Dr Michael Mosley & the death of CICO

in his latest book ‘The Clever Guts Diet’ (2017), Dr Michael Mosley says this:

Why weight loss is not simply a matter of eating less and exercising more

What studies like this [the one quoted above] have done is undermined the idea that has dominated weight control thinking for the last half-century:  ‘CICO’ (‘calories in, calories out’).  According to CICO the reason we’re fat is because we eat more calories than we burn off.  The answer to obesity is to eat less and exercise more.

Except, of course, it’s not as simple as that.

For those of you who don’t know of him, Dr Michael Mosley (see above) has a loping, slightly lisping, eye-twinkling charm that make him an ideal TV presenter, and he wears his erudition lightly enough to communicate easily what the results of scientific study actually mean for us.  He’s the anchor of a TV programme ‘Trust me, I’m a Doctor’ which examines health myths, fads and science and is a regular contributor to the BBC’s Horizon programme, which explores scientific issues.  He’s made a name for himself as a have-a-go experimenter who, in the name of science,  will try out things on himself – such as tapeworms, leeches and malaria – so that we don’t have to.

During his research for a TV programme, he created the 5:2 Diet, also called the Fast Diet, and in so doing brought the idea of intermittent fasting to the British public;  and then followed on by bringing HIT workouts to us too.  I’m not sure I forgive him for the latter.

Now, as he created the Blood Sugar Diet, which demands its followers eat no more than 800 calories a day, I’m surprised to hear he no longer believes in CICO.  I can only assume that Michael is demonstrating the hallmarks of a good scientist, by being prepared to rethink his own conclusions when new evidence comes to light.

So there it is.  Finally.  The death of CICO.