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Scientific Battlegrounds in Diets

Hemos posted more than 12 years ago | from the atkins-vs.-the-world dept.

Science 765

There's an interesting article currently carried by the NYTimes (free reg. yada yada) that talks about the world of dieting, National Institutes of Health, Atkins as well as low-carb vs low-fat. The interesting thing, from a scientific perspective, is the sheer lack of study - and the reticence from the scientific community to question the party line.

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ASDF !@!@!!!! (-1)

This_Is_ASDF (587337) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846571)

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Re:ASDF !@!@!!!! (-1)

The Porn Count (549103) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846640)

You, sir, have truly accomplished the impossible. In a world where page-widening was finally thought to be impossible, you have succeeded. You have my genuine and utmost respect, Mr. ASDF, for this is a momentous day in the anals of crapfloodery.

I salute you, sir.
May your name be remembered for 1,001 years.

ASDF is pretty sure this isn't PWP (-1)

This_Is_ASDF (587337) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846655)

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Re:ASDF is pretty sure this isn't PWP (-1)

The Porn Count (549103) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846696)

OK, I lied. PWP is dead!!!! *cries*

Re:ASDF is pretty sure this isn't PWP (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846805)

Shaddup and gimme some boobies.

Are Apple's OS X updates poisoned? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3846584)

Are Apple's OS X updates poisoned?

OSX Runs on BSD: This is very important information for the Linux community, because it reveals another very serious security problem in the BSD kernel.

According to the BugTraq mailing list, a hacker named Russell Harding has posted full instructions online for how to fool Apple's SoftwareUpdate feature to allowing a hacker to install a backdoor on any Mac running OS X. A security mailing list has alerted Apple Computer OS X users to a program that could let a hacker piggyback malicious code on downloads from the company's SoftwareUpdate service.

The exploit takes advantage of SoftwareUpdate, Apple's software updating mechanism in OS X, which checks weekly for new updates from the company. According to Harding, who claims to have discovered the exploit, the feature downloads updates over the Web with no authentication and installs them on a system. So far, there are no patches available for this problem.

"Apple takes all security notifications seriously and is actively investigating this report," a company representative said.

Harding stressed that the exploit is a simple one if using several well-known techniques, including domain-name service (DNS) spoofing and DNS cache poisoning.

DNS spoofing is an attack where an individual seeks out a numerical IP (Internet Protocol) address (for example, 1.2.3.4) corresponding to a specific Internet address (for example, www.cnet.com), but an attacker's computer intercepts the request. The attacker then sends back a false IP address that corresponds to a hostile server.

DNS cache poisoning has similar results, but instead of intercepting a request for an IP address, the attacker uses a variety of techniques to replace the valid address in an official DNS server with an address pointing to the attacker's computer.

When SoftwareUpdate runs normally, a person's computer connects via HTTP to an Apple.com page and sends a simple request for an XML document containing the latest inventory of OS X software. The Apple.com site returns the document, which the person's computer then cross-checks against what it has installed.

After the check, OS X sends a list of software that needs to be updated to another page on Apple.com. If an update for the software is available, the SoftwareUpdate server responds with the location of the software, its size, and a brief description. If not, the server sends a blank page with the information, "No Updates."

On his Web site, Harding provides two programs that he says have been customized for carrying such an attack. One program listens for DNS queries for updates, and when it receives them replies with spoofed packets rerouting them to the attacker's computer.

The second program, which is downloaded onto a victim's Mac and masquerades as a security update, contains a copy of the encrypted communications program, Secure Shell.

Automatic updates of software--particularly operating system software--is a growing trend. Several Linux ( news - web sites) companies offer this feature for their distributions of the open-source operating system, and Microsoft recently launched a similar service called Microsoft Software Update Services.

ZDNet U.K.'s Matt Loney reported from London. News.com's Robert Lemos contributed to this report.

Re:Are Apple's OS X updates poisoned? (1, Offtopic)

Gumber (17306) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846623)

Besides being completely off topic, this has nothing to do with a BSD kernel vulnerability. How, exactly, a BSD kernel vulnerability would be very important to the linux community is behind me, other than issues of sympathy.

The studies have been done.. by interested parties (1)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846587)

Both camps have conducted numerous studies, but the only ones that have produced long term results are the low-carb diets and diets that include exercise as the key component.

Low fat diets have repeatedly been shown to be the leading factor leading to the 'yoyo effect'. The diet works against the body's metabolism, suspressing it which leads to a lower metabolic rate which is exactly the opposite of what is needed for longterm weight reduction.

Re:The studies have been done.. by interested part (2, Insightful)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846700)

The only reason that `low fat' diets fail is because of a lack of personal willpower, and an absurd notion that one can turn ship overnight and change everything about themselves: If you grew up eating roast beef and butter soaked mashed potatoes, the idea that you'll switch to veggies and soy overnight is absolutely absurd. Yet that's the way that many people approach dieting (Countless sitcoms follow the story of "Jimmy got a warning from the doctor, so the wife now only feeds him spinach and oatmeal"). Anything that is approached with such immediacy is virtually always doomed to failure: The person at work who won't stop yapping about their new diet is virtually yelling out loud "I am going to fail". The guy who just started going to the gym every now and then, coupled with an improved awareness and self-control, and perhaps some good product choices (by making simple choices one can dramatically decrease your caloric intake).

The Atkins diet goes over well in North America because the standard North American diet just happens to be rich on fat, rich on protein, and short on carbs : Going on the Atkins diet is basically saying "Eat what you eat, just be cognizant of it". For "fatty", such a food awareness is a good approach because it's less likely to be perceived as "all or nothing": You haven't given up if you have a Big Mac or a steak. Yet at the same time there are countless very active, very healthy (probably in much better cardiac shape than the average Atkins diet fan) people living on zero saturated fat.

BTW: The saddest thing about the whole diet fad is that the lazy, gas pedal public perceives health as being merely about food. How far from the truth that is. Gaining some muscle mass not only makes you more capable of handling yourself, but it also raises your basal metabolic rate (muscles consume energy just to exist). If people just got off their sorry, lazy asses and DID SOMETHING their would be far less obesity among the sedentary population. I have no doubt that there are people who have hormone imbalances, but for every one of them there are about 4 who, between stuffing back a Big Mac and Super Monster Large Fries is crying about their poor genetics DAMNIT GET ME A BEER! Apart from the extreme outliers with physical handicaps, anyone who doesn't exercise at least 30 minutes every other day, and who eats with disregard, should realize that they are making their own bed.

Re:The studies have been done.. by interested part (5, Insightful)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846739)

The only reason that `low fat' diets fail is because of a lack of personal willpower

Since diets are for humans, and not for iron-willed Nietzschean super-heros who heed not the plaints of crude appetite, nor the pangs of hunger, a diet that doesn't work for the averagely-will-powered person is a pretty bad diet. (This logic is also useful for other domains.)

The fact that the dieting population has been getting poor advice for the past several years could also have something to do with the obesity problem, ya think? Naaawww, it's far better for you to be a judgemental jerk.

You know, your attitude betrays a fascinating, yet increasingly common, combination of ignorance and arrogance, that I'm struggling to come up with a new term for it. It's a combination of asshole and moron. Are you an assron or a mohole?

