Category Archives: Health

Nutrition “Science”

A fraud is exposed, but it’s a much larger problem:

Data dredging is fairly common in health research, and especially in studies involving food. It is one reason contradictory nutrition headlines seem to be the norm: One week coffee, cheese and red wine are found to be protective against heart disease and cancer, and the next week a new crop of studies pronounce that they cause it. Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University, said that many researchers are under enormous pressure to churn out papers. One recent analysis found that thousands of scientists publish a paper every five days.

I liked this:

“P-hacking is a really serious problem,” said Dr. Ivan Oransky, a co-founder of Retraction Watch, who teaches medical journalism at New York University. “Not to be overly dramatic, but in some ways it throws into question the very statistical basis of what we’re reading as science journalists and as the public.”

You don’t say.

It goes far beyond nutrition. A lot of drug research is based on this sort of thing as well, including the statin scam.

Hospital Food

There’s no doubt it could use a lot of improvement, but I think this is bogus:

Dr. Eisenberg says the jury is no longer out on the benefits of eating a more plant-based diet with less refined foods, sugar and red meat. A study published last year in JAMA estimated that nearly half of the deaths from heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes are caused by poor diet.

They are, but there’s zero evidence that red meant causes any of them. Patricia had to spend a night in the hospital for a procedure a few weeks ago, and her breakfast was terrible, nutritionally.

[Update a few minutes later]

Related: Incorrect diagnoses kill 80,000 people per year.

The medical profession gets far too much respect.

A Sea Change In Dietary Advice

Low-carb should be the first approach in treating diabetes and obesity.

[Update a few minutes later]

Meanwhile, “Big Pasta” Barilla has been meddling in nutrition science.

[Sunday-morning update]

No, despite the headline, there is zero scientific evidence that listing calories on menus is helping people lose weight, and this article provides none. This “study” is nonsense. First, it’s self reporting. Second, it’s premised on the assumption, for which there is zero evidence, that counting calories is helpful, when calorie counting is a scientifically bogus concept, that assumes all calories are equal in their effects on metabolism. The kind of calories matter, and the way they measure calories, by literally burning food, is not how your body metabolizes calories, so it doesn’t even make sense thermodynamically.

Nerve Stimulation

…may help with female sexual dysfunction.

Isn’t sex itself nerve stimulation?

[Friday-evening update]

This seems sort of related: Custom sex dolls.

This seems to me like the ultimate expression of free-market capitalism. I found the kicker interesting:

“You have to find beauty in imperfection,” Krivicke says as he takes the mannequin head back from me.

I’ve noticed over the years that, when I get to know someone, and I come to like them, they grow increasingly interesting and physically attractive, even if I didn’t find them so initially.

Deep-Fried Fair Food

A lot of nutrition mythology in this.

No, you won’t get a coronary from eating fried food, or if you do, it’s not because it’s fried, or has saturated fat. Probably the least unhealthy of these is the fried cheesecake, because at least it has additional sat fat in it, along with protein. The others are basically fried sugar and flour. And at least adding the fat mediates to some degree. Also, counting calories is stupid.