The field of nutrition is notoriously outside the realm of science. For most of my life, nutritionists have argued that eating ice cream and other high sugar foods will make children excited. That eating eggs will raise blood cholesterol. Among the many nutritional pieces of nonsense I cite only these two because each one of them was testable since 1950 with simple blood samples. Such research was not done.
To me the greatest and most flagrant failure of nutrition is the willingness to connect the caloric value of food to human fat. There is no known intermediate bodily process.
Yes, I know calories in food are really kilo calories.
We can accurately measure the number of calories consumed by the body in physical activity. We do this by measuring the caloric heat discharged by the body. To my knowledge this is accurate. An ordinary person burns 1800 cal a day. A physically active person might be 2400 cal a day and a professional athlete 3500 cal a day.
The question is: is 1800 cal of whiskey the same inside the body as 1800 cal of bananas? I seriously doubt it.
I believe that every food has a different impact on the human body than its common caloric count would indicate. Some large differences.
To measure this I propose a modest multimillion dollar experiment for the NIH. Take groups of people all from the same cohort, and divide them into groups of 10 placed in a controlled environment where their caloric output can be measured. Then give each group of 10 a specific food to eat for three consecutive days exclusively. Say one group of 10 eats only 1800 cal of carrots a day. Another group eats 1800 cal of french fries a day for three days. Determine whether the groups change their weight positively or negatively based on that particular category of food.
This test is ethical. This test is the only empirical model I can imagine for understanding the actual caloric value of food in the human body.
The NIH is an old institution. It is time for them to do some decent research of importance to the American public.