Monday, April 24, 2017

Studies Show...

How often do we hear that? From the media, from friends trying to make a point, from out healthcare team.

Studies, it turns out, often show exactly what the people or organizations funding them want them to show.

Take for example a study conducted to "investigate lunch meat consumption in the US population" published in the official sounding Nutrition Journal. The results? People who consume lunchmeats are no different than those who do not in measures of weight, blood pressure or cholesterol.

Good news if you like bologna, right? Not so fast.

The study is riddled with flaws that the media failed to report. It studied only lunch meats, none of the many other forms of processed meats that American consume by the truckload, so its very unlikely researchers would detect any meaningful differences. The researchers simply asked people what they ate the day before. A person who eats salami 4 days a week for lunch but happened not to eat it the day before is counted as a non-lunchmeat consumer.

Despite the fact that the International Agency for Cancer Research has listed processed lunchmeats as a "human carcinogen", the media dutifully reported the study's conclusion that "the study provides insight into how to better utilize lunchmeats in the diets of US children and adults".

Funding for the study? The North American Meat Institute. The researchers? Two "nutritional consultants to the food industry" and a consultant to the National Pork Board.

Sounds trustworthy to me!

Studies show indeed.

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