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I was disappointed by this attempt to rebut my hypothesis.
My hypothesis was not inchoate (OED “confused or incoherent”) as they obviously understood exactly what I wished to suggest – the conventional wisdom might be wrong or at least need some modification and that Carbon dioxide excretion may play a part in weight regulation.1
We agree that the general public and health professionals are bewildered about weight regulation. That is not a reason to stop thinking and restate conventional wisdoms.
We agree that “the majority of people they surveyed believed that that ”fat shed during weight loss was converted to energy rather than excreted as carbon dioxide and water.” That is not a reason to stop thinking and rely upon conventional wisdoms. I recall a paper that made the point that exhaled Carbon Dioxide might be relevant to fat loss.2 Indeed most people seem to assume that weight can be lost purely by energy production “raised metabolic rates” without a net excretion of heavy atoms but this is a conventional wisdom that is only correct in nuclear reactors in which E=mc2.
Of course self –reporting of food intake is notoriously unreliable. But do we condemn as recidivists3 all those whose weigh loss plateaus on a diet? The same paper suggested a metabolic resistance to the maintenance of a reduced body weight. I merely provided a possible mechanism for this.
We agree that “diets only succeed when the age-old advice to eat less and mov...
We agree that “diets only succeed when the age-old advice to eat less and move more is followed so that the carbon atoms ingested are outnumbered by those exhaled.” So their point is?
I submitted a hypothesis and, in the spirit of Karl Popper, I would welcome, not further circumstantial evidence in favour of my hypothesis, but a scientific discussion why I was wrong rather than statements of conventional wisdoms. Their letter was not it.
Philip D Welsby
1. Welsby PD. Why diets fail: a hypothesis for discussion.Postgrad Med J 2017;93:360-363.
2. Meerman R, Brown AJ. When somebody loses weight, where does the fat go? BMJ 2014;349:g7257.
3. Label RL, Rosenbaum M, Hirsch J. Changes in energy expenditure resulting from altered body weight. N Engl J Med1995;332:332-628.
Philip D Welsby 18/7/17
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