Thursday, March 17, 2011

Totally bogus study disguised as real research?

(a version of this post was on another site on Feb 27 of this year.)
You decide! 
"The intent of this analysis was to evaluate the healthfulness of several popular diets and the OmniHeart diets.." 
Oh really? These researchers didn't do a real experiment. They said they wanted to evaluate "healthfulness", so what they did is compare several diet plans to established dietary guidelines (You know, those guidelines that say we are all supposed to reduce saturated fat because it's a "risk factor" for heart disease). 
Amazingly, they found out that the low-carb diet plans, and even the Ornish plan, did not conform to these recommendations. And they used NIH money to figure this out? They had to have a bunch of people with PhD's to get paid for this? 
So, you're probably thinking, what kind of conclusions did all this money get us? They concluded that the other plans were worse because they didn't follow the guidelines as closely. They elevated their own diet. Nice try, Harvard researchers. We expected better from you. 
Not only that, they got their "peers" to publish this crap in a "peer-reviewed journal". And, they tried to weasel-in a statement about how the low-carb diets increased "risk factors" for cardio-vascular disease. "Although the OmniHeart protein and unsaturated fat diets were superior to the carbohydrate diet in improving CVD risk.." (Nice try on the Google Bomb.) (Repeat after me: a risk factor is not a cause, a risk factor is not a cause....) 
So lets recap. The "researchers" attempted to prove that their diet was better by comparing it to some standards. Then they declared their diet the winner, and also implied that they had determined that it reduced CVD. But, they actually offered NOT ONE SINGLE NEW DATA POINT, and only managed to confuse the issue even further. 
I guess that won't keep others from quoting this study as proof that low-carb diets are bad for us.

And, just for fun:

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