Gary Taubes spoke at Berkeley a few weeks ago; the title of his talk was “The Quality of Calories: What Makes Us Fat and Why No One Seems to Care” (webcast).

Did you know that the last edition of Dr. Spock’s baby book advocated a vegan diet? One of many fascinating details.

Also this:

There’s a group at the University of Cincinnati that did an Atkins vs. low-fat study and they found that the Atkins people lost twice as much weight and they liked the diet much better. I was interviewing the dietitian who did the study. She had agreed to talk to me but she was very hesitant — she didn’t offer up any information. Finally, at the end of the interview, the one thing she offered freely: I asked her who funded it and she said the American Heart Association.

I said, “Well, I have to give them credit for funding it.”

She said, “Don’t. They funded it because we proposed it as a study that would refute the benefit. And when we found that the Atkins diet really worked and worked better than the low-calorie diet, now we’re trying to get money to look further into it and they won’t give it to us.”

Thanks to Dave Lull.