A hospital protocol, AFib, and the statin-diabetes link
This week, we summarize the top five news articles and studies in the low-carb realm, plus the wall of shame.
- In a recently published case report, we see a West Virginia hospital strive toward a new standard of care for approaching patients with type 2 diabetes. What therapeutic agent is at the center of this inpatient intervention? A ketogenic diet. Dr. Mark Cucuzzella is the change agent at this community hospital, supported by open-minded administrators and countless hospital employees. The publication of this case report is an important step toward establishing a new standard of care for reversing type 2 diabetes with carbohydrate restriction.
- Can lower-carb eating lead to the common heart arrhythmia atrial fibrillation? Headlines might lead you to believe this is the case, but cardiologist Bret Scher explains why an observational study of this sort is weak evidence. When you layer a compromised definition of low-carb itself, unreliable food frequency questionnaires, a weak association, and many potential confounding variables, the concerning headlines fade away.
- The New York Times reports that a new, observational study suggests a meaningful increased incidence of diabetes onset in patients taking a statin, regardless of brand and dose. Although the quality of this evidence is weak, other research — some of it from randomized clinical trials — confirms that this risk is real and meaningful, but puts the absolute increase in risk of diabetes at a much lower level than these headlines suggest.
- The Financial Times reports that policymakers in Chile take on Big Food (and Big Soda) with more resolve than most countries. The arsenal? Sugar taxes, strong warning labels on processed food, junk food bans in schools and efforts to prevent use of cartoon characters and other blatant marketing of food directly to children. Will this assertiveness be copied elsewhere?
- The Economist’s lifestyle magazine, 1843, includes a long weekend read entitled “Death of the calorie.” Author Peter Wilson chronicles the unpredictable journey of Salvador Camacho as he explores the weakness of “calories in, calories out.” Wilson, who confesses he lost 29 pounds (13 kilos) in four months while researching the article, says “it is time to bury the world’s most misleading measure.”
Wall of shame
- London’s public transit network rejects an advertisement from grocer Farmdrop because it pictured “junk food” — bacon, butter, and eggs. 🙄
- The LA Times boldly presents the “Breakfast Cereal Power Rankings“… a ranking based on continuums of cereal taste versus “cereal milk” taste. The not-so-sophisticated common denominator? Sugar.
- The American Diabetes Association stumbles when it tries to explain why its recipe for chili contains sugar. 🤦🏻♀️
- According to Newsweek, “obesity is the single biggest threat to our pets’ health…. Veterinarians need to expand their advice beyond ‘feed less and exercise more’ and search thoroughly for other causes.”
- Want candy or dessert? Now you can find even more of it in the cereal aisle. “Cereal makers… have launched indulgent cereal brands … to keep up with consumer demands and fulfill a rising desire for better tasting cereal.”
Tune in next week!