still part of the scientific method, last I checked.
Be sure to check out Dr. D'Adamo's responses to other criticisms here.