Awkward? Food blogger calls me “socially awkward”!

Me, Grant Schofield standing up for the high fat diet and good science
Me, Grant Schofield standing up for the high fat diet and good science

How is one supposed to feel?  Good, I think as friend, food blogger, and academic Dr Mikki Williden wrote a blog about me and others.  Read here.

Of note:

  1. She stands up for me, and the fact that challenging conventional nutrition science is worthwhile.  Thanks, as frankly I have hardly impressed the public health people I usually interact with in New Zealand.  They mostly assume I am either mad, stupid, ignorant or a combination of the three.  I, of course, think I’m on the right track.  And now at least Mikki does.  TICK
  2. She describes me as “He’s a strange mix of charismatic and socially awkward – which are not uncommon character traits for an academic“. I was giving this a big tick on the basis of the charismatic bit, but socially awkward – who knew?  I asked a few people about this, and pretty everyone except the ones I regard myself as socially awkward agreed and said that everyone knows this!  Oh well, that’s that.
  3. She writes “While he hasn’t devoted his entire academic life to studying the area, what I don’t think people realise is that Grant has literally spent the last year living and breathing the literature around insulin, carbohydrates and health (as anyone within earshot of him over this time can attest to). I would conservatively estimate he has crammed the same amount of information in that time that would take another person five years to learn.”  TICK and thanks for that.  You have to do your reading, its as simple as that.  I’m more impressed by Catherine Crofts my doctoral student who has read probably 1500 research papers in the last several months.
  4. Most importantly. she writes this which I really really like and agree with “He’s not always right – far from it, and he’s the first to say he is wrong when he is wrong. And his belief that the foundation of what we’ve hung our hat on in terms of health is flawed makes for some uncomfortable conversations. But, without people like Grant, we would not be having the conversations to begin with. In terms of public health I think we should be questioning – particularly with the health problems that most western nations suffer from today. And hopefully, instead of dismissing what he has to say as being uninformed, people will be doing their best to prove him wrong if they truly believe that what he has to say is inaccurate and misleading.

That last one is just so important, and as I have talked more and more about human metabolism and how our conventional dietary approaches have little scientific basis for the most afflicted – the obese and the diabetic – I have copped a bit (a lot?) of criticism.  But I not yet seeing is the compelling arguments from these public health (scientists).  Just criticisms.

Thanks Mikki for raising the attention to the cause of good nutrition and metabolic science.  We want good science and good debate.  I’m up for that.

Hopefully it won’t be too awkward!

 

 

Author: Prof. Grant Schofield

I am Grant Schofield, Professor of Public Health at Auckland University of Technology and director of the university's Human Potential Centre (HPC) located at the Millennium Campus in Auckland, New Zealand. My research and teaching interests are in wellbeing and chronic disease prevention especially reducing the risk and eventual mortality and morbidity from obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. I live by the motto "be the best you can be" and have a strong commitment to peak performance in which I also do consulting work. I’ve been interested in human health and performance for my whole career. I started in psychology, went into sport and exercise psychology, then into public health, especially physical activity, then obesity. There have been some twists and turns along the way, which are the reasons for why I do what I do – you can read about those in my first blog entry. I want to know how we can be the best we can be. This crosses disciplines such as biology, medicine, pubic health, and productivity management. The cornerstones are nutrition, exercise, sleep, neuroscience, psychology and wellbeing. In my blog, I cover these topics under the broad heading of the Science of Human Potential.

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