Female Logic

I hate to blithely dismiss a whole swathe of scientific findings but I don’t believe a word of this. Fat gene, my foot

Gosh, what is it, what stunning secret knowledge makes India Knight capable of simply dismissing peer reviewed science?

Having written a diet book explaining how I lost my five stone, I also have a diet website that acts as a support tool.

Ah, she\’s written a diet book. Can\’t have science harming the royalty stream now, can we?



10 thoughts on “Female Logic”

  1. Of course there’s a fat gene. There’s lots of them. Humans regularly go through starvation bottlenecks which bops off anyone that can’t store excess energy as fat. Duh.

    And I lost 5 stone too. And I’m going to write a book about it, although it’ll be a small book: eat less than you need, exercise more to increase what you need, and measure both to eliminate subjectivity.

  2. People are in danger of elevating “peer reviewed science” a bit above its station. The crucial question is how good the evidence is, not merely whether the work has been “peer reviewed”. The best evidence comes from controlled experiments – everything else is much inferior. If you have to settle for mere observation, then the best evidence involves sytems that are intrinsically simple and where the measurements are reproducible, unambiguous, precise and accurate. There are other tests, but that list is a decent start. At its worst, “peer reviewed” can mean simply that the work attains the standard usual in some area of near-junk science.

  3. “At its worst, “peer reviewed” can mean simply that the work attains the standard usual in some area of near-junk science.”

    Indeed. Articles in the Daily Telegraph are “peer reviewed” because the editor looked at them.

  4. So what? You are stuck with your genes and can do nothing about them but you can do something about how much you eat. If you are starved you don’t get fat.

  5. Peer-review counts for a lot, but so does the journal in which it is published. The big famous journals tend to carry the stronger articles than the lesser known ones.

    Kay Tie, DT articles don’t count as peer-reviewed. The normal process is that the editor and two scientists in the same field that have not recently collaborated with the author assess the work. Additionally, this process is often double-blind such that the reviewers don’t know who the author is and the author doesn’t know who the reviewers are.

    The editor chooses whether to send it to review, the reviewers decide whether it is publishable and if so what corrections it requires, sometimes including additional experiments. It isn’t perfect and it can easily take a year but it is far more stringent than the whim of a columnist.

  6. “Kay Tie, DT articles don’t count as peer-reviewed.”

    I was being facetious.

    “It isn’t perfect and it can easily take a year but it is far more stringent than the whim of a columnist.”

    You left out the bit where the anonymous reviewers in the same field piss all over the paper to frustrate a competing research team, and the editor has to play nanny and step in to the squabble. I had a friend who got back a review comment that said “this paper is not suitable for publication because covers a topic I intend to write about shortly”. Seriously.

  7. Sorry, wasn’t sure if you were joking or not. The inner-workings of the scientific community tend to be a mystery to those outside of them and it would be easy to confuse a journal with a magazine if you didn’t know how the reviewing process worked.

    There is a bit of what you’ve mentioned but there are a few ways out of it. Firstly, you can recommend certain individuals to review it. Secondly, two reviewers that don’t know of each other allows the more needlessly critical remarks to stand out because of the contrast between the “it’s great” and “it sucks” responses. What sometimes happens is that you counter the criticisms to a point that they can’t really argue it past the editor and then they publish a paper that is a criticism of yours. It’s an arse and needlessly competitive but I’m not sure of an alternate system that works better.

  8. What there are, is HUNGRY GENES.

    Of course there isn’t a fat gene. Energy in minus energy out = fat put on. Even people with “fat genes” lose weight if they actually follow diets properly.

    So what is needed is a better understanding of how/why people regulate their eating.

    After we have a better understanding of when being fat is a problem and when not.

  9. Ben, if it comes down to hungry genes, why am I (who can polish off enormous meals) skinny, and my friends are so much heftier than me? They have often remarked that if I had a coat of arms it would include a knife and fork.

    I reckon it is a genetic influence of the efficiency of metabolism, but perhaps it is a skinny gene, which makes folk like me deficient in our metabolic efficiency.

  10. Monty, there are differences in metabolism but there are also differences of habit. For example, it isn’t just about exercise, restlessness is an important factor. Fidgeting burns up vast amounts of calories.

    My worry is that now we are identifying the underlying genetic factors that play a part in a person’s weight, it will encourage yet more people to throw their hands up and say “oh, it’s not my fault” followed by “there’s nothing to be done”. Eating less and moving more works, fat genes or no.

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