And I reckon changing diet can tend to be explosive
Yeah - make changes gradually :).
I also note that some of the hard science intersects with natural health theories and practice
Yeah my impression is these scientists are working quite hard to stay in the science arena which is why any advice they are willing to give is strictly prefaced with "this is what I do and not my professional recommendation" because they know the data is still too uncertain.
What sorts of dietary changes are these? Probiotic yoghurt would be an obvious one I guess.
The comments, and these are from interviews on the science podcasts I listen to, say diversity seems to be beneficial. So you get diversity from eating lots of different foods. But in particular anything fermented, kimchi and yoghurt but also other fermented foods. They also suggested making your own bread but I don't understand how anything survives the baking process.
You get gut microbiome diversity from gardening, getting your hands dirty. And from eating food straight from the garden. Dirt is good :). You get gut microbiome diversity from having a dog!
So for me, the way I've tried to adapt my diet is to try and avoid falling into a rut. Also try to eat fresh salad greens etc and yeah some yoghurt. And I also try and limit highly processed foods. I'm not great at doing those things but I try.
BTW they also point out that almost all the "probiotic" foods/pills etc are just large doses of brewers yeast (Saccharomyces) which is kind of pointless and usually quite expensive compared to just eating brewers yeast (which I don't think is worthwhile either).
Bear in mind also that while I've read widely I am a plant developmental/molecular biologist and not an expert on the gut microbiome so my opinion is my opinion.
This gut flora stuff is the key to much of us. I’m fascinated by the research.
I've been following the microbiome story for a while now, and tweeting most of the links to it that I read.
It is pretty clear that the science is still in it's infancy and a lot of studies being done are not to a terribly high standard. Jonathan Eisen is someone to follow if you are seriously interested in microbiome science and criticism of the field.
With that caveat in mind there have been some fascinating studies done in mice that link microbiome to weight gain and weight loss. There have also been interesting studies suggesting the microbiome in mice and humans suffers from jetlag! There are lots of studies showing feacal transplants (sadly the ones delivered to the top of the bowel eewww) can help with some serious chronic illnesses.
What's relevant to this topic is there have been studies showing the microbiome is pretty dramatically dependent on diet. I don't think anyone is brave enough to conclude (yet) that high-sugar high-processed food diets promote a microbiome that favours weight gain but folks have shown some pretty interesting differences that suggest big changes in the microbiome have correlations with metabolic diseases.
But all that must be considered with the caveat that the science is new and some of those studies haven't been done by the best groups in the field so may not stand up to replication. Also by their very nature these studies are mostly correlative and do not show cause and effect. Nevertheless most of the folks working in the field say they personally have changed their diet to promote microbiome diversity even when they aren't willing to put anything in a journal paper.
pick a venue and have it out, then leave it there.
That would be good.
I have to admit I don't feel comfortable (safe) knowing that discussions about the discussion are going on elsewhere.
I discuss things here in good faith. I don't set out to offend. What I say here is what I think. I don't say anything different anywhere else and don't play games here.
I have come here for decades because most folks here are also intent on discussing in good faith. We may end up disagreeing but that's part of the nature of discussions. Usually the expectation is that even if we don't agree we try and understand each others point of view.
Of late I've felt that really hasn't been as consistent as it used to be. Partly it's just change in the people here, partly it's because some folks want to play games here and in other places on the net. Too many times folks have been intent on putting words into other people's mouths to make their position more righteous, something someone here reminded me was impolite at best.
I think that's a real pity. Making a discussion "all about me" is rarely helpful and often destructive for everyone and yet that has happened too often of late. I don't really know what can be done about it but it certainly isn't fun.
I think it's sad that a discussion about public health has turned into personal attacks. I've said all I can on the original topic and some here disagree with me, which is fine. What isn't fine is the nastyness here and elsewhere, I don't think many folks (myself included) should be terribly proud of what has happened here today.
I’m simply referring to the reality of the current political debates.
Oh dear god do you think you could be any more patronising?
Good grief. Pot and kettle in the same post.
It comes as no surprise that a moderately worthwhile thread dies at your hands again.
is not about also doing that but only doing that
Except nobody here has suggested that.
Instead what was suggested is that we shouldn't do the sugar tax thing because we weren't talking about the other parts of the problem.
In short exactly the opposite of what you claim.
Everyone here has agreed that poverty is a huge part of the problem and needs addressing directly with multiple solutions (some of which will probably fail).
But saying we can't try to reduce obesity by using a method proven to work with smoking because we're using the wrong language to describe obesity and not tackling the ten other impossible things simultaneously is just a nonsense.
Every argument I've seen against a sugar tax is a rehash of the same arguments against tobacco taxes. Complete with the same anecdotal evidence of "my dad ..." or "these children ..." and happy to ignore the sheer mountains of epidemiology that contradict the anecdotes. Complete with the same slippery slope arguments. Complete with the same freedom of choice distractions.
None of this would bother me much except there is a real public health problem and real people, that you claim to care about so very very much, are being harmed day in day out.
Oh and by the way I'm not all about taking away ignorant (poor) people's freedoms. I actually believe that allowing them to become habituated to high sugar foods is far more of a loss of their freedom than any tax might ever be.
You are descending into actual idiocy.
You decided to enter a discussion of trying to figure out how to change a problem that exists in our society with distracting nonsense. You made what was a complex discussion about possible solutions into a discussion about name calling. Not terribly worthwhile.
Like it or not every public health professional describes obesity as a health problem in the same way as describing smoking as a health problem and they're right.
It is a nonsense and derailing to pretend we are hating on fat people because we are trying to figure out a decent way to reduce the exposure to high sugar foods.