Re:The studies have been done.. by interested part (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3846778)

hmmm... I think you might be on to something here, let's just rearrange some letters. ASSRON MOHOLE -- A__R_N M____E -- A M E R _ _ A N -- AMERICAN! It turns out you were just missing I and C - lucky I found 'em for ya!

Re:The studies have been done.. by interested part (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3846793)

Assron is strikingly like enron, you should forward that to a stand up comedian, I see a quality joke there.

Diet gurus? (1)

notanatheist (581086) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846589)

Even Atkins had a heart attack

Re:Diet gurus? (1)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846603)

And Richard Simmons is a pudgy, flaming homosexual. Therefore Deal a Meal and Sweatin' to the Oldies makes you fat and gay.

If you follow every diet advice... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3846591)

you'll live a very boring life.

Nah... (1)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846678)

I don't see how anyone going through that sort of torture can ever be bored.

Moderation (1)

Vader82 (234990) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846592)

Everything in moderation is the key to health. Eating 50% of your diet from rutabegas isn't going to do your health any more favors than eating 50% beef. Is that so hard to understand? I guess we need to get a buncha scientists to prove that in fact, you are alive and breathing. Sheesh

Re:Moderation (5, Insightful)

Peyna (14792) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846683)

Yah, I never found it all that hard. Eat healthy food. Healthy not being in a box in a grocery store that says "99% fat free". Healthy food being everything in that colorful corner of the grocery store. Fruits, vegetables, and if you eat meat, eat it. I recommend fish, salmon, etc. if you're going to eat meat, but some people love their beef, so I guess eat it.

"Diets" don't work. By definition they are temporary and restrictive. Instead, just eat GOOD food. It's pretty simple what's GOOD food. That extra large pizza with extra cheese? Not good. That orange and apple over there? Good. Those vegetables? Good.

Don't eat too many potatoes or excessively high carb foods, but don't eat nothing but steak either. Thus, eat everything in moderation, mostly good food, but don't deny yourself bad food either. Besides, most 'healthy' food that isn't processed and stamped with the 99% fat free label, is pretty good tasting. You don't hear many people saying "Boy, that orange sure was disgusting," unless it was a rotten one.

And exercise too, but do something fun. I don't know how people can ride stationary bikes or run on treadmills for an hour every day. The boredom kills me. I play racquetball and other active sports.

In summary, it's pretty much the same stuff you've been hearing all along: eat good food, and exercise. What qualifies as 'good food' is pretty easy to figure out.

Dieting and eating contests (2, Funny)

Savatte (111615) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846594)

On the theme of dieting, did anyone else see the hot dog eating contest this past fourth of july? The skinny Japanese dude schooled the Americans, downing 50.5 hot dogs AND buns in 12 minutes. The American guys outweighed him by at least 200 pounds, but this dude could pound those dogs down. It has something to do with the absence of layers of fat, which allows the stomach to expand more. Something to think about

Re:Dieting and eating contests (1)

kevlar (13509) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846646)

Yes, and CNN re-played the same video clip of it for the 3rd year in a row...

Re:Dieting and eating contests (2, Funny)

Frothy Walrus (534163) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846649)

Something to think about

yeah, the less we eat, the more we can eat! how are we gonna do that?!

Re:Dieting and eating contests (3, Informative)

MulluskO (305219) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846711)

Well the stomach actually shrinks and grows as its lining is replaced. The shrinking and growing occurs in sync whith how full a person's stomach is on average.

I am just guessing here, but the skinny Japanese guy might have some sort of 'training program' which involves drinking a lot of fluids or eating sugar-free jello to keep the stomach expanded while not gaining any weight.

Re:Dieting and eating contests (4, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846768)

(* I am just guessing here, but the skinny Japanese guy might have some sort of 'training program' which involves drinking a lot of fluids or eating sugar-free jello to keep the stomach expanded while not gaining any weight. *)

Even being a glutton has been "Samurized" now?

"I shall be not just a pig, but an honorable pig that my ancestors will be proud of. They will belch from the afterlife in thunderous approval as my enemies puke in pain after glorious defeat. For I have the stomach of a bear and the mouth of a tiger!"

Can't wait for the asian entries in the farting contests. "The Eastern Wind shall blow such that there will be no denial...."

Re:Dieting and eating contests (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846801)

This has been known from ancient times. One always drinks heavily during the night so one can eat more during the day (when they hunted). Animals do this too.

Re:Dieting and eating contests (2)

RasputinAXP (12807) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846831)

In an interview with the AP, he said he "trains up" by drinking so much water his stomach expands. He starts out about 3 weeks before the competition.

being a native New Yorker I love the Nathan's contest, but I'd like to see Bob Kratchie the Maspeth Monster make a comback one of these years.

And yeah, it IS a samuraized sport in Japan now. *sigh*

scientific??!!!!!!???? (1)

muon1183 (587316) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846597)

How can a study claim to be scientific without conducting any actual research. The scientific process is dependent on research and conducting studies. Even theoretical physics is just that--theoretical--until somebody determines something based on the theory that is experimentally verified. If these people claim to have anything more than an abstract social theory, they are fools. Science without facts is not science.

Direct link to article (5, Interesting)

Hatter (3985) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846606)

Here [majcher.com] is the direct link to the article via the NYTimes.com Registration Generator [majcher.com] .

Re:Direct link to article (1)

TheRedHorse (559375) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846619)

The NYTimes reg generator doesn't appear to work anymore. Just go sign up, leave the cookie on your computer and just get over reg. If your paranoid just make crap up.

Re:Direct link to article (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3846648)

I don't have to register to listen to the radio, read a book or watch TV - fuck the Jew York Times. They just wanna funnel American dollars into the pockets of Jewish terrorists who use it to murder Palestinian children. Death to Israel!

Reg Generator (1)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846709)

I've had it fail to work, then work again.

yeah. (3, Informative)

jon_c (100593) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846610)

This was on plastic [plastic.com] . I recommend some people steal some posts from there for some ez-modpoints.

personally i'm a little overweight have been interested in the idea the eating bacon w/ butter as a main food could make me loose weight, the down side a lot of people on the adkins diet have dangerously high cholesterol counts. Then again, all research in the field seems to be highly biased, the only nugget of consistent truth i can find is eating less works, typically on a high far or low fat diet you'll end up consuming less calories, which seems to always work.

There was something about a low calorie diet on Scientific Frontiers [pbs.org] a while back, you can view it here [pbs.org] if you like

-Jon

Re:yeah. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3846628)

Do the research again. Low carb *lowers* LDL cholesterol levels. The reason is that your body makes the cholesterol in your bloodstream. It does not pick it up so easily from foods.

The diet works, but you suffer (1)

reflexreaction (526215) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846642)

As a person who was on the Atkins diet for about 2 months, and quickly (7-10 days) lost 20 pounds I can attest to that this diet WORKS. But there are serious drawbacks. You must drink prodigious amounts of water to risk kidney problems. Eating steak with butter is no fun without a great baked potato, or steak french fries. And forget double cheesburgers. Trying to eat the meat without the bread is a messy proposition, and again no french fries to go along with it. I haven't been on many diets, but this diet quickly got very old, even after being able to eat small amounts of carbs.

Re:The diet works, but you suffer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3846675)

The main problem I've found with it was that everything started to feel really greasy after a couple weeks. All the food had a slimy, greasy, unappetizing flavor. You really appreciate how clean carbs feel after a trip down the Atkins lane. Of course, switching back to carbs resulted in regaining of weight. :-(

Is there any validity to those 'Carb blocker' pills?

