Testing Seth Roberts’ appetite theory

February 13, 2018

(This article was originally published at Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science, and syndicated at StatsBlogs.)

Jonathan Tupper writes:

My organization is running a group test of Seth Roberts’ old theory about appetite.

We are running something like a “web trial” as discussed in your Chance article with Seth. And in fact our design was very inspired by your conversation… For one, we are using a control group which takes light olive oil *with* meals as you mentioned. We are also testing the mechanism of hunger rather than the outcome of weight loss. This is partly for pragmatic reasons about the variability of the measures, but it’s also an attempt to address the concern you raised that the mechanism is the 2 hour flavorless window itself. Not eating for two hours probably predicts weight loss but it wouldn’t seem to predict less hunger!

Here’s how to sign up for their experiment. I told Tupper that I found the documentation at that webpage to be confusing, so they also prepared this short document summarizing their plan.

I know nothing about these people but I like the idea of testing Seth’s diet, so I’m sharing this with you. (And I’m posting it now rather than setting it at the end of the queue so they can get their experimental data sooner rather than later.) Feel free to post your questions/criticisms/objections/thoughts in comments.

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