Study that says "Energy intake required to maintain body weight is not affected by wide variation in diet composition."

(Alex N.) #1

Noticed this tweet:

Which refers to this study:

I’m generally keen on learning and I follow people on Twitter that are anti-Keto because I’ve became sort of a skeptic myself. However, this study isn’t very valid in my opinion because:

  1. they used corn oil as the fat source, which is high in PUFA and Omega-6 and could be toxic too, being a seed oil; the body reacts very differently to SAFAs or MUFAs
  2. they used liquid food and this means refined nutrients — as in food that’s prepared with micro-nutrients in the proportions that we think are right, think baby formula versus natural mother’s milk, and unfortunately such formulas never perform as well as real food
  • note that this is done due to the desire to control the study’s variables, because if you feed them real food, you don’t necessarily know what’s in its composition, so you don’t necessarily know what you’re measuring; nutrition is hard :confused:
  1. a sample of 16 people is too small

I like to keep an open mind and I actually opened that link with interest. Real science is objective, no room for feelings to get in the way.

I’m writing this because people don’t know how to read studies. You basically have to look for how big the sample was, the methodology (how tightly controlled was it?) and also look for the common confounders. In nutritional studies I noticed 3 big confounders:

  1. usage of added sugar in the diet
  2. usage of vegetable oils as the source of fat
  3. usage of liquid formulas, made of refined nutrients

Regrettable, but nutritional studies are expensive and it’s hard to control the variables, which is why they end up using liquid formulas, but then they end up with other problems. And then the actual reporting from various nutritionists can be disingenuous.

(Doug) #2

Agreed, but kudos to them for studying the people an average of 33 days. That’s a lot longer than some of the things we see referenced, often.

"Energy intake required to maintain body weight is not affected by wide variation in diet composition.”

For some people, I think that’s true, or largely true enough that it wouldn’t be far off. Those who are metabolically healthy, homeostatic, etc., have considerable leeway in this respect, usually.

It’s much different for those of us who do have metabolic/hormonal issues.

(Bob M) #3

Without having access to the whole study article, it’s hard to evaluate. How did they measure “energy need”? The diets were Isoenergetic, meaning the same energy. Theoretically, the higher the PUFA, the more you would want to eat. And what the heck is “cerelose”?


I respectfully ask, then why do you stick around?

You said you quit keto, you make comments that it could lead to eating disorder, you answer keto questions with links to other diets, etc. I’m not being snarky, I’m seriously asking.

(Alex N.) #5

I’m not disputing that, it may very well be the case, the problem being that I don’t believe that this particular study is showing it.

(Alex N.) #6

I’m still low carb and I still think Keto is the right choice for some people.

Also I’m a natural contrarian, having a healthy dose of skepticism for everything.

Let me ask you this — do you mind that I stick around? In my opinion echo chambers aren’t healthy.

Plus to be honest I also stick around because this is a community of friendly people that are searching for a better lifestyle and somehow the quality of the conversations I’m seeing here are pretty high. I would prefer a forum with a general focus on low carb instead of Keto, but haven’t found a good one yet.


If there are existing medical conditions, or new ones arise, then it should be undertaken under close supervision (I’m paraphrasing Phinney/Volek). So it is agreed keto isn’t for everyone.

They also speak of custom diets for each person. So “one hat” does not fit all. Everyone is different.

No matter what the carb level - I also think avoiding wheat is a good idea. The modern variant is a Frankenstein creation … And of course HFCS (fructose overdose) is all but deadly.


I personally don’t mind that you stick around and I agree that echo chambers aren’t great. Science based discussion and the personal experience of people here make this site interesting and informative. I wouldn’t stick around if people weren’t as respectful and encouraging as they are. The mods and members do a good job keeping things calm and civil.

To be honest sometimes I read your comments and think what’s this guy doing so I thought it best to just ask you. I’ve been concerned with some of your eating disorder comments (having lived through 10 years of ED’s) because it’s a very complicated illness and no ONE thing causes it. They have biological, psychological and environmental roots so it’s unfair to say things like “keto can lead to an eating disorder”, especially to new people.

(Doug) #9

Well, it sure seems like it is, to me. They varied the carbohydrate intake from 15% to 85%, a considerable range. There are many people in the world who stay metabolically healthy even on very-high-carbohydrate diets, though they tend to eat less processed food and to have only one big meal a day, often.