Talk:Paleolithic diet

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Former featured articlePaleolithic diet is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
Main Page trophyThis article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on March 20, 2008.
Article milestones
DateProcessResult
February 3, 2008Good article nomineeListed
March 5, 2008Featured article candidatePromoted
March 18, 2009Featured article reviewDemoted
Current status: Former featured article
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Chris Kresser[edit]

Could we fit this chap in? He seems to be all over the place

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2018/03/25/unconventional-medicine.aspx?utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20180325Z1_UCM&et_cid=DM200262&et_rid=256684839

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZoLvUjEPTg

I don't want him promoted, just described / investigated Wythy (talk) 13:07, 25 March 2018 (UTC)

Article Bias[edit]

Nothing here is based on Wikipedia policies and guidelines, and per WP:TPG and WP:NOTFORUM, talk pages are not a wild west. Please feel free to open a new section discussion specific content, based on reliable sources and the policies and guidelines. Jytdog (talk) 00:22, 3 April 2018 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The bias in this article should be fixed quickly or people who do not read this "Talk Section" may be mislead. First, I must define my intention. I am not "pro-Paleo" or "anti-Paleo." I am pro-science. One MUST NOT fight pseudoscience with more pseudoscience. Taking on a subject with an obvious bias is actually harmful to science.

The writer of this article makes a reference (3) to a book called "Paleofantasy:" by Marlene Zuk. Which gives me concern that this Wikipedia article does not have an unbiased intent.


Problem #1: When you say, "Supporters of the diet mistakenly presuppose that... etc." Telling people what your "opponents" think without a reference, is a standard propaganda tool, however, it is not science.

Instead, if you were to say, "Many supporters say, "__X__.(1)" This is contradicted by a study that says, "__Y___"(2)" This would not show bias.

(1)&(2) = Are references to where you got this information.


Problem #2: This article later goes on to say, "The aspects of the Paleo diet that advise eating fewer processed foods and less sugar and salt are consistent with mainstream advice about diet." This means that the "Mainstream Advice" agrees with aspects of the Paleo diet. Logically, this contradicts calling it a "fad" diet, which the wikipedia article referenced defines as "Without backing by solid science."


Problem #3: The article has several unscientific arguments. For example, saying the theory is "promoted by..." is a standard pseudoscience tactic of dismissing a theory. Who promotes a theory is irrelevant to the discussion of the quality of the theory. This tactic attacks the messenger, not the substance of the theory. One could say, "The Big Bang is promoted by multibillion dollar scholastic institutions selling books and courses." The fact is that, "who" is promoting a theory doesn't make it more or less true. A theory either adheres to the scientific method or it does not. It is irrelevant who promotes it, or even how popular a theory is.

NOTE: The writer of this article also makes a reference to a "promoted book" called, "Paleofantasy:" by Marlene Zuk. Which at best is logically hypocritical.


Problem #4: The article is peppered with unscientific language. One of the many examples of unscientific language includes using the term, "Advocates for the diet" and juxtaposing that with "Others." For example, in the sentence, "Advocates of the diet argue that..., but others have countered that..." The term "Advocates" implies they are biased, while the term, "Others" implies they are just like you and me. If one must define these differences it is better to use equivalent terms, "Advocates" vs. "Opponents." However, it's better to avoid assigning a bias by large groups in the first place. For example, it is appropriate to say, "Adrienne Cognomen wrote..." However, "John Aliacognomen counters this by saying..."


Problem #5: The peer-reviewed references don't make sense or are questionable. In the second paragraph, both references (3) & (4) have problems. Reference (4) is an article on how diet did or did not play a role extinction of Neanderthals. It does not compare paleolithic human diet to modern day diet as the previous sentence implies. And Reference (3) is to the aforementioned book by Marlene Zuk. published by W. W. Norton & Company a NON-peer-reviewed publisher.


If I were to say, "This article sounds like it was written by a troll on a Reddit forum." I would be both making an unscientific assumption about the writer and referencing a stereotype of a Reddit forum. (Where many articles are written by well mannered and well informed people.)

