Friday, March 29, 2013

Better For Heart Disease?

AC dissects a "study" about vegetarian diets and disease; and he DOES have a way with words:

Firstly, it was not a clinical trial that took a large group of people and randomly assigned them to either a vegetarian or meat-containing diet then followed them for a specified period of time, and found the vegetarian group had a 32% lower risk of CVD. Instead, it was a study that falls into the category of epidemiology, a field of research which without question constitutes the most useless and bullshit-filled arena in all of the modern health sciences.
If that sounds harsh…it isn’t. I could be far more scathing, considering the immeasurable damage caused by the modern infatuation with epidemiology and the associated and widespread idiocy that insists on accepting its statistical associations as physiological fact, despite the fact that one of the most basic rules of science isassociation does not equal causation.
So what exactly is epidemiology, I hear some of you asking?
Nutritional epidemiology is where researchers study populations for relationships between dietary factors and certain diseases. There are several types of epidemiological studies, including cross-cultural or ecological ones, which compare the relationships between diet and disease among different countries. This is the least reliable form of epidemiology, as you are often comparing the proverbial apples with oranges. For example, do you think, just maybe, there might be other factors aside from diet affecting heart disease risk in a country undergoing major political, economic and/or social upheaval, when compared to peaceful, affluent countries?
If you answered “no” to that question, then rejoice, for a secure and lucrative career as a money-wasting epidemiologist who fills journals with useless papers that come to utterly unfounded conclusions awaits you!

This post does what I would have perhaps thought was impossible - makes it entertaining to learn about science, good and bad.  Thanks AC!

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