Re:yeah. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3846667)

personally i'm a little overweight have been interested in the idea the eating bacon w/ butter as a main food could make me loose weight

It's lose. It contains exactly one o.

Also, you might want to give complete sentences a try sometime.

Re:yeah. (-1)

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM (537317) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846695)

U have an lose butt. U shauld loose some wieght.

Re:yeah. (-1)

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM (537317) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846669)

I'm so fat when I try a diet I pass out.

Re:yeah. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3846673)

what's so difficult about the word LOSE? If you Americans are SO troubled by it, why not petition Webster to alter your American spelling to LUZE or LOOS or something else that you can understand. It's fucking tiresome to see the same spelling mistakes in evry third post. Christ on crutches.

Re:yeah. (-1)

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM (537317) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846710)

You brits are fuckin looser. Get a clue dumb motherfockers.

Re:yeah. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3846741)

I've got your extra "o" right here, buddy boy. Pucker up for me.

Re:yeah. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3846703)

American people have big portions, Japanese people do not....

Re:yeah. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3846747)

It is not true that people on low-carb diets have high cholesterol. In fact more often, it the low-fat eating clients of mine that have the cholesterol problems along with their overfatness. I have been on a pretty strict low-carb diet for the past 6 years. I work as a fitness trainer and rock climb.

As for studies, for a start try looking up Vilhjalmur. Stefansson. In 1928 he and another guy went for an entire year living only on meat under the supervision of Bellvue Hospital in NYC.

It is true though, that no matter what diet you are on, it all comes down to calories. But it is hard to eat less on a low-fat diet and not get too hungry!

What do ASDF say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3846615)

I cannot understand...
you'd better visit my site [rockefeller.ru] it's fun:)

Re:What do ASDF say (-1)

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM (537317) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846722)

Maybe you are too fat? You should consider a diet.

Don't believe the hype (3, Interesting)

Otter (3800) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846616)

Most of the spin on the article is like the writeup here -- Hah! Atkins and Sears were right and the scientific world was wrong! CNN has an article [cnn.com] where they talked to the reearchers were quoted in the article and found them to be a lot less supportive of the full "Zone" line than the Times presents them as being.

In general, these "scientific battleground" stories are more hype than reality.

Why is diet pill such a stumper? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846620)

(NYT slashdotted.)

I don't understand why a magic diet pill is so hard. Take tissue from a hundred fat people, and a hundred naturally skinney people, combine them, run them thru a centrifuge, and find out what the *difference* is by looking at or studying the bands. Then inject (or intake) the difference as a diet solution.

Skinney people (who don't crave food) are skinney without side-effects, so whats the hard problem here?

This discipline crap is a pain in the ass. A bunch of tedious excercise and cardboard-tasting "diet" food just to lose 3 pounds? Puuulease.

Besides, imagine how much more pretty babes would be in the world to look at if there was an easy solution.

Science made us fat, so science should fix it!

Whats the hold up!

(correction) Re:Why is diet pill such a stumper? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846636)

(* combine them, run them thru a centrifuge, .... *)

I meant combine each of the groups of one-hundred into one "skinney" sample and one "fat" sample.

Actually, they would perhaps be done in isolation, and then electronically added, but this is just a conceptual suggestion.

Re:Why is diet pill such a stumper? (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846733)

Take tissue from a hundred fat people, and a hundred naturally skinney people, combine them, run them thru a centrifuge, and find out what the *difference* is by looking at or studying the bands. Then inject (or intake) the difference as a diet solution.

Yes, and this injection results in people changing what they eat and their exercise pattern how?

Atkins does work... (1)

Beatlebum (213957) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846621)

However, many people's expectations are way out of whack with reality. For success:

1) Embark on a cardio training program. Try to run at least 1 mile per day to start with, building up to 3-4.

2) Throw out the carbs- no more bread, donuts, sweets, deserts etc.

3) Lift weights (but not like a pussy) Do the big lifts- bench, deadlift and squat.

4) Eat lots of protein.

Expect to lose about 1lb per week. As you get leaner, expect the muscles to show through (if you had any in the first place).

The bottom line is most diets fail because of impossible expectations. You can lose 20 lbs. Just don't expect to do it in 3 weeks with no effort.

Re:Atkins does work... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3846647)

The bottom line is most diets fail because of impossible expectations

1) Embark on a cardio training program. Try to run at least 1 mile per day to start with, building up to 3-4.

3) Lift weights (but not like a pussy) Do the big lifts- bench, deadlift and squat.

4) Eat lots of protein.


I think the expectation that one could easily do these things is a little optimistic.

Re:Atkins does work... (4, Insightful)

jockm (233372) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846663)

Right now I'm loosing 1-2lbs per week on a traditional low fat moderate exersize diet. Nothing special, just eating healther and in moderation. I've been doing this for six months now without problem.

I think the truth is that there are different diets that work for different people. A one size fits all approach probably won't be the answer here. until we do more good science on the subject, I'm skeptical of anyone who says there is one true way.

Re:Atkins does work... (2)

Peyna (14792) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846720)

I never understood why people were so obsessed with 'losing weight'. For all you know the weight you are losing is just higher density muscle tissue. Wouldn't that suck? Overall health is more important than weight. Some people that are 'skinny' aren't very healthy at all. They're malnourished or lacking vitamins they need. Anyway, same thing like you said "one size fits all" isn't the way to go. Some people have perfectly healthy hearts, bodies, and minds, and are what many of us would consider to be 'chubby' or 'fat'. We don't all have to be fit and trim muscle men/women to be healthy.

Re:Atkins does work... (2)

Com2Kid (142006) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846753)

Right now I'm loosing 1-2lbs per week on a traditional low fat moderate exersize diet. Nothing special, just eating healther and in moderation. I've been doing this for six months now without problem.

I am losing 1-2lbs a year on a high fat moderate exercice diet.

I /KNOW/ I can keep this one up for ages (err, eat whatever the fuck I want to and save assloads of gas money by biking to campus/work. w00t).

You gotta choose your fights man, shoot, can you really keep that up forever? :^)

My legs keep on going from flabby to non-flabby to flabby to non-flabby, hehe. Oscillators!

Re:Atkins does work... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3846764)

Doesn't the meat get expensive?

Re:Atkins does work... (2)

jockm (233372) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846818)

You gotta choose your fights man, shoot, can you really keep that up forever? :^)

Yes. Yes I do. When I say without problem, I mean that the weight loss has been consistant, not that there is any hardship in maintaining the diet. I am not dieting, I'm eating a healthier diet.

I feel good and my pants fit better, and in the end that is the criteria I use.

Non-creative activities (0, Offtopic)

Voltronalpha (244088) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846624)

Videogames for the most part are about reward for effort and penalty for failure. If you do anything on that bias you might find yourself being less creative, and thus dropping the activity in that part of the brain, I'm an artist and an avid gamer this irreversible line is a bunch of hooey.

When was the last timne a clinical study aimed to prove something was bad or good failed at doing so.

Re:Non-creative activities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3846689)

Mod this down accidentally posted in the wrong thread

Re:Non-creative activities (-1)

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM (537317) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846735)

I knew they should not let retarded people use computers.

