Tuesday, June 06, 2017

I'm having a bacon cheeseburger because shut up

Each field has its experts, so designated by virtue of their training or experience. These experts, however, are also people, subject to the same impulse toward irrationality and perfidy as anyone with not letters after his name.

Because we are busy we tend to believe what the experts tell us. Be wary. Be especially wary of anyone invoking "science."
The journal Tumor Biology is retracting 107 research papers after discovering that the authors faked the peer review process. This isn’t the journal’s first rodeo. Late last year, 58 papers were retracted from seven different journals— 25 came from Tumor Biology for the same reason.
One of the things we all accepted without asking any questions was the assertion that fat is bad and carbohydrates (sugar) are good. To be fair, our doctors accepted this, too, and told us to believe it.

Turns out, however, that the whole idea was cooked up by the sugar industry. And the American Heart Association, giving it about a minute of thought, went along.

So why have we been slow to recognize this?
Nina Teicholz, a science journalist and author of the The Big Fat Surprise, said it's hard to overstate the effect of national health authorities' pro-carb, anti-fat stance. A whole generation of health professionals accepted—and passed on to their patients—the government's guidance to avoid fat and cholesterol. Many still do. 
"Both professional and institutional credibility are at stake," she said when asked why more doctors and policymakers aren't making noise about the harms caused by the government's dietary guidance. She also mentioned food industry interests, the potential for "massive class-action lawsuits," and the shame of copping to nearly a half-century of bad diet advice as deterrents for USDA and other health authorities when it comes to admitting they were wrong.
So all of us, scientists and doctors included, are irrational. Let that sink in. Look around and question everything you simply "know" is true.

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