“Use of these types of studies happens far more often than we would like, leading to dietary guidelines that may not be based on the best available evidence. But last week, the government started to address that problem, proposing new guidelines that in some cases are more in line with evidence from randomized controlled trials, a more rigorous form of scientific research.”
“Since the very first nutritional guidelines to restrict saturated fat and cholesterol were released by the American Heart Association in 1961, Americans have been the subjects of a vast, uncontrolled diet experiment with disastrous consequences. We have to start looking more skeptically at epidemiological studies and rethinking nutrition policy from the ground up.”
Here’s an interesting case of scientific research backtracking on a long held view about nutrition. Some things to think about are why science can do so much research to confirm a belief that turns out to be wrong. This article discusses various ways in which scientists come to conclusions including animal testing. What’s also interesting to consider is the role of intuition in belief. Because the plaque that builds up on your arteries is partially composed of cholesterol, it’s intuitively believable that cholesterol in your diet would be bad for you. Even though these warnings about cholesterol will be rescinded, people’s long held beliefs will not change so quickly.
“For more than half a century, the conventional wisdom among nutritionists and public health officials was that fat is dietary enemy No. 1 — the leading cause of obesity and heart disease.
It appears the wisdom was off.
And not just off. Almost entirely backward.”
“The situation is understandable; it’s a learning experience in the limits of science. The protocol of science is the process of hypothesis and test. This three-word phrase, though, does not do it justice. The philosopher Karl Popper did when he described “the method of science as the method of bold conjectures and ingenious and severe attempts to refute them.”
“Whether it’s cucumbers splashing into water or models sitting smugly next to a pile of vegetables, it’s tough not to be sucked in by the detox industry. The idea that you can wash away your calorific sins is the perfect antidote to our fast-food lifestyles and alcohol-lubricated social lives. But before you dust off that juicer or take the first tentative steps towards a colonic irrigation clinic, there’s something you should know: detoxing – the idea that you can flush your system of impurities and leave your organs squeaky clean and raring to go – is a scam. It’s a pseudo-medical concept designed to sell you things.”