Porn! (-1)

The Porn Count (549103) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846630)

5.78 GB of delicious porn! All can be yours if you'll have HOT SWEATY MAN SEX with me!

Open Source Failure (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3846632)

What Open Source Zealots Don't Get

The News Forge editorial, We can put an end to Word attachments [link via Camworld], by Richard Stallman of the Free Software Foundation, illustrates perfectly why the free software/open source movement is never going to penetrate the mainstream consumer consciousness.

Caveat: I like open source software. I like the concept and I support it. What I dislike is the zealotry of hardcore open source/free software advocates, like Stallman, and their total disregard for how consumers view and use software. These zealots are stuck in a dogma that is constructed from the viewpoint of someone who develops software, not from the viewpoint of consumers who use software for reasons other than developing more software (which constitute the vast majority). The zealots of open source/free software present the movesment as serving manking, but in fact they have an overwhelming tendency to ignore the needs of any user not like themselves. This essay isn't an anti-open source rant, nor is it flag-waving support of Microsoft's monopolistic practices. It is intended to be a pragmatic look at why open source hasn't lived up to the hype.

Stallman's point in his editorial is that people shouldn't send Word attachments via email. Much of Stallman's rhetoric is justifiable. In fact, I think it's not only counter-productive, but rude, to send Word attachments to people who use open source software incapable of reading a .doc file. I'm continually annoyed myself by people who send HTML mail, never mind the lunatics who use Microsoft Word as their text editor in Microsoft Outlook. Email is much more efficient as plain text. If Stallman had positioned his screed as "use the right tool for the right audience in the right medium" I would have been totally on board with him.

However, much of Stallman's rhetoric is the usual open source/free software wheel-spinning that shows little consideration for or understanding of the vast majority of computer users. This part of the second paragraph sticks out:
Most computer users use Microsoft Word. That is unfortunate for them, because Word is proprietary software, denying its users the freedom to study, change, copy, and redistribute it.
There are all kinds of problems with Stallman's rhetoric, but this is the most glaring and is the ultimate of example of What "Open Source Zealots Don't Get." Here's the underlying concept that the open source movement has continually failed to understand. Ready? Here it is:
Most computer users don't give a crap about studying or changing software.
Get it? 99.985% of Microsoft Word users have absolutely no desire to view -- never mind modify -- the source code of Word. Why would they? They don't know how to code! Nor do they want to learn! It's like asking them to re-design the shovel to make it more appropriate to their needs. Hey, sure maybe 0.015% of shovel-users customize their shovels, but most people use the tool off-the-shelf, as is.

Stallman is right that people would like to freely copy and distribute software, but this is where we run up against the dirty secret of open source: open source developers like to scratch their own itch. And, unfortunately, that attitude doesn't jive with creating consumer applications, so those consumer needs get left up to businesses that need to make money off their product to exist.

Open source developers tend to work on projects that solve their own problems (which usually revolve around building software and working with others who build software). That's why we have great open source operating systems, web servers, compilers, etc., but are severely lacking in open source office suites, graphics and design tools, games, etc. Independent open source developers don't come together to develop those kind of applications like they do to develop web servers, compilers, and databases because developers typically don't have a desperate need for those kinds of apps. No itch, so why scratch?

Yes, I know there are some alternatives out there (primarily because the zealots have this mistaken idea that Linux will compete with Windows and Macintosh for the consumer desktop). I know about KOffice, AbiWord, GNOME Office, OpenOffice, and Sun Microsystems StarOffice.The only competitive contender on that list is StarOffice, which, of course, started as a proprietary application. Sun Microsystem's CEO, Steve McNeally, acquired StarOffice and open sourced it purely to attempt to spite Microsoft; Bill Gates just laughed. The Gimp is a fine graphics program, but it doesn't measure up (especially running under Windows) to Adobe Photoshop, or even Jasc Paint Shop Pro. And where are the competitive open source competitors for Adobe's Illustrator, ImageReady, PageMaker, InDesign, Premier, AfterEffects, etc.? What open source app would professionals choose over Macromedia Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Freehand, Flash, Shockwave, Director, Authorware, etc? Answer: they don't exist.

Open source developers don't care enough about those applications to develop them, and they sure don't care enough to develop them for the non-open source platforms (e.g. Windows, Mac) that most of the world uses. The bottom line is...well, the bottom line. If consumers want these kinds of tools that are of interest to consumers, but not of use to the geeks who know programming languages, then the consumers are either going to have to learn to code themselves (ain't gonna happen; we all have other careers) or the consumer will need to pay to have someone else develop them.

The demands for these consumer apps gets filled by corporations who exercise proprietary control over their intellectual property in order to recoup the development costs, because the companies have to hire developers to scratch someone else's itch. And that proprietary control means patents and copyrights1, because to make money off a product you must, repeat MUST, control reproduction and redistribution. And businesses are about making money.

If anyone had been able to demonstrate a competitive, scalable business model for a company that develops open source software, then I might get on board. But even RedHat, the open source developer with probably the most solid foundation and best shot, is still hemorrhaging money. Developing open source software works as a hobby; so far no one has been able to make developing open source software work as a business.

A bunch of developers might come together to develop a super open source web server like Apache to solve their own problems, but they don't get the same personal satisfaction from developing, for example, an open source consumer desktop publishing application or a GUI desktop -- witness the struggle to get KDE and GNOME to some usable point, and remember that Eazel tanked. Problems like those that have plagued the attempt to put an open source GUI on the Linux operating system illustrate another problem with open source: too many cooks in the kitchen screw up the menus. (Oooh. Pun!)

Choice is sometimes counterproductive to usefulness, and usefulness is paramount for a consumer application. This is where "network externalities" -- the economy of increasing returns -- comes into play. If ACME Industries makes ACME WonderSoap, the soap doesn't become more useful to the consumer (e.g. it doesn't clean your armpits better) if more people use it. That might be better for ACME, but my armpit gets just as fresh whether ten thousand or ten million people use ACME WonderSoap. Not so with software. If ACME industries makes a word processor, ACME WonderWord, then ACME WonderWord is much more valuable to me if ten million people use it as opposed to ten thousand, because we're all using the same tool. The best illustration of the concept of an economy of increasing returns is the Microsoft monopoly. People won't switch to Linux and StarOffice, because everyone else in their workplace or community is using Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office. In a networked environment where you have to share your output and input, life is more difficult if you're not using the same tool. This is where the open source approach shoots itself in the knew -- every Microsoft Windows XP desktop works the same, but if I want to get my officemate to help me with something, and I'm running GNOME and StarOffice and he's using KDE and KOffice, then we might as well be working on Windows and Macintosh. There's no increasing returns, when there's no consistency.

The open source response to that is "it's not the tool, it's the standard." If every tool adhered to an open standard, then they'd all work together. Which is basically Stallman's point -- use text or HTML instead of the proprietary Word .doc format. It's a lofty and valuable goal. But until the day when Stallman or someone else can figure out a way to get open source developers to scratch someone else's itch with the same fervor and quality with which they scratch their own, it's just not a realistic goal.

