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Weight loss and exercise and target weight

Discussion in 'Weight Loss and Dieting' started by LittleGreyCat, Aug 10, 2016.

  1. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Guru
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    Ah yes, as @AndBreathe and @bluetit so clearly demonstrated earlier in the thread, the whole concept of calories is a mine field of myths too. So too with Basal Metabolic Rate.
    - but those are probably best suited to another thread.

    If you are happy working with sound bite concepts, then I wish you well. However, being a T2 with weight issues you are in the very high risk group for diet failure, repeated yoyo diets and escalating insulin resistance - unless you take on board information that extends your understanding beyond the fundamentals, and addresses the root cause.
     
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  2. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Legend

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    I agree, and I believe there are people relying too much on exercise for weight loss or reducing blood sugar levels without much thought for what maybe round the corner.
     
  3. LittleGreyCat

    LittleGreyCat Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Just for context, having seen academia in action as my son recently gained his PhD :doctor::):cool: the PhD is examined by a small panel of experts in the field chosen by the student's mentor. As all academic views (including all sciences) are just a matter of opinion the referees are chosen from a group of like minded academics. Nobody is going to chose referees with violently opposing opinions and then expect them to approve a paper about something they are violently opposed to. It is all a club with club rules. It is very hard not to get a PhD once you are in the system; however there are standards to maintain and it may take more years than expected to get it up to scratch.

    You judge a PhD by the reputation of the department, the reputation of the University, and the reputation of the referees. The higher all these are, the higher you tend to rate the PhD. However you have to do a bit of research and/or know people in the system before you can really judge the quality of a PhD. If it (or an abstract) is subsequently chosen for publication in a journal that is usually a plus point.

    So you can't place that much trust in the contents of a PhD - it reflects the views of the school the student studies in filtered and refined through like minded experts internal and external to the University.

    Academic papers sometimes have a bigger hurdle to jump, because they are subject to peer review and you can't always pick your reviewers. You can, of course, pick your publication if you know their reviewers favour your school of thought. So for a published paper it is not enough to know that it has been reviewed; you need to know the reputation of the journal and also the reputation of the reviewers. [See previous comments about the quality of a PhD.]

    There is the infamous case of the paper about MMR vaccinations and autism which was published in the Lancet
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3136032/
    which just goes to show that having a paper peer reviewed and published in a very notable journal such as the Lancet doesn't guarantee that the science is watertight. It just shows that at one point in time enough people agreed with the views expressed that they were happy to publish.

    Professors are not always infallible either; take the well known case of Professor Sir Roy Collins.
    See https://drmalcolmkendrick.org/2015/02/16/a-humiliating-climb-down-or-a-machiavellian-move/ for example. From that link:

    "
    To provide a bit more context at this point, you should know that for a number of years, people have been trying to get Rory Collins to release the data he and his unit (the CTT), holds on statins. [The CTT was set up purely to get hold of and review all the data on statins, it has no other function].

    He has stubbornly refused to let anyone see anything. He claims he signed non-disclosure contracts with pharmaceutical companies who send him the data, so he cannot allow anyone else access. Please remember that some of the trials he holds data on were done over thirty years ago, and the drugs are long off patent. So how the hell could any data still be ‘confidential’ or ‘commercially sensitive’ now?

    [The concept that vital data on drug adverse effects can be considered confidential, and no-one is allowed to see it, is completely ridiculous anyway. But that is an argument for another day.]
    "

    So here you have a Professor who violently claims that all statins are good but also refuses to release any of the trials that the pharmaceutical companies felt that it was not in their best interest to publish.

    Bottom line - trust no-one. Everything published is a personal point of view filtered through the visible and hidden agendas of the author. Just because it is in a fancy journal and has been peer reviewed doesn't make it true.

    You probably wouldn't trust an article in the Daily Express even though it has been written by professional journalists and checked by sub-editors and the editor. Apply the same filter to papers published in scientific journals.
     
