SparkPeople shuts down yet another Low Carb Discussion:

Monday, November 12, 2012

This is a link to a DailySpark blog article attributed to Becky Hand, the SP Dietitian:

I read this bizarre article the day it was posted, I believe. There was an interesting discussion developing underneath the article, to which I added my thoughts. The comments already there were in no way inappropriate or attacking anyone--they were rather good, in fact. At least one person had posted a link for Becky to check out. Others had added their 2 cents in support of Becky's assertion that low carbers are a bunch of "liars", and of course low carbers had weighed in with their contrary thoughts and experiences. As I said, everyone there was behaving in a very civilised manner. Becky had not participated in the discussion at that point.

I went back to see the post today, as I was curious how the discussion thread might have developed. I was a bit surprised to find the entire thread of comments gone, and no comments allowed on the article.

I tracked down another SP member who had posted a very thoughtful comment in the thread (EMMANYC). She had posted blog about the article and the fact that the discussion underneath had been removed.

There is now a thread on the SP Cafe message board where we are discussing the goings on.

I understand that this is SP's site, and that there are plenty of other sites I can go hang out on. That is sort of beside the point, I think.

What bothers me is that this site is supposed to be a "community" of diverse adults, but there is a total lack of respect for any point of view that diverges from those of the "SP experts", and this lack of respect (as evidenced by this confrontational article I linked to) seeps into every aspect of the "community". The lack of regard trickles down from the "SP experts" to the members. I think it's a bit shortsighted and strange to not want to have productive discussions with a variety of opinions expressed. I feel strongly that we can ALL learn from those sorts of exchanges, and that having a diverse group of opinions, diets, fitness ideas, etc. can only benefit us as a whole.

*EDITED TO ADD: it seems Becky (or someone) has just changed "lies" to "myths" in the article.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    It looks like emmanyc has made her sparkpage unavailable to others. Do you have a link to her post?
    1979 days ago
    It is interesting to me that 53% of those who voted at the end of the blog ARE restricting carbs, compared to only 46% who do not, so apparently their "truth about carbs" is not necessarily the accepted norm for those here on Spark People. Too bad they policed the comments, as I agree as long as the comments are respectful it is important to embrace diversity. Clearly the research indicates there is more to the whole carb issue than was presented in their little blog.
    2045 days ago
    I completely agree with Kapelakin. They are totally skewed by money... health is not what they are interested in... it's all about the money. But like one of my fave tv shows would say... The Truth Is Out There. :)

    I have said this many times... a quote from a show I watched called FoodMatters (I think, it's been a while)...

    "Good health makes a lot of sense, but it doesn't make a lot of dollars."
    and that is what it all boils down to...

    My daughter was wanting to be a registered dietitian .... working towards a PhD in dietetics and nutrition. she's wanting more to do research ... but she is thinking of throwing in the towel because all she can do is roll her eyes when listening to the spoon fed opinions of the government during the teaching, and answer questions according to the FDA guidelines when answering test, when she knows they are wrong. She gets very aggravated... but I keep telling her to hang in there. Maybe she can be part of the change... and enlighten those who blindly follow.

    I always get most carb questions wrong when they pop up on the daily trivia... I answer what I know is right... and they say the right answer is what the government says. :/

    I have never read anything about low carbing that says you don't need ANY carbs... or that all carbs are bad... Good grief... has this "expert" ever read any of the research or books out there??? How can anyone post advice without doing their research? Her "myths" are bogus ... no low carber I know has ever believed any of those "myths!" Grrrrr!!!!! It's pure ignorance.
    2045 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/13/2012 10:09:55 AM
    It's unfortunate, but it reflects the current government dietary recommendations, which are tied to huge subsidies for a grain-farming infrastructure, and that's not going to change any time soon.
    2046 days ago
    SIGH. I don't even know what to say anymore. I find it totally depressing that SparkPeople seems to have turned into a police state of sorts (and it is this fact that is significantly impacting my own desire to remain the active member I once was... I'm quietly trying to sort myself out on this)... ironic in that I've spent the whole weekend discussing with my daughter what freedom realyy means, why so many have died to preserve it, and what our responsibility is with regard to it.

    Thanks for drawing my attention to the article... waste of time reading it, though I'm sorry to have missed the discussion... and I'd really appreciate if you'd Sparkmail me the link to the SP Cafe message board thread. I'd like to read THAT discussion.

    ...and while 'expert' opinions may be advertising driven, I find that a very sad commentary on the priorities of a site that claims to be here for it's members.

    I'm also glad you're still here despite the obvious issues (so many aren't, and too many not by choice).

    2046 days ago
    After reading the post and what has happened, I don't want their 3 points from reading it!
    2046 days ago
    Egalitaire, yes....I think the SP advertisers definitely play a role in what is written about and given to us as SP advice. I don't see why that must include discussion had by us SP "civilians", though.

    I also agree that a totally open exchange here isn't entirely realistic, but I think there is a whole lot of middle ground between that ideal scenario and what is going on, including the poor attitude towards low carb diets.

    Naypooie, I find it really strange that there is no acknowledgement of current research in support of low carb...and even perhaps a little tolerance of those who thrive on these diets.
    2046 days ago
    Egalitaire, I hadn't thought about the commercial aspects of it. You may well have a point.
    2046 days ago
    I don't know, an open exchange of ideas can present a threat to advertisers who need adherence to a specific dogma. SP is, after all, a commercial venture with a need to produce revenue to support the expert articles, which support the advertisers, which support the experts, which support the advertisers .... maybe you can see where this leads.

    I agree Salonkitty - the optimal situation would be a completely unconstrained and open exchange. That might be unrealistic.

    The reason I stay here is that I do continue to learn, despite the constraints.

    Thanks for creating a forum for discussing this.

    2046 days ago
    You know, I think they have to realize that most of the research supports eating lower carb. I feel like their refusal to discuss the matter reflects the need to hold onto their beliefs in the face of evidence to the contrary. Very human, but not very scientific.
    2046 days ago
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