1I think copyright is an idea that has run it's course, but we're not at the point yet where it can be tossed out the window. And the little known fact is that Stallman has to support copyright, even if he won't announce it very loudly, because the GNU General Public License is founded on copyright. Putting software in the public domain doesn't satisfy Stallman's zealotry because someone can still use public domain software as the foundation or part of proprietary software. Instead, Stallman advocates copyleft, whereby instead of relinquishing copyright, the software developer retains copyright and licenses the software and source code under the condition that any changes or modifications also be licensed under the same restrictions. It's admirably clever, but I think Stallman ought to be as concerned as the RIAA about copyright. If copyright unravels, so does the GPL. [back]

One thing that bugs me about diets (1)

marcushnk (90744) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846634)

Is that when you break the human body's functions down to the simplest forms, you find that its all "energy"... You feed food into the body, and the body converts it to energy. Now this energy can be used as fat deposits or as the traditional term of energy which lets you run a long way or lift heavy monitors. If you eat N amount of energy but only use X amount ( N being more than X ) then Y is left to be stored for later. Its really a very simple equasion. burn more than you eat and ye shall store less fat No diet in the world is going to help you unless you remember that basic fact.

Re:One thing that bugs me about diets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3846682)

Yes, it is as easy as that. I like the radio ad in GTA3 that goes on about the easy way to lose weight. The wife says "i've tried everything to lose weight", then the husband says "that's right doll face apart from eating right and exercising!".

Exercise is the key here: gain muscle mass and speed up metabolism. Diet is a lesser consideration.

I'm a fat bastard because I'm not exercising at the moment (its too bloody cold to go running), combined with a crap diet.

Re:One thing that bugs me about diets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3846714)

This is exactly right except that it neglects to take into consideration that:

1) Foods are converted into energy at different rates, and

2) Individual metabolisms are different, which is why two people can eat the same amount and one burns it all as energy and the other packs it on as fat.

It also doesn't take into consideration the body's natural reaction to starvation which is to slow the metabolism. By starvation dieting (intake of calories calories burned) you put yourself at a disadvantage for further weight loss.

Re:One thing that bugs me about diets (2)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846717)

(* If you eat N amount of energy but only use X amount ( N being more than X ) then Y is left to be stored for later. Its really a very simple equasion. burn more than you eat and ye shall store less fat No diet in the world is going to help you unless you remember that basic fact. *)

It is not that simple. For one, matabilism will often slow down if you reduce your caloric intake. Billions of years of evolution has tought the body to efficiently hord food, but this is not what modern people need.

(begin flamebait)

My big fat ugly belly is proof of evolution, you Bible-thumpin' zealots!

(end flaimbait)

Further, if you reduce your amount below what the body wants, it cranks up the craving harmones, and it is harder and harder to resist.

Dilbert (0, Offtopic)

skydude_20 (307538) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846651)

My way to trim the pounds: Still pumped from using the mouse [amazon.com]

Whats there to study? (2)

HanzoSan (251665) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846656)



To lose weight you simply take in less calories than your maintnance.

If you need 2000 calories to support your 190lbs, you go down to 1900 calories, then 2 weeks later go down to 1800 and stay around there for about 4-5 months. Occassionally to keep your metabolism fast you do a 3000-4000 calorie day once a week.

The low carb thing is healthy but it wont make you lose weight for long because you cant stay in ketosis for 6 months or so which is about how long it will take to lose about 50lbs

Not that easy. (1)

Catskul (323619) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846737)

There are a few problems with that... Everybody has a different metabolism, and metabolism is dynamic (ie the food you eat can change your metabolism), so its hard to guess how many calories you burn a day. Also, its really hard to count calories assuming that you knew how many are burned a day.

My solution is just to run 3 times a week (2 miles)... Then I eat when Im hungry. The only thing I stay away from is Softdrinks/sugar filled drinks, and candy. And dont eat just because you are bored !

Get your facts straight (3, Funny)

mangu (126918) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846660)

There was an article in Science magazine a few months ago about this. The main conclusion was that there are no truly "dangerous" foods. Food is not poisonous. The real problem is with people *not* getting the kinds of food they should eat, like green vegetables, for instance.

I particularly remember a comment that the most unhealthy diet in Europe was found in Scotland, where the only widely comsumed leafy vegetable was tobacco.

Re:Get your facts straight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3846772)

Why is it that on their vegetable-less diet that they kicked the English's arses for so long in battle?

a pistol in your urethra (-1)

petrolleum (555766) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846662)

Oh no, the president has been shot!


By me!

They sold me! (1)

rueba (19806) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846665)

The evidence may not be completely air tight but this article makes a persuasive case. I read this article last night. I had been trying to shed some pounds for a while with little success, now I have a possible explanation.

From this morning I went cold turkey, in fact when I wake up tomorrow I am going to chuck the cereal and bagels in the trash can.

Things I 'll have to give up:-

Pasta - never liked it, except for macaroni and cheese.

Bread- I LOVE bread, especially white bread.

Cereal- I used to eat cereal religiously. No more!

Pizza - OUCH! no pain no gain...

Sugar rich substances ?? cakes, Coke etc. I have to check on this.

The good thing is that you can have a ton of meat and fatty foods, and of course vegetables and fruits.

On the plus side, this will freak my mom out a lot less than becoming a vegetarian or something...

99% of stuff in the supermarket is 'Low Fat' (1, Flamebait)

DeafDumbBlind (264205) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846677)

So how come there are so many fat people about?

Re:99% of stuff in the supermarket is 'Low Fat' (2, Interesting)

Voltronalpha (244088) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846719)

It's a common misconception that if you don't eat fatty food you won't gain weight. When they show you how many grams of fat are in a food it's listing the 'fat present at the time' Your body can convert many things to fat to be stored. Eat 10 lbs of fat free food a day and try to guess what happens, that is why many people are fat. They over consume and under exercise.

Re:99% of stuff in the supermarket is 'Low Fat' (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846761)

I highly doubt your scientific sampling. Firstly, there are very few "low fat" items in the grocery store (at best you'll see "reduced fat"), and those items are often on the cobweb coated racks. Secondly, a tremendous portion of our meals come from outside of the home, and the restaurant and fast food industries are HORRENDOUS when it comes to fat (McDonalds finally, grudglingly, introduced a couple of lower fat items. Other restaurants, such as Wendys, fool people into thinking things like their new salads are low fat when, for instance, the Honey Mustard dressing has a heart clogging 28g of fat).

Watch the "Lean Cuisine" aisle for a bit, and then watch the cookie and chips aisles...I suspect you'll see about 20x the traffic in the latter.

Re:99% of stuff in the supermarket is 'Low Fat' (1)

Voltronalpha (244088) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846780)

"the Honey Mustard dressing has a heart clogging 28g of fat"

Fat doesn't clog the heart. I think you are thinking of cholesterol.

Re:99% of stuff in the supermarket is 'Low Fat' (3, Interesting)

mangu (126918) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846769)

You didn't read the article, did you?

Never mind, neither did I. But the point is that in the last few decades there has been a great increase in "low fat" food being offered in the USA. At the same time, the country is going into a huge obesity epidemy.

OK, let's do a totally unscientific and empirical study. Can you eat just a few "low fat" potato chips? Can you eat two club crackers and put the package away? That's the problem with "low fat" food: you never get enough of it.

With fatty food, you just don't want to eat more after a normal serving. Try to eat a juicy steak, and a serving of potato chips afterwards. You will find that about 150 grams of fatty meat are enough to satisfy a "normal human being", if such thing exists, but you cannot ever get enough "low fat" potato chips. Food manufacturers count on this simple fact.