Integrity is the most important tool in the fight against pseudoscience. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 166.216.158.126 (talk) 20:10, 28 March 2018 (UTC)

WP:FRINGE and WP:NPOV. Since mainstream science regards this paleo stuff as a load of hooey, Wikipedia reflects that faithfully and does not fall into the WP:GEVAL trap. Alexbrn (talk) 17:22, 29 March 2018 (UTC)

Reply to Alexbrn: The "Problems" I mentioned reference the Wikipedia policy you've highlighted of "Neutrality." Yes, it is "Fringe Science" and one should not give "Equal Equivalency" to these fringe ideas. However, it is vitally important that one does not combat fringe arguments by using false arguments, propaganda techniques, and incorrect references. This is critical thinking thrown into the toilet and it severally degrades the quality of Wikipedia. The article is written like a poor quality science blog or a bad science forum. It may give the writer and reader a smug sense of superiority, but they are false arguments all the same. Giving people a the emotional feeling of smug superiority is not what science is for. This argument style is bad for Wikipedia and bad for science.

The arguments defined in this article are the equivalent to a fringe thinker arguing, "Gravity waves propel space ships." and the reply from an educated scientist is, "You're breath stinks, so that's how much you know." Just because your on the side of the main stream scientist doesn't mean you can accept poor arguments as proof. These types of arguments don't help the cause of science, they don't support Wikipedia guidelines and they make the scientist seem as foolish as fringe thinker. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 166.216.158.126 (talkcontribs) 17:38, 30 March 2018 (UTC)

I'm not clear you understand the relevant Wikipedia policies. I strongly suggest you simply make requests for changes, clearly identifying independent and reliable references supporting the proposed changes. --Ronz (talk) 19:28, 30 March 2018 (UTC)
It could start at least to say that it's not a fake diet, but a diet we don't know enough about it, and doesn't exist yet in a correct form. It's just kicking an emotion away, an emotion for people trying to figure out how to remove the high amount of unusual substance in the modern common diet. People do look for a replacement of the current convenience diet, whatever the shop or supermarket sells. Calling the palaeolithic diet inferior to any other diet (which diet?) is snobbish. TudorTulok (talk) 10:08, 31 March 2018 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Neutral voice[edit]

The article starts with the word "fad" from the beginning and keeps the tone for the entire introductory section. TudorTulok (talk) 10:01, 31 March 2018 (UTC)

To be neutral. Extensively discussed to death here before. Alexbrn (talk) 10:05, 31 March 2018 (UTC)

"Conflicting" research and other recent changes[edit]

This is concerning the revisions to this paragraph from:

The paleo diet is promoted as a way of improving health.[1] There is some evidence that following this diet may lead to improvements in terms of body composition and metabolic effects compared with the typical Western diet[2] or compared with diets recommended by national nutritional guidelines.[3] However, conflicting research states there is no good evidence that the diet helps with weight loss, other than through the normal mechanisms of calorie restriction.[4] This research also contends that following the paleo diet can lead to nutritional deficiencies such as an inadequate calcium intake, and side effects can include weakness, diarrhea, and headaches.[5][4]

to:

The paleo diet is promoted as a way of improving health.[1] There is some evidence that following this diet may lead to improvements in terms of body composition and metabolic effects compared with the typical Western diet[2] or compared with diets recommended by national nutritional guidelines.[3] There is no good evidence that the diet helps with weight loss, other than through the normal mechanisms of calorie restriction.[4] Following the paleo diet can lead to nutritional deficiencies such as an inadequate calcium intake, and side effects can include weakness, diarrhea, and headaches.[5][4]

"Conflicting" may not be the correct way to phrase it, but as far as I can see, there is only one reference backing up the claim of "no good evidence"[1] I don't think it is correct encyclopedic style for this to be written as if it is established "fact". All I am suggesting is that it should explicitly reference that the claim is made by a specific study, just as the claim that following the diet "may lead to improvements" is softened earlier in the same paragraph. These two claims are at odds and it reads weirdly not to explicity mention this. Similarly, the last sentence should also be clear that this is based on specific references, not established as fact.

