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Showing posts from June, 2014

The big fat debate ~ don't blame nutrition: blame epidemiology

Normally, my blogs are built around a recently published scientific paper of relevance to public health nutrition. This week’s blog is a rant. It is a rant against the tsunami of second-rate science that dominates the media and that confuses the consumer allowing all sorts of drivel to be peddled as nutritional science. The truth is that the great majority of these stories are based on nutritional epidemiology, an academic area that gathers vast amounts of data on people and uses statistical models to sort the wheat from the chaff. Their statistical models are bound by the “known knowns” but they necessarily exclude the “known unknowns” and the “unknown unknowns” and thank you, Donald Rumsfeld for this addition to our lexicon. For example, a journalist writing in the Irish times cited a paper, which was built on such epidemiological models relating sugar to cardiovascular disease and ended up by quoting the publication asserting that as the % calories from sugar in the diet rose, the …