Rigorous science in nutrition science: The launch of NuSI

Yesterday, September 13th 2012, might go down in history as a very important day for nutrition science. Gary Taubes and Petter Attia launched NuSI, the Nutrition Science Initiative, with the intention to bring to nutrition science something that it is currently direly lacking: the scientific method.

Gary, now famous in the US as the author of Good Calories, Bad Calories (GC, BC) and more recently  of Why We Get Fat, has maybe almost single-handedly brought on a tidal wave of debate and discussion about the dietary wisdom and standard recommendations that have been given for about 4 decades now, and that, according to him but clearly speaking for themselves in the state of the population as a whole, are the very reason why there is an undeniable epidemic of obesity and type-II diabetes. If you read either one of his books, but especially the longer version GC, BC, you will see that there really is not much room for debate as far as what the evidence suggests. What is lacking, are large-scale controlled studies.

Peter read GC, BC and realising the truth of it, understood the reasons why he was, as so many other people still are, getting fatter and unhealthier by the day despite following the standard dietary recommendations and intense daily physical exercise. He met Gary, and together they decided to do this: to create a non-profit organisation whose purpose would be to fund, design and oversee the carrying out of rigorously scientific controlled studies that would test and put to rest the doubts that many scientists and people have about the effects that have the various macronutrients—especially carbohydrates and fats—on our health.

This is what NuSI is about, and I believe that it will succeed. It might take 20 years, but it will happen. And eventually, I’m pretty confident that the standard dietary recommendations on the calorie breakdown will be close to what I and a rather few others recommend: between 60-80% from unprocessed fats with the bulk of it from saturated fats, 10-20% from protein, and 10-20% from fibrous carbohydrates (no simple or starchy carbs). I am truly very happy about this initiative because I know that it will bring about great benefit to the health of the US population, but also to that of the rest of the world. However, I also know that it will take a long time, and more likely, a very long time before this actually happens. Nonetheless, I found it important to write a little something about this endeavour that it dear to my heart as well.


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