This would also apply to the sentence further down the page, from:

The research concluded that any weight loss caused by the diet was merely the result of calorie restriction, rather than a special feature of the diet itself.[4]

to:

Any weight loss caused by the diet was merely the result of calorie restriction, rather than a special feature of the diet itself.[4]

Again, a single study has that conclusion and it isn't prudent for an article in Wikipedia to state it as if it is a definitive fact.

Finally, regarding the journal Environmental Nutrition. I think this is the text of the referenced article: https://universityhealthnews.com/topics/nutrition-topics/the-modern-take-on-the-paleo-diet-is-it-grounded-in-science/ . I couldn't find any solid information about the journal other than from the commercial site where it is hosted: https://universityhealthnews.com/publication/environmental-nutrition/ . All I was trying to point out with the reference tag was that I couldn't validate if the journal was a reliable source or not. I'm no expert on any of this stuff but not having a URL stuck out to me when I was reading through the article. At the least I'm going to add the direct URL to the reference so others can find it more easily, but I still think a better source for the claim should be found.

Anyway, I'm just trying to improve the article based on our polcies and guidelines. I'm happy to collaborate here on a mutually acceptable solution.

References

  1. ^ a b nhs08
  2. ^ a b Katz2014
  3. ^ a b Manhiemer2015
  4. ^ a b c d e f four
  5. ^ a b Tarantino2015

Thanks, - PaulT+/C 18:59, 22 February 2019 (UTC)

We aren't citing "single studies", but review articles of studies, which are WP:MEDRS for health content, and so their findings are simply asserted. Attributing them gives the false impression there is some dispute, so causes POV issues. Environmental Nutrition is not the world's most prestigious journal but it's fine for the material cited to it. Alexbrn (talk) 19:05, 22 February 2019 (UTC)
Well then... TIL (today I learned). I didn't realize that review studies in general can be asserted as fact, especially with studies on nutrition since, in general, high-quality ones are very hard to do reliably. There is no direct information about Current Gastroenterology Reports on Wikipedia (that I could find easily anyway), but based on the description at Springer[2] it looks to be fairly well-regarded. Point taken and thanks for setting me straight! - PaulT+/C 19:23, 22 February 2019 (UTC)
It's reputably-published and MEDLINE-indexed, which indicates it's a strong source. But the nub here is that we're using it to support a mundane fact (only calorie restriction causes weight loss, in a dietary context), so there's not a problem. Alexbrn (talk) 19:51, 22 February 2019 (UTC)
Ah, therin lies the controversy! I assume you mean "only calorie restriction causes weight loss, in a dietary context" specifically with regard to the paleo diet (as supported in the cited review article). Because, in general, I think there is some genuine controversy around whether certian kinds of calories are metabolized differently than other kinds of calories (for example, the different metabolizations of glucose vs fructose/sucrose) and therefore as a result could have differing effects on weight loss. Not quite "a mundane fact" as far as I understand it anyway... But I agree that, given the sourcing policy you pointed out above, your current wording makes sense. Regardless, I didn't realize the kind of controversial rabbit hole I stepped into here,[3] so I'm perfectly happy leaving things as they are before getting myself into unintended trouble, especially as I don't purport to have any specific expertise in this area. ;) Thanks for walking me through your rationale. - PaulT+/C 21:58, 22 February 2019 (UTC)
Various diet advocates have said there is metabolic advantage to protein-rich diet compositions (and this is one of the paleo diet's "selling points") and there have been unreliable one-off studies to "prove" this (and the opposite). But overall, the current scientific consensus is solid and all this "metabolic advantage" stuff has been debunked: this is all covered at Low-carbohydrate diet if you're interested, but this is not paleo diet specific so a longer discussion probably doesn't belong in this article. Alexbrn (talk) 06:49, 23 February 2019 (UTC)