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Fred Hahn calls WebMD “Web Mindless Drivel”


Posted on January 7th, 2011 by Jeff Thiboutot M.S.

I am not trying to beat a dead horse, but this was just so pertinent to the recent discussions related to “Slow Burn” that I felt that I had to bring it up. Also, I don’t believe that this is a petty point either.

Fred Hahn recently had some critical things to say about WebMD on his blog. He called WebMD “Web Mindless Drivel”. Wow, the level of hypocrisy is astounding. Continue reading if it is not obvious already. Apparently Matt and I, by using the word “crap” to describe his book were being “mean spirited”. Others even thought that it was unprofessional. Really, as Matt and I mentioned in our most recent post on the Slow Burn book, one of the words to define crap is drivel, so these two words are really synonomous. So from this logic we can concluded that what was said about WebMD as being “mindless drivel” is just fine but using the word crap is not. Here is a bit of what Fred stated in his post;

“How can WebMD leave carbohydrate off the list? Again, diabetes is a condition of carbohydrate, not fat intolerance. How can the doctors that supposedly wrote this info confidently state that a high fat diet is a risk factor for T2D when there is no physiological or scientific basis for such a claim? If you want to hypothesize that it’s true, fine. Get some funding do some studies and see. But the current research show us pretty clearly that, high fat, adequate protein, low carb diets result in lower blood glucose levels and improvements in insulin sensitivity.” (underlining added)

What’s funny is that I generally agree with Fred’s assessment of the situation and think the language used was fine (meaning that I don’t think it is inappropriate) and quite clever. But what’s even funnier is his contention that the statements made by the authors should be backed up with research and have a solid scientific basis. Although, based on what Fred has stated before, they could just say they are right because the content is approved by MD’s. Anyway, what I mean by “funnier” is the obvious hypocrisy of his statement. This guy writes a book with a plethora of misleading, incorrect, and unsubstantiated claims and has the balls (yes I said it, it’s a blog) to condemn WebMD. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black and looking foolish. Again, Wow!

What is also interesting is Fred’s general frustration with the American Diabetes Association. Apparently he has been trying to get them to acknowledge that what they are saying is probably “wrong and misleading” and that there is plenty of quality evidence to show that the low-carb approach to blood sugar regulation is very useful and should be included in the information that they present. At the same time Fred seems to be avoiding the avalanche of evidence (the in-depth review of his book by Matt and I) that much of what he said in his book is misleading, incorrect, and unsubstantiated. Fred has yet to give any quality evidence to refute what we said in it. I would assume that this would be quick and easy for him seeing he wrote the book about 7 years ago. So when he made the statements that he did in the book it would seem that he had the evidence right in front of him to back it up. But, maybe he has better things to do than to give some quality evidence for the information (book) he is selling to people.

One more thing before concluding; I recently posted a review of Slow Burn on Amazon and while I was there I checked out some of the other reviews of the book. Come to find out, Fred makes a number of mean spirited and ad hominen comments to people who have given poor reviews of the book. One case in particular was actually from a 4 star review. Here are a couple of things Fred said regarding the reviewers comments;

“And there is a reason for the exact order. But I guess our trainer reviewer can’t figure out why. Not a very good trainer then is he? Doing a biceps curl before a back pull would render the biceps too weak to fatigue the lats sufficiently”

“All I can say here is that our trainer reviewer doesn’t read much and has a parochial understanding of nutrition. An Atkins type diet is very balanced and is shown is research to be the best diet approach to overall health.”

This somehow led me to a review Fred gave for the book, The 3HR Diet by Jorge Cruise. Here is what Fred said;

1.0 out of 5 stars Incorrect science and nonsense, March 6, 2006

By Metabolic Medicine (New York, New York USA) [funny thing, this is one of the names Fred uses for his reviews]

This review is from: The 3-Hour Diet: How Low-Carb Diets Make You Fat and Timing Makes You Thin (Hardcover)

For starters, a health guru who tells you that its ok to eat McDonald’s should be strung up by his Buster Brown’s. The trans fats in these foods are so bad for your health I can’t even begin to explain.

To suggest that eating in a low carb fashion will make you fat in the long run is inane. It’s wrong and it’s shameful for him to suggest this. Does this man not read scientific literature?

People – this guy is a fraud and deeply in need of a biochemistry class. The fact that his books hit the NY Times Best seller list is sad, really sad. I feel for all of you on his program. You know not what you do. You waste your precious time and money on his program. His program is how you’ll damage your metabolism.

Losing weight is not the issue people – losing FAT is. And Jorge is sending you all on the way to worse health than what you COULD have. His 8 minutes in the morning will not:

Help you gain muscle
Help you gain bone density
Increase your metabolism
Improve your overall health (unless you are in REALLY bad shape to begin with)
Allow you to lose fat only (you will lose muscle on his program gauranteed!)

Jorge’s program will turn you from a big pear into a little pear.

My suggestion – intesne strength training with a sound low refined sugar diet devoid of damaged foods and foods that have no life to them.

For exercise read:
The Slow Burn Fitness Revolution (1st choice)
A Practical Approach to Strength Training (2nd choice)

For Diet:
Protein Power
The Schwarzbein Principle
Neanderthin

My heart goes out to all of you on Cruise’s plan. Get off it and get on to one that will work!

The underlines were added for emphasis. I am not disputing that this book is not good; I have not read it so it can’t say. However, the point here is that Fred has no problem calling Jorge out for putting out a book filled with “Incorrect science and nonsense”, not to mention he called him a “fraud”.  Is this mean spirited? If the book is bad, then I don’t think so. But, what is the difference between this review and our review of Fred’s book. Well, actually there are a number of differences, as Matt & I have actually backed up our distaste of what was written in Fred’s book with clear and well supported objections. So, after reading this, is “crap” really mean spirited?

So, using Fred’s logic, he can say whatever he wants in his book with virtually no quality support for any of it, but others have to support their positions properly or he will call them out by saying “mindless drivel” or maybe call them a “fraud”? Really. I believe Fred, based on his behaviors, has done an excellent job of demonstrating what a hypocrite is. Based on the evidence, is this not a logical conclusion?

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9 Responses to “Fred Hahn calls WebMD “Web Mindless Drivel””

  1. Fred Hahn says:

    “Fred has yet to not given any quality evidence to refute what we said in it.”

    Fred is busy doing important things.

  2. Fred Hahn says:

    Oh and in some of the cases you present, I was wrong for using the language I did. But this does not absolve you of calling our work “a piece of crap.”

    What you don’t seem to realize is, that by pointing out all of the things I said that you feel are wrong, you worsen the situation for yourself. Not to mention the fact that you altered the statement you made about my book disingenuously.

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  8. bob says:

    You seem to forget that whether or not a book is a load of nonsense is actually very relevant to how one looks upon criticism of it.

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