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Archive for the tag “bad nutrition science”

Q: Who Are You To Trust With Your Health? A: Yourself

badgovt

After 50 years, the government, medical, fitness and food industries are still peddling the same bad advice that is making us sick and fat. Time for a change.

I keep harping on the experts in the field of diet and nutrition not being all that expert. Why? Because they are so boneheaded dogmatic about their own beliefs they can’t see the mountains of evidence that those beliefs are wrong. The article  Health Authorities Continue To Fail Us poses a great question: Who are we to trust when it comes to dietary advice?

The article is a great read that sums up that our “experts” have gotten so much wrong, much to our detriment. From calories in/calories out to saturated fat is bad — it’s all bunk.

Yet the American Heart Association, American Medical Association, nutritionist, dietitians, doctors, fitness industry, Big Pharma, the food industry…hell the whole lot continue to push the same bad advice for more than 50 years.

The results? Obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and a host of other chronic diseases have skyrocketed.  That isn’t evolution. It’s environmental.

The food chain, built on this advice, is slowly killing us.

Since the medical, fitness and food industry has no interest in changing, the writer of the article has a very simple solution for you — not easy — but simple:

“So who are we to trust then? The list would appear to be getting smaller every day.

Now more than ever the message is clear: if you want to truly be healthy, it’s up to the individual to do their own research and come to their own conclusions. There is a mountain of information out there to go through, and you’ll need to sift through the bias of people selling you diets, fringe groups promoting their social agenda, and the media misinterpreting real research findings.

While it may sound like too much trouble, is your health really of that little importance that you’d trust it to anyone else but yourself?”

Amen!

 

 

 

Nutrition Science: Follow The Money

pure-white-deadly

For 50 years the sugar industry quietly funded nutrition research to shift the blame of our health ills on saturated fat.

This must read article shows how nutrition science is corrupt. For the last 50 years, the sugar industry funded a lot of nutrition studies that shaped the US dietary guidelines. And what a surprise, those studies shifted the blame for heart disease and obesity on dietary fat and continue to push the myth of eat less, move more.

Thanks to that very flawed research, as well as the stupidity of politicians and bureaucrats, the US government set us on a course in the 1970s where sugar and added sugars became a staple in our diet and healthy fats were drastically reduced.

As Senator George McGovern told doctors, who were warning against implementing the low-fat/high carb (& sugar) guidelines without further research, “Senators don’t have the luxury that the research scientist does of waiting until every last shred of evidence is in.”

So Washington turned us into lab rats. The results? We got fatter and sicker over the last 40 years. Read more…

Why You Should Ignore The New Dietary Guidelines

The new federal dietary guidelines are about to come out, but the fight over the bad science used to create them is still raging.

The new federal dietary guidelines are about to come out, but the fight over the bad science used to create them is still raging.

It’s about time.

It seems that every 5 years the federal government rolls out the new dietary guidelines with hardly any criticisms. Sure you’d hear them from the various food special interest groups worried about sales, but very little about whether the recommendations actually work.

How times have changed.

Two articles, in as many days, both from The Washington Post, question the science the US federal government uses in developing the soon to be released 2015 guidelines. Read more…

“I Fooled Millions Into Thinking Chocolate Helps Weight Loss”

A pretty tame photo of a woman eating chocolate compared to the stories the press ran on a fake nutrition study (reporting as truth, of course!). Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and photostock.

A pretty tame photo of a woman eating chocolate compared to the stories the press ran on a fake nutrition study (reported as truth, of course!). Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and photostock.

Here’s how easy it is to fool the media: with a fake nutrition study about accelerating weight loss by eating chocolate every day.

You’d think science reporters would ask probing questions about how the study was created (research criteria, how many subjects, diversity of subjects, food tracking, controls in place, etc.). How about interviewing scientist not affiliated with the study for their opinions? Or at least a Google search to confirm that the Institute of Diet & Health actually existed.

Of course not.

This is what “fact-based” journalism looks like, my friends. Just reprint a press release, then add a sensational headline with a dash of erotic photos of women eating chocolate.  Heh! I must have missed that class in Journalism School. Read more…

Review: The Big Fat Surprise

A must read, The Big Fat Surprise is a gripping page turner. A true whodunit when it comes to our bad diet.

A must read, The Big Fat Surprise is a gripping page turner. A true whodunit when it comes to our bad diet.

It’s said the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. Turns out our current dietary road started much the same. Nina Teicholz’s thriller, The Big Fat Surprise, is a fascinating page-turner. It exposes how our country embraced a diet that was supposed to save us from heart-disease, but instead led to obesity, diabetes, and a host of other metabolic diseases.

Don’t be scared off by the book’s size (336 pages plus 62 pages of footnotes) — it is a gripping read that lays out a detailed history of how our nation’s nutrition went off the rails. That’s not to say there isn’t any science in the book. There is, and Teicholz makes it easy for the layperson to understand.

There are many moments in the book where you’ll want to bang your head against the wall and shout, “What the hell?!” Many times while reading, my husband heard me raging how we’ve been deceived — sometimes intentionally — by so-called “experts,” politicians, and nutritional busy bodies who swear they only want to help. Read more…

Is Diet Soda Bad For You? The Science Isn’t Settled!

Is diet soda bad for you? A new article says it makes you fat. But don't give up your diet drinks just yet. Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhoto.net and tiverylucky.

Is diet soda bad for you? A new article says it makes you fat. But don’t give up your diet drinks just yet. Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhoto.net and tiverylucky.

This week Time Magazine published a report on a new study that “links” diet soda to obesity.  Seniors (65 years old or older) who drank diet soda over a 9 year period “tripled” their chances of gaining weight around their belly than those who did not drink diet soda.

