Monday, August 9, 2010

Beware the Snake Oil In Your Magazine Articles

"A minority of food additives, like dietary fiber, have solid evidence behind them."
--That's funny. What exactly is dietary fiber proved to do? I bet half the claims made on behalf of fiber are as unproved as all of the other gobbledy gook.

"American authorities are far more permissive."
--This is a good thing. The govt's track record at doing good science, and of guessing when the science is not conclusive (as it almost always is regarding diet/nutrition) is uninspiring. In fact, it is atrocious. The only folk who've gotten it worse than the govt are the vegans.

"Designer foods can be a way for clever marketers to lure people away from real health foods--fresh fruits and vegetables."
--Evidence that fruits and vegetables are more healthy than meat and nuts/seeds, or any other food, is as common as sasquach carcasses. Like many Paleo eaters, I can make a decent case that fruit is NOT particularly healthy, and may be worse than meats and seeds/nuts.

"says Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma. "We want to consume sugar; we want to consume fat; we want to consume salt. These products give us an excuse to binge.""
--More assumptions - that fat is not healthy, that salt is not healthy. The science is at best inconclusive on either of those conjectures.

Of course, painting the FDA as non-interventionist is also a mischaracterization. There are all kinds of bizarre restrictions on what companies can and cannot say, courtesy of FDA enforcement of existing law.

"Nutritionists declare that there is no benefit to getting more than your recommended daily allowance of vitamins." 
--Not only that, every study I've ever seen shows no benefit to vitamin supplementation. Disease from nutritional deficiency is always associated with grain intake and/or real poverty.

In summary: an article pointing fingers at companies who profit by offering products with vague claims about immature science is itself making vague claims about immature government sponsored science - and the article is presumably published for profit. "The pot calling the kettle black."

There's zero evidence that the people getting paid to set nutritional policy do us any favors, and for the last 30 years or more, they've been doing more harm than good. Get the government out before they mess the 'health' message up even worse than it already is. Let the buyer beware.

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