26 episodes

Debunking the junk science behind health fads, wellness scams and nonsensical nutrition advice.

Maintenance Phase Aubrey Gordon & Michael Hobbes

    • Health & Fitness
    • 4.9 • 4.7K Ratings

Debunking the junk science behind health fads, wellness scams and nonsensical nutrition advice.

    Marianne Williamson

    Marianne Williamson

    Last year, spiritual leader Marianne Williamson made headlines when she ran for president.  But 10 years earlier, she wrote a bestselling book that promised to teach readers how to “surrender" their weight forever. This week, Mike and Aubrey take a deep dive into Williamson’s life story and her 2010 book, “A Course in Weight Loss."  Along the way we talk nonprofit drama, Eleanor Roosevelt and gays for Marianne. Plus, Mike’s got a message for the twinks.

    Support us:
    Hear bonus episodes on PatreonDonate on PayPalGet Maintenance Phase T-shirts, stickers and moreVideos!
    Marianne Williamson on ForgivenessA Course in Weight LossA Course in Weight Loss, Chapter Two A Course in Weight Loss, Chapter 7A Course in Weight Loss, Chapter 8Links!
    Who is Marianne Williamson? Her 2020 presidential campaign and policies, explained The Divine Miss WFaith: Marianne Williamson Is Full of ItThe Gospel According to Marianne Williamson “No One Decides to Run for President Impulsively”: Marianne Williamson Explains Her Magical ThinkingMarianne Williamson has almost everything Marianne Williamson is a controversial AIDS-crisis figure for gay men.Into America's Spiritual Void With Marianne WilliamsonWhy Marianne Williamson’s most famous passage keeps getting cited as a Nelson Mandela quote 
    Thanks to  Doctor Dreamchip for our lovely theme song!
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    • 57 min
    The Great Protein Fiasco

    The Great Protein Fiasco

    How Nestlé executives, global health institutions and a very racist white lady seeded a series of nutritional misconceptions we're still living with today. 

    Special thanks to John Nott for helping us out with this episode! Here's his papers on the history of protein and the British Empire.
    “No one may starve in the British Empire”: Kwashiorkor, Protein and the Politics of Nutrition Between Britain and Africa“How Little Progress”? A Political Economy of Postcolonial NutritionSupport us:
    Hear bonus episodes on PatreonDonate on PayPalGet Maintenance Phase T-shirts, stickers and moreLinks!
    Cicely Williams’ dissertationDariush Mozaffarian's "History of Modern Nutrition Science"The Incidence Of Protein-Calorie Malnutrition Of Early ChildhoodAn Error of Medicine? Kwashiorkor and the “Protein Gap”Childhood Malnutrition In Developing Nations: Looking Back and Looking ForwardThe Politics of ProteinThe Impact of Colonialism on Health and Health Services in TanzaniaBreast-Milk and the World Protein GapThe Influence of Colonialism on Africa’s Welfare: An Anthropometric StudyFood, Colonialism and the Quantum of HappinessRevisited: Is Subclinical Protein Deficiency A Significant Public Health Concern?Listening to the Ga: Cicely Williams’ Discovery of Kwashiorkor on the Gold Coast“Milking the Third World: Humanitarianism, Capitalism and the Moral Economy of the Nestlé Boycott”The Controversy Over Infant FormulaWar on Want’s “The Baby Killer “75 years of Kwashiorkor In AfricaThe Rise and Fall of Protein Malnutrition in Global HealthSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/maintenancephase)

    • 1 hr 10 min
    The Obesity Epidemic

    The Obesity Epidemic

    Over the last 30 years, fatness has been defined as a risk factor for disease, then a disease in itself, then a global epidemic. What caused this rapid shift? Who’s gonna join our group of B-roll vigilantes? And did we just hear Morgan Freeman?
    Support us:
    Hear bonus episodes on PatreonDonate on PayPalGet Maintenance Phase T-shirts, stickers and moreBooks!
    Fat Politics Killer Fat The End of the Obesity Epidemic Folk Devils and Moral Panics Moral Panics Links!
    American Obesity Association PSAAMA Recognizes Obesity as a Disease Regarding Obesity as a Disease: Evolving Policies and Their Implications For Researchers on Obesity: Historical Review of Extra Body Weight Definitions Obesity task force linked to WHO takes “millions” from drug firms Medicare’s search for effective obesity treatments: diets are not the answer Research: How Americans’ Biases Are Changing (or not) Over Time Satcher: Obesity Reaching Crisis Levels Do Photographic Images of Obese Persons Influence Antifat Attitudes?Did the American Medical Association make the correct decision classifying obesity as a disease? What exactly is a disease? The “Childhood Obesity Epidemic”: Health Crisis or Social Construction? Fears of a fat planet overblown, skeptics say An Unjust War: The Case Against the Government’s War on Obesity Expanding Definitions of Obesity May Harm Children Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/maintenancephase)

    • 59 min
    The Body Mass Index

    The Body Mass Index

    The BMI is EVERYWHERE. But is it scientific or scientif-ish? While many Americans think of the body mass index as an objective measure of health, its history reveals a more complicated story. This week, Mike and Aubrey tackle the first in a two-part series about the BMI and the “Obesity Epidemic.” Along the way they visit 18th century Belgium, learn a gross new acronym and dissect Dracula's facial features.

