Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Unsettled science …

… Eat Less Red Meat, Scientists Said. Now Some Believe That Was Bad Advice. - The New York is Times.

The new analyses are among the largest such evaluations ever attempted and may influence future dietary recommendations. In many ways, they raise uncomfortable questions about dietary advice and nutritional research, and what sort of standards these studies should be held to.
 While the new findings are likely to please proponents of popular high-protein diets, they seem certain to add to public consternation over dietary advice that seems to change every few years. The conclusions represent another in a series of jarring dietary reversals involving salt, fats, carbohydrates and more.
But get this: 

Some called for the journal’s editors to delay publication altogether. In a statement, scientists at Harvard warned that the conclusions “harm the credibility of nutrition science and erode public trust in scientific research.”
Well, gentleman, there seems to be increasing evidence that nutrition science lacks credibility. Maybe you do something to buttress its  credibility. Otherwise,  “nutrition science” isn’t exactly scientific.


  1. Of course, nutrition science is scientific: it changes as new evidence is found. That is exactly what science is supposed to do.

    I fully understand the Harvard position in light of the current 'war' on science. Just remember when you end up needing an operation or a treatment for cancer: without science, you're back to drinking Kool Aid in lieu of chemotherapy. Good luck with that!

  2. I beg to differ. Given the extent to which nutritional guidelines have been challenged and reversed recently, we have reason to wonder about how well-grounded in science those guidelines have been. In most cases, follow-up studies have been unable to verify the studies those guidelines were based upon. Moreover, many such studies were funded by groups benefitting from the conclusions. These new analyses are "the largest such evaluations ever attempted." The fellow at Harvard ought to be gearing up to provide data to challenge them, not calling for the publication of them to be suppressed.

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  5. The very fact that you know about the changes in nutritional guidelines, and that some studies have been unable to be verified, actually illustrates that the system largely works.

    Nor does delay in publication necessarily mean suppression (though it can). I would want to check the actual arguments for delaying publication before judging. Perhaps the study is indeed flawed.