Not the case... (5, Informative)

mensan98th (177463) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846698)

Caveat: I work at Pennington Bimedical Research Center, and my boss, Dr. George Bray, was interviewed for but not quoted in the NYTimes article, I suspect because he argues for what he calls "the inevitability of calories." Some problems with the article:

1. It's lopsided journalism (surprised?). There's no *honest* attempt at balance, which is precisely what the author accuses the researchers of doing.

2. The acknowledgement of the validity of the alternative position is buried in the middle of the article on page 4: "Few experts now deny that the low-fat message is radically oversimplified." The author seems to return to it, but never really does.

3. Atkins's program, as with other low-carb programs, work well initially but are extremely difficult to maintain. (The same is true of low-fat diets, incidentally.) This is acknowledged by the research community.

4. Some of the substantiations, such as that claiming that one's body sees all carbohydrates as sugars (page 5), is imprecise.

5. An "Atkins diet without excess fat" (page 7) is a low-fat diet. Someone needs to get over himself.

6. This quote is especially choice: "...the public-health authorities may indeed have a problem on their hands. Once they took their leap of faith and settled on the low-fat dietary dogma 25 years ago, they left little room for contradictory evidence or a change of opinion, should such a change be necessary to keep up with the science" (page 7). It only seems like "contradictory evidence or a change of opinion" if you're outside the research community. This is one research community that is not monolithic.

Do more investigation before taking this article as gospel.

Re:Not the case... (0)

MonkeyMAN (90389) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846750)

5. An "Atkins diet without excess fat" (page 7) is a low-fat diet. Someone needs to get over himself.
No, it would be a high protein diet.

The Zone diet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3846699)

I tried this one, and it "works." By that, I mean I determined what my ideal(ized) weight should be and set my food intake accordingly (as described in the book), taking into account the fact that I was at the gym 5-6 times per week and that I have a slow metabolism.

Definitely had a ton of energy, definitely lost weight. A friend of mine joined in, he got really lean really fast, so much so that his worried mother asked me if he was eating at all.

However, the problem with this one is that while it could be a lifestyle diet (the author claims to have bought into his creation completely for the sake of his health), for the casual human it is not fun at all. Being so concerned about when to eat what and how much, and then whether it has a high glycemic index, how many blocks you had already, how many you have left, etc etc... it gets demoralizing.

For the month or so I managed to stick with it (I've tried other times, but a month was the longest single block of time), I would say the results were obvious. Two-hour workouts went well, cardio and lifting, showed improvement in both, and I would say that I got by comfortably on 5-6 hours of sleep per night. I just couldn't stand watching and measuring every single thing down to the rice grain.

The author has a cookbook out and there are various avenues to getting a "zone favorable meal" in front of you, but it is only for the dedicated. IMHO.

The Troll Polka: UPDATED (-1, Offtopic)

poopbot (591270) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846705)

THE TROLL POLKA (ARSCHFICKEN MIT ZIEGEN) By Serial Troller, 2002-06-25 Is das nicht ein early post? Ja! Das ist mein early post! Is das nicht ein Goatse ghost? Ja! Das ist mein Goatse ghost! Early post, Goatse ghost, Oh, du schoene, Oh, du schoene, Oh, du schoene, Slashdot sucks! Is das post at minus one? Ja! Das ist at minus one! Is das trolling so much fun? Ja! Das trolling is so fun! Minus one, trolling fun, Early post, Goatse ghost, Oh, du schoene, Oh, du schoene, Oh, du schoene, Slashdot sucks! Is das nicht ein big crapflood? Ja! Das ist mein big crapflood! Is it worthless Linux FUD? Ja! Das ist mein Linux FUD! Big crapflood, Linux FUD, Minus one, trolling fun, Early post, Goatse ghost, Oh, du schoene, Oh, du schoene, Oh, du schoene, Slashdot sucks! Is das nicht der CowBoiKneel? Ja! Das ist der CowBoiKneel! Is dis nicht his manchode meal? Ja! Das ist his manchode meal! CowBoiKneel, manchode meal, Big crapflood, Linux FUD, Minus one, trolling fun, Early post, Goatse ghost, Oh, du schoene, Oh, du schoene, Oh, du schoene, Slashdot sucks! Is das nicht ein WIPO Troll? Ja! Das ist der WIPO Troll! Is das nicht ein Goatse hole? Ja! Das ist der Goatse hole! WIPO Troll, Goatse hole, CowBoiKneel, manchode meal, Big crapflood, Linux FUD, Minus one, trolling fun, Early post, Goatse ghost, Oh, du schoene, Oh, du schoene, Oh, du schoene, Slashdot sucks! Is das nicht Jon Katz' slave boys? Ja! Das ist Jon Katz' slave boys! Und are they not Taco's sex toys? Ja! They are Taco's sex toys! Katz' slave boys, Rob's sex toys, WIPO Troll, Goatse hole, CowBoiKneel, manchode meal, Big crapflood, Linux FUD, Minus one, trolling fun, Early post, Goatse ghost, Oh, du schoene, Oh, du schoene, Oh, du schoene, Slashdot sucks! Is das nicht ein trolltalk thread? Ja! Das ist ein trolltalk thread! Is it nicht now FUCKING DEAD? Ja! Is really FUCKING DEAD! Trolltalk thread, FUCKING DEAD! Katz' slave boys, Rob's sex toys, WIPO Troll, Goatse hole, CowBoiKneel, manchode meal, Big crapflood, Linux FUD, Minus one, trolling fun, Early post, Goatse ghost, Oh, du schoene, Oh, du schoene, Oh, du schoene, Slashdot sucks! ____________________ Change Log: * Subtle changes to most verses. It sounded really gay before. * Removed all references to Taco's pud. May have been high at time. Will investigate further. * Finally think I have goat sex written correctly in German. I think. Arschficken? (C) 2002 Serial Troller. Permission to reproduce this document is granted provided that you send all the bukkake porn you can find to serialtroller@hotmail.com.

Trolling /. since 7/8/02

What?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3846707)

What, eating fat doesn't make you fatter? Next you're going to try to tell me that eating muscle doesn't make you stronger, and eating brains doesn't make you smarter. Then you're probably going to tell that I've been wasting my time eating these Rocky Mountain Oysters...

We gonna rock down to (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3846723)

electric avenue
oh out in the street
oh out in the street

shhh magic secret (2, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846728)

less food in + get off ass => healthier

I dunno why people assume that instantly dropping 20lbs in a week is a sign of being "healthier". I'd say picking up more energy, stamina, better moods, better social interactions is also ideal.

Little known fact but being healthier normally reduces stress on the body even before you lose your first pound [or gain muscle].

People gotta stop looking at the scale and just eat reasonable portions of food.

Duh....

Tom

Factor Analysis (5, Interesting)

Somnus (46089) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846762)

How does one get ripped? Look at all the shredded people, and see what they do and what they have going for them in the environment and genetically. My subjective observations, based on the research I've done to formulate my own diet/training program:
  • Eat a diet low in saturated fats (generally, animal fats) and simple/refined carbs, high in protein, vegetables and fiber, with just the right amount of complex carbs and essential fatty acids (generally, canola and fish).
  • Hit the weights. The extra lean muscle mass increases your base metabolism.
  • Cardio is good, but overrated. It compels your body to raid sugar stores instead of burn fat because the rate in energy expenditure is too high to burn fat efficiently. Having a higher base metabolism is the best strategy since it burns all day.
  • Eat all day, in small amounts -- increases utilization since your body expects food to be coming in short order. The flip side is if you miss a meal (e.g., if you're traveling), you feel like you want to go into "standby."
  • It helps to be a good athlete who can pack on muscle easily.
  • Sleep and relax like you don't have a care in the world -- stress (read: cortisol) is the enemy of looking and feeling healthy.

