Friday, January 20, 2012

Fat Head Hits 'Em In the Junk (Science)

I highly recommend "Fat Head the Movie", the creator of which (Tom Naughton) is both funny, smart and diligent in defense of high fat eating for health.  Among other feats, he totally dismantles the pretense of seriousness to which "Super Size Me" pretends; SSM is a funny but dis-ingenuous film.

The linked post from the Fat Head blog provides an elegant way to interpret the vast number of observational studies - which are released with great fan fare and media coverage - which mean nothing.

Pancreatic Cancer, Processed Meat, and a Load of Bologna

Fat Head: As the authors of the current study noted:
The Study:  Our study has some limitations. First, as a meta-analysis of observational studies, we cannot rule out that individual studies may have failed to control for potential confounders, which may introduce bias in an unpredictable direction. All studies controlled for age and smoking, but only a few studies adjusted for other potential confounders such as body mass index and history of diabetes. Another limitation is that our findings were likely to be affected by imprecise measurement of red and processed meat consumption and potential confounders.
Fat Head:  Let me put that into plain English:  Our findings are meaningless. The studies we analyzed were based on food-recall surveys that are notoriously inaccurate, and most of them didn’t control for body mass index or diabetes, which essentially means they didn’t control for intake of sugars and refined carbohydrates.  Okay, folks, move along; nothing here to see.
Observational studies are cheap, relatively speaking.  And they have a role in science.  So they get funding.  But their main role is to examine correlations to determine if any are interesting enough to justify further research for the purpose of determining cause and effect.  In short, when a study says that breathing air increases your risk of death by 27% or eating red meat is guaranteed to kill you in 15 minutes or less, or some such stuff, but there are already intervention studies that show meat eating and low carb reduces your markers for every known disease of civilization - you should just file that study away as the smelly bovine excrement that it is.
Then again, if you don't want to eat industrially produced bacon, salami, hot dogs, and sausage every day, that's OK too.  I don't.  But I eat it when I want it and I like it!
(Minor edits 20 Jan 2012, 1415)

1 comment:

  1. Hi Paul! I don't think my blog is as intelligent as yours but here it is anyway! Looking forward to Tuesday and I did sign up for Faction's weightlifting seminar!