Better Reading Elsewhere

Since I’m “under the weather” – whatever the hell that means – I’ll just link to a couple of things here:

This paragraph, from the “Big Fat Lie” article, should be enshrined somewhere (bolded text mine):

Scientists are still arguing about fat, despite a century of research, because the regulation of appetite and weight in the human body happens to be almost inconceivably complex, and the experimental tools we have to study it are still remarkably inadequate. This combination leaves researchers in an awkward position. To study the entire physiological system involves feeding real food to real human subjects for months or years on end, which is prohibitively expensive, ethically questionable (if you’re trying to measure the effects of foods that might cause heart disease) and virtually impossible to do in any kind of rigorously controlled scientific manner. But if researchers seek to study something less costly and more controllable, they end up studying experimental situations so oversimplified that their results may have nothing to do with reality. This then leads to a research literature so vast that it’s possible to find at least some published research to support virtually any theory. The result is a balkanized community — ”splintered, very opinionated and in many instances, intransigent,” says Kurt Isselbacher, a former chairman of the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Science — in which researchers seem easily convinced that their preconceived notions are correct and thoroughly uninterested in testing any other hypotheses but their own.

This applies to a lot more than just “food science” … as if such a thing were even possible …


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