Of course the study’s writers called their findings “striking” (hmmmm….looking for more research dollars!).

No-calorie and low-calorie sweeteners continue to puzzle scientist about how they could cause weight gain. However Time points out that the answer may lie in the fact that these sugar substitutes actually sweeten diet soft drinks 200-500 times the sweetness of sugar. Yikes!

Allow Me To Get On My High-Horse For A Moment
I never liked diet soda. It tasted awful to me. Nope, my poison was regular soda. Specifically Coca-Cola. When I started this weight loss journey I completely gave up sodas and never thought to turn to the diet alternatives. Instead, I only drank water (tap or in carbonated form) or unsweetened ice tea. I’ve expanded my drinking list to include coffee (with 1.5 tsp of heavy cream).

The smartest thing I did was give up sodas. I think the stuff – diet or regular – is a slow death by weight gain. If you want to lose weight, water (and plenty of it) is your best beverage.

Dismounting from high-horse now.

But Is Diet Soda Really Bad For You? 
I do have a big issue with Time Magazine’s reporting. The study, published in The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, is observational not a clinical trial. The reporter doesn’t question whether the results were correct? Doesn’t ask basic questions about the diet of the respondents in the survey. Or question if people should stop drinking diet sodas. Nope, the reporter treats what the writers of the study say as gospel. It ain’t.

According to Time, over a 9 year period, seniors were asked (every couple of years) how many sodas they drank everyday and to breakdown how many were regular or diet sodas.

Really? Heck I drank coffee today and I can’t tell you how many cups I had today, yesterday or on average since I started drinking the stuff in December…and I’m in my mid-40s.

There was no controlled experiment of diet soda drinkers vs. non-diet soda drinkers. What about these people’s diet? What were they eating? Could that cause the weight gain and not the diet drinks?

Oh, and Time left this kicker for the end of the piece:

“Researchers in the new study found that belly-fat gain was most pronounced in people who were already overweight…”

Hello Captain Obvious!

Because of this article people will cut or give up diet soda. While I think people shouldn’t drink the stuff, I don’t want that to happen because of bad science or bad reporting. And this thing smells bad all around.

I’ve learned a lot about bad nutrition science (and reporting of that science) during the last 3 years of my journey. The mother of all bad science was the low-fat craze promoted by the US government. Many nutritionists, researchers, shrinks, government officials and doctors stand by this crap even as a barrage of new studies, blogs and books shine the light on how flawed that original data was.

To be fair, I haven’t read the study. My guess is the PR person tasked with promoting the study over-stated the study’s data. And the researchers interviewed, also overstated its importance. Maybe they told Time that more research is needed to prove drinking diet sodas causes weight gain, but Time ignored it for the clickbate headline. Maybe, but I’m not holding my breath.

Why?

A quote from Dr. Helen Hazuda, the study’s senior author.

“…People who are already at cardiometabolic risk because they have higher BMIs are really in double or triple jeopardy,” Hazuda says. “When they think they’re doing something good by drinking artificially sweetened beverages, it’s actually totally counterproductive.”

Correlation doesn’t equal causation. This is an observational study and Dr. Hazuda forgot that observational studies only point to “links” or “associations.”  Her study cannot show that drinking diet soda’s causes weight gain. She has a hypothesis, that’s all.

But just because I think diet soda is unhealthy (and support Dr. Hazuda’s hypothesis) I can’t support studies and reporting that I agree with without stronger evidence. To do so makes me no better than those that support the bad data propping up the low-fat diet fad.

Until they take diet soda to a clinical trial (the gold standard of scientific research) I call BS on this study and Time Magazine.

 

Meat & Colon Cancer: Not What You Think

With our first nice weather of the year, I picked up some rib eyes and we fired up the grill. I like keeping the grill temperature low not just for taste, but for health reasons too! Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhoto.net and artur84.

With our first nice weather of the year, I picked up some rib eyes and we fired up the grill. I like keeping the grill temperature low not just for taste, but for health reasons too! Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhoto.net and artur84.

The Diet Doctor is on the case…again! This time around he tackles why red meat eaters get more colon cancer. Before freaking out and deciding to toss out that delicious cow meat, keep a couple of things in mind:

  • The studies conducted are observational. Meaning that correlation does not equal causation. Most findings from observational studies are typically proven wrong, exaggerated or misleading.
  • The associated risk is with processed meats. We’re not talking about prime cuts or ground meat. Think bagged pepperoni, ham and nitrate-loaded bacon.

The problem with these “findings” has more to do with researchers’ bias and bad reporting. We’ve been eating meat since man stood upright (and even before then). Yet now we’re seeing a slight increase in colon cancer. Hmmmm…something is afoot. Read more…

Want To Lose Weight? Eat Butter!

New review of studies on the dangers of saturated fat show that the evidence is seriously flawed. Image courtesy of SOMMAI and FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Turns out butter is healthy after all. A new review of studies on the dangers of saturated fat show that the evidence is seriously flawed and the guidelines against fat should never have been issued. Image courtesy of SOMMAI and FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Yesterday the news spread far and wide that the low-fat diet pushed on us by nutritionists, the weight loss industry and the US government, lacked any evidence that it was healthy.

Yep, they told us to cut saturated fat out of our diets. As a result, Americans reduced their fat intake, which lead to a dramatic increase in their calorie consumption due to low-fat foods being loaded with carbs and sugars.

Yet there was no scientific evidence that a low-fat diet was actually healthy. Basically, we were guinea pigs in a 40+year experiment conduced by our government. The result? We got fatter and sicker. Read more…

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