My own results have been mixed. I got pretty lean late last year when I had time to do things right, and my strength and endurance were quite good, but I didn't gain as much muscle mass as I wanted. I was probably overtraining, lifting four days a week an hour at a time, all out.

This dude [owensfitness.com] is hardcore -- he's probably the top male fitness model out there right now. The only modification I've made is that I lift more and play basketball and do less cardio, and try to eat big after a workout to replenish my muscles.

What's worked for Slashdotters?

Dieting sucks (1)

Joey7F (307495) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846773)

Seriously it does. How about you just get off your butt and exercise. Seriously, exercise for 1.5 hours every day and eat whatever the hell you want.

--Joey

What else is new? Of course we don't know yet... (2, Insightful)

dublin (31215) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846774)

The interesting thing, from a scientific perspective, is the sheer lack of study - and the reticence from the scientific community to question the party line.

Wow. Sounds just like evolution. What a coincidence. (Seriously, this isn't a troll (although I fear it will be moderated as one), but rather a sober observation that science is not often interested in investigating things that don't fit with the current body of popular opinion. Regardless of one's opinions on diets or evolution, there is clearly much more real science needing to be done before anyone should run around claiming an exclusive on the facts. In general that hardest thing for scientists to admit is that we simply don't know, even when that's the honest answer...)

And yet, the "science" is so simple. (1)

Vito (117562) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846776)

Barring a genetic or hormonal issue, when you eat, you're taking in calories. Your body burns off some doing its normal metabolic processes, some goes out when you piss and crap, and the rest takes up residence in your fat ass.

The trick is, then, to only consume what you need. Or, less than you need, and your body will eventually relent and burn off some of that fat, and you'll lose weight.

Ladies and gentlemen, time to run up John Walker's(1) bandwidth bill some more, get his name in the papers again, and introduce some more people to The Hacker's Diet.

Available in both North American [fourmilab.to] and European [fourmilab.ch] mirrors, The Hacker's Diet takes a practical, pragmatic, engineer's approach to losing weight, and more importantly, maintaining that new weight, both stably and comfortably.

In fact, it even has a section on basic excercise to get you somewhat fit. Not to get you starring in a Bally's Total Fitness commercial. Just able to run up a flight of stairs without passing out. Fit, as in, healthy, instead of fat, as in unhealthy. Gosh, what a concept.

Now we'll do the webblog plug, too. Mark Pilgrim(2) wrote a great writeup of The Hacker's Diet twice, last August and an extended, much more blunt version last October. Here's the October version [diveintomark.org] . Go read it.

Then get off your ass, sit outside, and read the book. Download the PalmOS apps to your Visor, your Clio, or your Zaurus with POSE. And do something about that Mr. Fatty-Fat-Fat nickname.

(1) John Walker, founder of AutoDesk. (2) Mark Pilgrim, that guy who got fired because of his weblog, and who wrote Dive into Python. (3) And why does Slashcode strip out superscript and underscores? Weak.

I was wondering if this topic would make it here.. (3, Informative)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846781)

All I have to say is that it's a long article. If you don't understand low-carb or Atkins then please don't knock it until you read it.

I've always been overweight and have always been in the low-fat and exercise camp. It didn't work.

My wife and I went to a nutritionist who explained the principles behind low-carb. I had heard about Atkins and low-carb and been skeptical until I listened to the principles behind it. It made a lot of sense. 5 months and 50 pounds later, I no longer suffer from acid reflux, and weigh less than I did when I graduated high school almost 20 years ago.

Despite popular beliefs, my weight loss has been almost 100% fat - I get an analysis every other week.

Certainly we can bandy about talking about exersize and balanced diets - and I agree 100%, ultimately the way to stay healthy is a balanced diet (although not the food pyramid, which is a joke) and exersize. But to get to that point obese people need to lose the weight first! And for people who simply don't have a lot of time to exersize (and no, I don't watch TV, either), low-carb works wonders.

I have to say that - it really seems like almost a miracle. I no longer take medication for acid reflux (was taking for over a year and a half). A friend of mine's mom went low-carb and now no longer needs her diabetes medication. And we've all lost weight.

The scientific principles behind it really make sense, and every single person I know who is trying it is succeeding. I know a lot of people doing low-fat diets, too. Some of them are succeeding, some of them not - but none of them have had the kind of results I've gotten by doing low-carb.

I think this is important for this group - I know a lot of healthy programmers, but I know a lot more fat ones.

Muscle "Fuel" is from only one source! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3846783)

Open any physiology text book. Two main established tenets: 1. Muscles burn only one type of fuel-glycogen and 2. Fat burns (best) in a carbohydrate flame! How does your body make glycogen? It converts it from simple and complex sugars, ie, carbohydrates. You can make glycogen from fat, but you body only does it in the complete absence of carbohydrates through a process called ketosis, which is extremely ineffecient method for producing energy from your fat stores as well as a source for some nasty by-products called ketones which will poison you at high enough levels. This is why the Atkins diet works, it relies on ketosis to help you shed pounds. Personally, I'd rather ingest the proper fuel and use it to burn the fat on my body through a process called "exercise".

Its all about Endocrinology (1)

DrBlake (60544) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846785)

I have had to learn a lot of endocrinology to care for my two diabetic children and this article makes a lot sense to me.
In essence it is saying that the way we get our calories matters more than the amount and that is because of the way our bodies has worked since very early in our evolution. Insulin, which is the hormone that makes it possible for us to use the sugar released from our stomachs into the blood stream after we eat, is also necessary for our bodies to store excessive sugars as fat (for consumption at a later time when we might not have food). This function was useful when we were hunters and gatherers since it was not always possible to hunt or gather something all the times we were hungry.
Now, in this current situation, when we have food every time we are hungry, if we eat more carbohydrates than we can use for the moment and little fat the presence of insulin will convert the excess carbohydrates as fat. After 2 hours of insulin secretion the system will have no more insulin available and the storing will cease for the moment. If we eat the opposite way: (a lot of fat and very little carbohydrates there will be very little insulin secretion because the beta cells in the pancreas secretes exactly as much insulin as needed at any given time). That means that the body will quickly use up the carbohydrates and then use up the remaining fat since there is no carbohydrates available and because there is no insulin present (it has been used up by the carbohydrate burning).
This all makes sense to me based on the admittedly limited knowledge I have of endocrinology. Perhaps someone who knows more endocrinology can correct me if I am totally wrong.

Speaking from experience... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3846790)

Having lost over a hundred pounds about ten years ago, then gaining it all back and more within two years, I can tell you this. You can tell us to exercise, eat less carbs, eat less fat, eat less protein, work out, (fill in choice of solution here) until you are blue in the face, it ain't gonna work for some people.

