Quite an amusing article here in Salon (you need to view an advert to get a daypass to see the article) via Doc Searls (because he’s quoted in it, along with a number of high profile bloggers) about how the Atkins Diet particularly suits hackers, because they view it as a way to “overclock” their bodies and therefore it appeals to them more.

I wonder if it’s that such people find the diet attractive and therefore use it, or that their metabolic tendencies lead them to become bloggers, hackers and so on. If you look closely at the Atkins diet (and versions thereof), it is meant to be prescribed for those who do not keep a normal weight when eating a normal diet. It is perfect for diabetics, because it combats insulin resistance after a fashion and stops all those nasty repercussions of full-blown diabetes, like going blind following tissue damage caused by too much insulin sloshing around in your blood. Insulin resistance is also a leading cause of childhood obesity and research is now showing that many people have something of a genetic tendency towards it.

Now, my question is, were many hackers and geeks fat kids? I know I was. Part of the reason I know DOS inside out (listen, I was young and it was all there was) is because I absolutely detested sport because I was lugging a lot more of me around than the other 8 year olds. So I played on the computer instead. I read more books, I got ahead in school and I got very very very bored at school, so investigated other things. When my primary school eventually got a computer room, I solved the network problems we had and heartily embarrassed the teacher meant to be in charge.

You could say that being a fat kid turned me into a computer geek. Which makes me perfect for the Atkins Diet (along with being a PCOS sufferer and prediabetic to boot). So did the rest of the geeks doing so well via the low-carb lifestyle get to geekdom because of their suitability for the diet in the first place? Or is there something genetic going on beneath the surface that says insulin resistant people have a natural predilection towards being good at tinkering with computers?

PS: Anyone who reckons low-carb is a boring diet, try this Aussie low-carb recipes site. The recipes are great, although the scrolling text on the front page is absolutely hideous!