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Biased Study Design--Does this sound familiar?

leela

Senior Member
Messages
3,290
Interesting, if not depressing, article about how some research gets promoted and other research quashed.

By then it was too late. The [...] study had become canonical, and the fat hypothesis was enshrined in official advice. The congressional committee responsible for the original Dietary Guidelines was chaired by Senator George McGovern. It took most of its evidence from America’s nutritional elite: men from a handful of prestigious universities, most of whom knew or worked with each other, all of whom agreed that fat was the problem – an assumption that McGovern and his fellow senators never seriously questioned

The 2015 edition of the US Dietary Guidelines (they are revised every five years) makes no reference to any of this new research, because the scientists who advised the committee – the most eminent and well-connected nutritionists in the country – neglected to include a discussion of it in their report. It is a gaping omission, inexplicable in scientific terms, but entirely explicable in terms of the politics of nutrition science. If you are seeking to protect your authority, why draw attention to evidence that seems to contradict the assertions on which that authority is founded? Allow a thread like that to be pulled, and a great unravelling might begin.

When I asked Lustig why he was the first researcher in years to focus on the dangers of sugar, he answered: “John Yudkin. They took him down so severely – so severely – that nobody wanted to attempt it on their own.”

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/apr/07/the-sugar-conspiracy-robert-lustig-john-yudkin
 
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Keela Too

Sally Burch
Messages
900
Location
N.Ireland
Robert Lustig has a video out ... I can't remember the name, but I watched a year or two ago, and the sugar problem made a lot of sense to me then. Still does.
 

aaron_c

Senior Member
Messages
691
For what it's worth, the Weston A Price foundation has been saying for decades that Saturated fat does not cause heart disease but that one or more things associated with our modern diet and way of life (including sugar, cigarettes, and hydrogenated oils) does. Here is an article from 2001 arguing just this, and it cites Yudkin.

It is frustrating because it's not like cracks only recently showed up in the (formerly?) dominant paradigm; they've been there the whole time. But no one with authority took the time to examine it for something like 60 years. The five years before PACE got dissected is fantastic in comparison.
 

valentinelynx

Senior Member
Messages
1,310
Location
Tucson
Check out Gary Taubes' book Good Calories Bad Calories - it tells the story in detail of how the Western world has been convinced that saturated fat and cholesterol are bad for you, through deceptive and erroneous research publications. Now entrenched in government policy since the '70s. The amount of health damage done by this is unmeasurable. People are starting to get that sugar is bad, but they still don't get that the whole fat is bad for you idea is wrong also.

It was common knowledge prior to the anti-fat crusade that carbs, then called "starches", made you fat. I remember sometime in the 60's when I was little kid, my mother rather snidely pointing out after we saw a woman we used to know who had gotten fat that "poverty led to her eating too much starch" and that's why she was fat. Not very nice, but probably true, but nowadays we'd blame it on eating too much high fat food. High fat food is harmless if you don't consume it with carbohydrates.
 

JaimeS

Senior Member
Messages
3,408
Location
Silicon Valley, CA
Seven Countries Study is notorious for cherry-picking information. Lead researcher studied 20+ countries, but removed the ones that disagreed with the hypothesis that increased saturated fat leads to increased heart disease.

That was the study that set the tone for the next fifty years of research. Guy got on the cover of Time, even though he fudged his data in the most unethical possible way.

-J
 

leela

Senior Member
Messages
3,290
I like that there seems to be a growing tide of scientists bravely facing up to shoddy or outdated work. May it continue, so that real science and scientists may flourish!