    LINKS!:
    The Bizarre and Racist History of the BMI (Elemental) Adolphe Quetelet, Social Physics, and the Average Men of Science, 1796-1874 (University of Pittsburgh Press)Mindful of eugenics’ dark history, researchers are reexamining the genetics of social mobility (Quartz) Adolphe Quetelet (1796–1874)—the average man and indices of obesity (Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation)For Researchers on Obesity: Historical Review of Extra Body Weight Definitions (Obesity)Quetelet, Adolphe (Canada’s Eugenics Archives)Top 10 Reasons Why The BMI Is Bogus (NPR)The False Science Linking Body Shape to Personality (The Atlantic)Obesity task force linked to WHO takes “millions” from drug firms (The BMJ)Impact of weight bias and stigma on quality of care and outcomes for patients with obesity (Obesity Reviews) 


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    • 1 hr 8 min
    School Lunches, P-Hacking and the Original "Pizzagate"

    School Lunches, P-Hacking and the Original "Pizzagate"

    This week we're diving into one of the biggest-ever scandals in nutrition research. For nearly two decades, Brian Wansink's Food and Brand Lab told Americans that lower weights, healthier workplaces and better school lunches were just a few small tweaks away. Then, in 2015, he wrote a blog post and it all came crashing down. 

    Support us:
    Hear bonus episodes on PatreonDonate on PayPalGet Maintenance Phase T-shirts, stickers, face masks and moreLinks!
    A Credibility Crisis in Food ScienceStatistical heartburn: An attempt to digest four pizza publications from the Cornell Food and Brand LabBrian Wansink: Data Masseur, Media Villain, Emblem of a Thornier ProblemThe Wansink Dossier: An OverviewMore Evidence That Nutrition Studies Don’t Always Add UpHere’s How Cornell Scientist Brian Wansink Turned Shoddy Data Into Viral Studies About How We EatFalse-Positive Psychology: Undisclosed Flexibility in Data Collection and Analysis Allows Presenting Anything as SignificantDeath of a Veggie SalesmanThe Strange, Uplifting Tale of “Joy of Cooking” Versus the Food ScientistMoms, “Food Fears” and the Power of the InternetThe science behind Smarter LunchroomsYou Can’t Trust What You Read About NutritionEnergy balance measurement: when something is not better than nothingScientific method: Statistical errorsEffect of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act on the Nutritional Quality of Meals Selected by Students and School Lunch Participation Rates9.67 Degrees of DeceptionSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/maintenancephase)

    • 1 hr 17 min
    The Keto Diet

    The Keto Diet

    So long, root vegetables! This week, we dive into the strange and surprising history of the 100-year-old ketogenic diet. Along the way, we encounter a Victorian bodybuilder, an infamous podcast bro and the possibility of a bad Meryl Streep performance (!). Get in, loser, we're counting macros!

    Support us:
    Hear bonus episodes on PatreonDonate on PayPalGet Maintenance Phase T-shirts, stickers and moreLinks!
    What Is the Keto Diet and Does It Work? (NYT)The Ketogenic Diet for Weight Loss (Today’s Dietitian)Meet the Wackiest Billionaire Ever to Run for President (Money)Trailer for "First, Do No Harm"Keto Diet History - How the Ketogenic Diet Went Mainstream (Men's Health)7 Dangers of the Keto Diet | Health.com (Health Magazine)15 Keto Diet Side Effects to Know – Possible Keto Diet Dangers (Prevention)Ketogenic Diet May Lead to an Increased Risk of Type 2 Diabetes (The Physiological Society)


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    • 55 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
4.7K Ratings

4.7K Ratings

camillevn ,

I’m annoying my friends with my love for this podcast

Wonderful job!! Cannot stop listening (and urging my friends to listen).

Dddddiiiisssapointing ,

Inaccurate

The topics are interesting but listeners need to understand that this is entertainment, not health information. The hosts need to pause, take statistics and epidemiology courses, then try again. Their arguments are emotional and popular but their interpretation of science is inaccurate.

Ljackattack ,

This podcast is SO important

Thank you so so so much for this glorious podcast. Tackling issues of wellness, debunking BMI and discussing anti-fat bias are so important for the society in which we live today. I have listened to every episode in the span of one week. I could not turn it off. I am a midsized person who has struggled with disordered eating my entire life, to the point at which each of the four degrees I hold are food related. I am so taken by the honesty, the candidness, and the pertinence of this show. Big thanks to NYT for writing the article that turned me on to this podcast.

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