Diet and Fitness: Science's biggest failure?

What’s is science’s biggest fail of all time? I nominate everything about diet and fitness. Maybe science has the diet and fitness stuff mostly right by now. I hope so. But I thought the same thing twenty years ago and I was wrong. I used to think fatty food made you fat. Now it seems the opposite is true. Eating lots of peanuts, avocados, and cheese, for example, probably decreases your appetite and keeps you thin. I used to think vitamins had been thoroughly studied for their health trade-offs. They haven’t. The reason you take one multivitamin pill a day is marketing, not science. I used to think the U.S. food pyramid was good science. In the past it was not, and I assume it is not now. I used to think drinking one glass of alcohol a day is good for health, but now I think that idea is probably just a correlation found in studies. I used to think I needed to drink a crazy-large amount of water each day, because smart people said so, but that wasn’t science either.

I could go on for an hour.

You might be tempted to say my real issue is with a lack of science, not with science. In some of the cases I mentioned there was a general belief that science had studied stuff when in fact it had not. So one could argue that the media and the government (schools in particular) are to blame for allowing so much non-science to taint the field of real science. And we all agree that science is not intended to be foolproof. Science is about crawling toward the truth over time.


[…] The implication is that science is right and the general public are idiots. But my take is different.
I think science has earned its lack of credibility with the public. If you kick me in the balls for 20-years, how do you expect me to close my eyes and trust you?

I think the media has to carry the big part of the blame.

How often do they report a finding of a study with out going into the detail.

You might read an article in the paper saying, “scientist say one glass of alcohol a day is good for you”
if you bothered to scratch up the paper. you would see the tested alcohol
consumption on mice an found low doses have no adverse effect on the mice.

A big gap between scientific paper and what is reported.

And if I had rand for each time i read an article saying somewhere that “scientist are baffled”

No wonder people have no faith appreciation of science and scientist.

I thought it was eight glasses. Damn! I must read more carefully.

;D ;D

'Lest we forget Mehmet going on TV and espousing the latest medical “science” as miracle this or magic that…

But it is an interesting quandary: You can now bitch about all this inaccurate reporting of the actual facts, but if you hold op scientific findings as a counter… and 2 years later you have to recount those findings… trust will still be destroyed.

Problem is, the general public thinks of science as a set of answers rather than a method by which to slowly get the answers closer to the truth. When science changes its view based on newly available evidence, the public sees that as the weakness of science rather than its central strength.

All that said, a lot of blatant pseudoscience has infiltrated mainstream science, especially in medicine and dietetics. My advice: by and large, you can eat whatever you like. Pay no attention to all that stuff about tomatoes preventing this form of cancer and broccoli preventing that and fats causing this and the other etc. etc. Pay no attention to Tim Noakes either. It’s mostly a load of crap.

Ek se: alles wat “te” is is verkeerd: te veel vet; te veel strond; te veel water (by jou whiskey); te veel geld???; te veel seks???; te veel reen; te veel droogte; ens ens

There’s also a methodological deficiency in the area of science that examines such things, namely epidemiology. By and large, epidemiological studies seek correlates for the condition or syndrome being studied, rather than causal factors. Causal factors are much more difficult to identify than correlates because physiology is hugely complex with many subtleties and we’ve only seemingly scratched its surface. Like most scientists, epidemiologists are subject to the “publish or perish” dictum, and so they usually publish as soon as they find one or more correlates without investigating any causation. Possible causal mechanisms are hypothesised but rarely tested, receiving only a paragraph or two in their paper’s conclusions.

Such studies are typically done at a statistical significance level of α = 0.05, which means that by pure chance alone, on average 1 in 20 such studies will find a false positive or a false negative.

ETA: Yes Brian, everything in moderation, especially moderation! ;D


Ek verkies 0 strond in my diëet. :stuck_out_tongue:

te veel geld???

Daar is studies iewers wat wys “te veel geld” is great vir die ouers, maar kan baie nadelig wees vir die kinders. Die perfekte situasie vir 'n individu is om 'n “nuwe ryke” te wees: Verstaan die lewe, geld, en moeite… maar hoef nie.

Edit: spel soos my gat.

Mind Blown :o

partykeer is ek baie bang vir te veel moderation…klink vir my te boring. soos die hemel!

Daar’s nie altyd 'n klinkklare manier om te weet of iets oormatig was totdat die oormatigheid homself in die een of ander vorm as sodanig manifesteer nie. Behalwe vir etlike triviale voorbeelde ('n enkele koeël deur die hart is, ongetwyfeld, te veel), word “oormaat” amper noodwendig simptomaties en retrospektief beoordeel. Die liggaam en sy gepaardgaande sielkundige en gedragsaspekte is kompleks genoeg vir mense om onnodig verstrengel te raak in die talle hipoteses en idees en kwaksalwery daaromtrent. Dus moet ons dalk dinge probeer vereenvoudig. Byvoorbeeld, as jy in die oggend nog kan opstaan, was jy darm nie te oormatig nie.