Saturday, September 1, 2007

Be a bit sceptial about the science

That is maybe a strange title for something on this blog where so often I just quote a scientific article's abstract. However I often do not put much commentary up and would like you to think about. We need to be a bit sceptical about the science and the motivation and presuppostions of those who are writing. I have my own presuppositions and bias for example - I am putting things up here that support my position :

intense infrequent exercise;
a lower carb / paleo diet;
occasional intermittent fasting;
the need for functional movements; and
an accessible approach that fits into the average person's everyday life.

However there are probably scientific articles out there that would disagree with what I am saying.

I was reminded of all this by a post by Michael Eades that you should read. He refers to a recent study that got a bit of publicity. From his point of view (and mine to be honest) it was from the Dark Side - it said that red meat was bad and eating it could lead to colon cancer.

The study is here and it was widely commented on in the press. If you go to Google News and type in "colon cancer red meat" you will find lots of news stories.

Eades does an excellent job of looking behind this study pointing out its many flaws.

One of the things he looks at is the notoriously inaccurate food questionnaires where you ask people what they have eaten - I recently referred to a story that noted that people routinely under-report how much sugar they eat for example.

There are many more excellent points he makes so please read.

Barry Groves, the British researcher and author, wrote something similar a couple of years ago examining a similar article which tried to link red meat with colon cancer.

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