Don’t Bring “Everybody Knows” to an Evidence Fight

Last week I was a guest on The Doctors along with weight-neutral endocrinologist Dr. Gregory Dodell. During the second half of the show, I was involved in a discussion with Dr. Melina Jampolis about the research supporting the weight loss paradigm, vs the research supporting the weight neutral health paradigm.

At one point during the course of the conversation I had listed several studies and their findings to support my case that the research shows that intentional weight loss fails the vast majority of the time (which Dr. Jampolis agreed with,) as well as studies that show greater efficacy of weight-neutral healthcare approaches than weight-loss approaches. (You can see a list of research at www.haeshealthsheets.com/resources)

In response Dr. Jampolis said “I’m sure that I could find 15 different studies that would counteract what you said.” Now, she didn’t name any studies at all but she sounded very confident. I wanted to interrupt but I didn’t want to appear rude, so I simply shook my head. I don’t believe that Dr. Jampolis wants to harm fat people, but I believe that she is, and this kind of misunderstanding is at the root of it.

There are many things that I could have done differently and/or better during my appearance (a post about that is probably coming up!) But the thing I regret the most is not interrupting her at this moment and saying what I wanted to say.

You can read the full piece on my new newsletter Weight and Healthcare on Substack!

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4 thoughts on “Don’t Bring “Everybody Knows” to an Evidence Fight

  1. Save it for the inevitable next time. You know there will be more. 99.9% of Americans graduated with honors from Everybody Knows University. Most have their Master’s. You download the .99 cent thesis, “You Know What They Say.” do an internship at Wellduh, and you’re good to go.

    “I’m sure I could find.” She probably could. Two Week studies, %3 success stories, highly redacted or outright falsehoods are as good as a viable juxtaposition when the speaker wants it to be true. (Not fact. They never do well on fact. But TRUTH is as good as gospel and just as rigorous.

  2. ‘In response Dr. Jampolis said “I’m sure that I could find 15 different studies that would counteract what you said.”’

    Don’t forget to include the ones where dark chocolate accelerates your weight loss and fat people happen because dust!

    1. The War on Obesity could be a case study for the Dunning-Kruger effect. The less a person knows about weight science and size-based bigotry, the more smugly confident they are there’s no such thing as the latter and the former boils down to “bad choices = fat, good choices = thin.”

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