Friday, March 18, 2011

Dr. Christopher Gardner

I had been meaning to do a blog about Chris Gardner's Diet study. He compared the Atkins, Zone, Ornish and LEARN diets and found that the people on Atkins lost more weight and had better metabolic effects (like their cholesterol numbers etc.) 
Instead, I found this wonderful blog post by Dr. Mike that explains it much better than what I could have done. 
When I watched the video, I was just amazed at the data that Dr. Gardner had on participants with metabolic syndrome. This data isn't in his paper, originally published in JAMA. Most of the time, Gardner's study is trotted out with his statement that there wasn't that much difference between the diets. This is what the diet "experts" want you to believe. 
The experts rarely quote this study anymore, preferring another 2-year study which show less differences between the low-fat and the low-carb diets. 
I know this video is really long, so read Dr. Mike's article now, bookmark it and watch the video this weekend with all your Syndrome X friends and family.

I'd like to add that Dr. Gardner is a 25-year vegetarian who was quite surprised by the results. 


  1. I've pointed out that "diet" is not a biological variable. (And weight loss may not be the best thing to look at). Gardner did record values for carbohydrate intake and corresponding levels of triglycerides at different time points on the different diets. I plotted TG versus carbohydrate intake and there is a remarkable linear relationship. The figure is at where I also stress that association CAN imply causality if the association is strong and if there is a good dose-response curve, but especially if it is a different association than the one you were looking for (less bias).

  2. thank you for the link. I hope others will visit Doc Feinman's board. Lots of interesting stuff there.