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Why Most Nutrition Research is Fale

Uncategorized Oct 01, 2019

Almost every week there is a news story about "latest study finds that [insert food] leads to [scary medical condition]. Details at 10."

Of course, the media almost never explain these articles well. They show stock footage of various overweight people walking in the street (have you ever wondered who gets paid to do that?). They give you the results of the study in 10 or 20 seconds without going into any detail or explaining the results. You could do an entire podcast on one study.

But even if they did explain the results of the study correctly, the study wouldn't say much.

That's one of the lessons of Big Fat Surprise by Nina Teicholz. I have some objections about her conclusions, but one of the good things she talks about is how these studies are horribly flawed, and why it's so hard to get quality data on what people are eating.

There is a physician who runs a web-site and he discusses various nutrition articles. He must understand the deficiencies of these articles. He's a hard-core vegan. I took him for gospel not too long ago and read his book. I don't think he's a quack, but I know enough about veganism to know it's not the ultimate solution to bad eating habits.

That's why I don't put a lot of stock into most articles and studies. They're not well designed, they have low external validity (how well can this apply to the regular world), they have poor controls, and they have poor measuring tools.

Remember that "study" that Adam did on Adam Ruins Everything where he played with the data enough to show that chocolate made people lose weight? And people believed it!

Stick to principles: 1) eat when you're hungry; 2) stick to simple foods most of the time. That's really all you need to know.

If you're having trouble doing that, then schedule your free strategy call with me here:



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