I knew a cute little thing that had received her nutritionist something degree back in the mid to late 80's or so. She had a degree, so knew more than all of us. Start her talking about nutrition! She insisted that what everyone was doing, the four food groups, was all wrong. It had to be the pyramid. They believed in global cooling back then also. Pyramid, pyramid, pyramid. Well guess what? No more pyramid I believe. They also sold a bill of goods to the American public, and internationally by convincing everyone that corn oil was better than anything including olive oil, and margarine was much better than butter.

Some people can not lose weight. I know someone who died of a heart attack who weighed over 400 pounds, and I am still heavy.

The sad fact is that the degrees will insist that the Atkins diet is unsafe and unhealthy, and cannot be used. It follows a protocol that is against everything they learned to get their degree. The fact that people actually lose weight on the diet doesn't matter. The fact that in most cases bad cholesterol does not go up doesn't matter. The fact that total cholesterol doesn't go up doesn't mattter. If you die, you die, but you are not allowed to lose weight with the Atkins diet because that would make all those degrees out there useless.

One of my parents grew up in an agricultural background. Heavy carbohydrates all the time. Pasta daily, sometimes twice a day. Bread galore. Yadda yadda yadda. Thin as sticks, the entire side of family.

My other parent grew up heavy meat eater. Not too much carbs. Watched cholesterol religiously. Checked blood pressure with medical equipment at home. SMA-12, SMA-?, SMA-?, tri-glycerides, hdl, ldl. Good physical condition into late 30's. Guess what? Heavy into early 40's, and heavy ever since.

Global cooling, corn oil, coffee causes cancer, margarine over butter, canned formula over brea*t milk, pyramid, b-12 shots, the list is endless.

People must die so that nutritionist can save face and feel better about the basis of their degrees.

Re:Speaking from experience... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3846819)

btw, my weight loss was gradual. It took me almost a year to lose it all. I rarely lost more than 2 lbs a week, except for the weeks where the body relented, and I lost 3-4 lbs of water, then body rebelled and it was hard to continue, but it still averaged about 2 lbs a week. I graphed it so the numbers and times are correct. I was very careful, and it was under a doctor's amazed supervision.

Some Points Not Yet Discussed (2)

Schlemphfer (556732) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846811)

Here are four things that weren't mentioned in the Times article and haven't yet been mentioned in the comments here.

First, despite the huge length of the article, nearly everything mentioned to support the Atkins-type diets was anecdotal. Compare that to efforts like Dean Ornish's [amazon.com] carefully controlled studies, where participants ate all they wanted of near-vegan foods and generally lost significant weight.

Second, this is anecdotal, but I've never met anyone who could stick with the Atkins plan for more than a year. And while I'm being anecdotal, take a look at the bookjack photos of Atkins and Sears. Do you really think they look healthy?

Third, and this is a huge concern for some and a trivial concern for others, consider the massive farm animal killing that meat-centered diets require. I've personally been healthy as can be for fifteen years, ever since I switched to a vegan diet. But the big attraction for me is that my food dollar no longer funds the slaughterhouse.

Finally, keep in mind that Ornish-type programs invariably contain loads of fruits and vegetables -- which have been shown to significantly reduce risks of many types of cancer. After all, there are other health matters to think about beyond obesity.

Re:Some Points Not Yet Discussed (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3846830)

wacko

Atkins works... (1)

jps3 (2870) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846814)

I used the Atkins "New Diet Revolution" book guidelines from about 2/2001 through 9/2001. Dropped sixty pounds, ate grandly. Got back down to my cycling competition weight. Everyone told me I was destroying my liver, heart and/or kidneys, etc. Well, worked great. Last physical was perfect.

The hard part can be sticking to it. Everything out there in restaurants, at grocery stores, etc caters to high-carb and, usually, high-fat foods. Going out with friends and family becomes annoying in having to (re)explain how the diet works, counter the heresay "arguments" they have about you destroying your liver, kidneys, heart, flux capacitors, etc.

That said. Works great, but can be hard to stick to if only because of what's typically available. EVERYTHING has carbs, sugars, starches, ... Very annoying.

Mmmmm Protein! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3846821)

For the Atikins dieter who loves chicken nuggets...

Fowl play [guardian.co.uk]

I like this one:

...mechanically recovered meat (MRM), which is obtained by pushing the carcass through a giant teabag-like screen to produce a slurry of protein, then bound back together with polyphosphates and gums. Nor does he use other additives.

Marketing and Money (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846822)

Diatetics for the masses is all about marketing and money. Science be damned.

To be successful, a diet plan has to be different and question common reasoning in order to be successful through the sale of books/videos/deal-a-meals/frozen food.

Eating a balanced diet based on proportions of the USDA food triangle? Bah, that's too obvious.

Try eating only grapfruit for a week... That sounds cool. Eat nothing but meat... Hey why didn't I think of that? Here's my $40. Thanks for the new book to add to my growing collection.

Aside from those with genetic disorders, the secret to losing weight is dead simple -- Use more energy than you consume through more physical activity. Starvation dieting will only set you up for a rebound as your body does its best to prepare for impending famine.

You can't make money with such simplicity so the quacks come up with complicated idiotic systems for the sheeple to consume... leaving every one fat and happy.

Many fat trolls here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3846824)

after all they are well feed.

I've read The Zone, and Body For Life (4, Interesting)

puppetman (131489) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846826)

Both are healthier (I think) varients on Atkin's diet.

Higher fat, healty protien, and carbs from non-refined sources makes sense. It more closely follows the diet that we've evolved to do well on.

I don't believe in saturated fat. And I don't believe in most animal protien.

I've never seen a study that says vegetables cause cancer, and meat prevents it. It's always been the reverse. Most meat is stuffed with antibiotics (which most experts believe is helping create antibiotic-resistent super bugs) and pesticides (the higher up the food chain you go, the more pesticides you will see, as it is stored in body fat; dead whales in the St Laurence are have toxicity levels high enough to get them classified as toxic waste). The meat industry also creates alot of pollution (mostly due to the size of sed industry); manure poisons ground water, etc. In Canada, we had a case in Walkerton were a bunch of people died after cow shit got into the drinking water during a flood.

And, especially for Slashdotters, don't use vitamin suppliments. Two studies just came out that said vitamin E (and, to a lesser extent, vitamin C) reduce the chances of getting Alzheimers; lesions relating to free radicals are found on most Alzheimer patients, and thus anti-oxidants are being viewed as a potential salvation. But only if you get it from natural sources. Pills had no effect.

And then there was the study on smokers who took beta carotene in pill form. They had a higher incidence of lung cancer than those who didn't take the vitamin pills.

Soy has been shown to have many benefits - lowering cancer risks in both men and women. There are alot of great soy analogues out there for hot dogs, hamburgers, ground beef, etc. Try a few - some are pretty good.

They've known how to diet all along... (1)

zaffir (546764) | more than 12 years ago | (#3846829)

Go read the dieting info on some bodybuilding sites (ABC Bodybuilding [abcbodybuilding.com] is probably the best one out there) and follow the diet plans there - low carb (not Atkins-style ketosis diets), high protein, moderate ammounts of good fats, etc.

How do you think those professional bodybuilders get that paper-thin skin look? Roids won't do it - serious dieting will. Heck, take a look at some off-season pics of the Mr. Universe competitors - they have huge guts and sure as hell aren't ripped. But they lose all that by eating similarly to those diets on the bodybuilding sites (everyone reacts slightly differently to food, so you have to personalize slightly).
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