  4. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Guru
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    By the time any post graduate student reaches the point of submitting their thesis, it should be a foregone conclusion that they pass, and pass well. The student has a mentor/tutor/lecturer assessing their work and their progress at every stage. That tutor is chosen for their specialist knowledge of the subject in question. Any major errors or pitfalls should have been spotted and ironed out months or years before the final assessment process.

    Likewise, the realm of Academia is sufficiently rarefied that the examination panel must be drawn from the small group of people actually capable of assessing the subject matter. Every PhD is required to contain original research, so unless the examiners understand the subject, they could not possibly sit on the panel.

    I agree that the reputation of the degree giving body is important. However I think you are underestimating the efforts each of those bodies makes to preserve and advance their reputation. If the word got out (as you imply) that such degrees are so casually dispensed, then their funding and their reputation would be demolished in a very short time.

    And yes, I have seen the process of PhD creation, tutoring and examination from the inside. And read many.

    This is an extract from Zoe Harcombe's own website, showing that she received her BA and MA from Cambridge, and containing a link to her PhD for anyone who wishes to check her references.
    http://www.zoeharcombe.com/about-2/

    I’ve got a BA and MA from Cambridge University (economics/maths). I’m proud to have been the first pupil from my state (comprehensive) school to have graduated from Cambridge. I was even more proud to be voted college student president by my peers while there – only the second female president in over 630 years (well it did take them almost that long to admit women!)

    In 2016, I was awarded a Ph.D. in public health nutrition. My thesis title was “An examination of the randomised controlled trial and epidemiological evidence for the introduction of dietary fat recommendations in 1977 and 1983: A systematic review and meta-analysis.” The full document is available to site members here.

    Personally, I (Brunneria) spent 20 years of my life studying and working in a small college in a good university, and I am afraid I resent the casual implication that getting a PhD is nothing more than nepotism and politics. It isn't. It is years of hard work, self discipline and slog.
     
  5. LittleGreyCat

    LittleGreyCat Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I think that you are working very hard to see implications are not there and then resent them.

    I don't recall using the words "casually dispensed"; I assume that it reflects a personal reaction to the subject as it does not reflect the words used.

    Anything produced by a small specialist team will reflect the strongly held views of that team. This is not unique to academia, but also applies in most other walks of life.

    No PhD is dispensed lightly nor should it be entered on lightly but it does just reflect the strongly held views of the small specialist team.

    Any paper published is likely to have another one published rebutting it; this cycle can go on for some time (perhaps decades). So which is right?

    Academia and science is just a job like any other, and it is done by humans like any other. They all have the same foibles, strengths and weaknesses as the rest of the human race. Plenty of politics and hidden agendas in academia, just like any other walk of life.

    You also seem to be taking this as an attack on Zoe Harcombe.
    I didn't mention her name.
    You do seem to be taking this very personally and taking offence where none was offered.
     
  6. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Guru
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    If you claim that your post #23 is not a response and a follow on to earlier posts in this thread where Zoe Harcombe's academic and professional integrity were questioned, then you are being disingenuous.

    I am happy for people to have opposing views - this thread, any thread, any subject. I love the discussion and debate and the opposing views. I have learned a great deal that way, and continue to do so. But when those views essentially consist of people rejecting information because they don't want to hear it, then I have been known to get irritated. Especially when they casually dismiss subjects without bothering to investigate them with an open mind. It is much easier to dismiss than to question, isn't it?

    Personally I try to at least read studies, follow links and watch videos, even when I expect to disagree with the content. I have learned a lot that way. I used to think Fasting was insanity. Now I consider it a far better tool for weight loss than either diet or exercise. All thanks to a few posters here, and my willingness to open my mind.

    Plus, of course, the added bonus that I can then discuss the subject with knowledge, and no need to sidetrack onto other issues.
     
    #26 Brunneria, Aug 12, 2016 at 4:36 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 12, 2016
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