Apollonius wrote:Calories in/Calories out would add up those sugar calories and what is left to budget for the rest of the day, and for that moment say you either went over or you didn't. End of story. Each day is a simple equation where calories are the only variable. That is all there is to know. The sum total of each day's equations of in/out tells the complete story.
The problem is that people who drink 2x cup of ~800 calorie soft drink are also the same people who cannot limit their additional food intake to a mere 600 calories. High sugar foods do not feel like you are eating a lot, they do not activate the leptin signalling system that controls appetite and consequently, people will eat more even if they have just consumed a large number of calories. eg. Chocolate bars do not fill you up.
The critics are saying no. The problem here is the content of those calories. Sugar would be the worst choice of calories. An excess of sugar calories over time increases insulin in the body. As a side effect, your body changes.
This is factually incorrect. There have been numerous studies on the effect you are citing: insulin resistance. Here is one. There is next to no evidence that increased sugar intake promotes insulin resistance. That is not to say that increased intake of sugars does not promote release of insulin but, as fatty acids are released into the blood stream, insulin levels fall again - this is the sensation of coming off the sugar high.
By contrast, high fat intake can and does lead to elevated insulin resistance.
That change results in a new "normal" weight for the sugar consumer.
You have missed a step in your reasoning. High sugar intake leads to accumulation of adipose tissue by well known mechanisms and a higher concentration of fatty acids in the blood stream. As described above, this leads to insulin resistance and also to leptin resistance, both of which promote increased appetite and a tendency to accumulate still further adipose reserves.
However, the key point is that it all started by consuming excess calories which were converted to fat.
Continue consuming this worst choice of calories and the "normal" weight goes up.
Except it doesn't, unless you are consuming sufficient calories to force the body to accumulate fat reserves.
In Taubes summary of this, over time, you don't get fat from eating more, you eat more because you are getting fat. You are getting fat because you consumed the sugar over time that changed the insulin level to change what your "normal" weight would be to a higher number.
Complete and utter bullshit from Taubes, as per the articles I linked above. Glucose consumption does not alter resting insulin levels nor does it promote insulin resistance. However, getting fat does both. I'm sorry but Taubes isn't even wrong here.
So if it is correct, it would not be the sum total of each day's calorie calculation that matters. What matters is what those calories do to the body to re-set a "normal" weight.
This is what the sources in the OP are discussing.
I tried to summarize about a book's worth of Taubes "Why We Get Fat" in one paragraph and I know I didn't do it justice. If Taubes is right, calories in/calories out does not work over time, and chemistry matters. If he is wrong and calories in/calories out is right, it's just a matter of what the calculation is for each point in time (like X amount per day).
Just about all of the health and nutrition writing I can find take calories in/calories out to be a truth beyond question.
Very low calorie diets do promote extreme hunger as various hormonal feedback systems induce a desire to replace the missing nutrients. However, mild calorie deficiency induces mild hunger which can be ignored with determination and willpower.
It really is all about eating slightly less than what you burn. Doing that while simultaneously consuming quantities of high sugar foods which are rapidly converted to glycogen and fatty acids is next to impossible.