Sunday, October 28, 2012

No it's not surprising, you twats


In the SST today (and various other publications last week):

Researchers pulled the plug on [a] decade-long American study this month after finding a rigorous exercise and diet regime made no difference to the risk of a person with type 2 diabetes developing heart disease.

I always feel a vague stirring of hope on reading stories like this, that epidemiologists might finally devote some thought to why it could be that evidence for their diet/heart-disease hypothesis resolutely refuses to appear, but such hopes are usually dashed.  When the Cochrane Collaboration did a systematic review of the evidence for saturated fat in the diet contributing to heart disease and found nothing significant, epidemiologists either pretended it hadn't happened or said that well if the studies had carried on for longer or pushed saturated fat intake even lower they would surely have come up with something more conclusive. This instance of the hypothesis being shown to be wrong is likely to go the same way - in the NYT article about it, researchers involved are already trying to play up other benefits of exercise and diet for diabetics.

And you can always rely on a nutritionist academic to come up with a stupid quote. From the SST article:

...AUT University (aside:  I love the name AUT University - it stands for Auckland University of Technology University.  Short man syndrome, much?) nutrition professor Elaine Rush said this is no free pass to quit the gym and healthy food.
...
Adopting a healthier lifestyle could potentially reduce the risk of heart disease for certain ethnic groups or lower-socio-economic groups, she said.

Yeah, right.  Although a well-funded, high-quality, large-scale and lengthy study showed no evidence whatsoever for this view, it could "potentially" still be correct because the study involved Americans, not Polynesians or proletarians.  Excuse me while I bang my head on the desk for a minute.

She's not finished, though:

People with diabetes also have a responsibility to their community and family to set an example...

You couldn't really ask for a better illustration of how nutritionists' approach to diet tends to be a moral rather than a scientific one.

The public web site for the study is here.  Just to twist the knife, having read the Study Protocol, I can assure you that for the intervention group they scrupulously followed the calorie-restricted, low-fat, high-carb diet recommended by epidemiologists and nutritionists as being likely to reduce your risk of heart disease.

9 comments:

ZenTiger said...

I'm surprised the Italian Courts haven't thrown them into jail as yet. I daresay there would be more public understanding of the decision, over the somewhat controversial findings that the last major earthquake there turned out to be an act of Science, and not God.

Psycho Milt said...

You have to admire the faith Italian judges have in the nation's scientists - said scientists' inability to predict earthquakes can apparently only be explained via criminal negligence. I expect judges will be slower to leap to such conclusions when it comes to failure to predict which prisoners let out on bail will rape and murder the person they were threatening to rape and murder...

macdoctor said...

I can assure you that for the intervention group they scrupulously followed the calorie-restricted, low-fat, high-carb diet recommended by epidemiologists and nutritionists as being likely to reduce your risk of heart disease.

And there is the problem. There is NO evidence that fat consumption of any kind makes any difference to your cholesterol levels at all. 99% of all cholesterol is manufactured in your liver. A high carb diet, on the other hand will almost certainly make diabetes worse and promote heart disease. For diabetics I usually recommend increasing fat and protein and DEcreasing carbs - especially potatoes and bread, both of which metabolize to sugar faster than a snowflake melts in hell...

Psycho Milt said...

I did eventually learn that, no thanks to the nutrition advice I've received over the years. Cut my insulin dose just about in half and improved my blood sugar control - none of which alters the fact I get to go to a checkup every year and have someone tell me I should eat a "healthy" (ie, low-fat, high-carb) diet because diabetics are at greater risk of heart disease. I keep my gob shut and wait for it to be over.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

(Had this on the wrong thread.)

Hey, I'm a Type 2 wallah and I walk between 50 and 100 km each week. As a result, all my numbers are down Weight Blood pressure Cholesterol Blood sugars How do I know? When I get lazy and stop walking, they ALL go up. Stick THAT in your computer model and smoke it! on

KiwiGirl said...

When is the medical world going to wake up and acknowledge that EVERYONE is unique and that one modality doesn't fit all. That requires that everyone takes responsibility to observe what works for them and what doesn't. In the food area, some bodies handle carbohydrates better than protein and some bodies should avoid high carbohydrates like poison. Our body's health must be in our own hands - it can't be looked after by the state.

Tinman said...

My diet consists mainly of fruit, nuts, seed-type vegetables and meat and I switched from beer to wine.

My weight remains high, my blood sugar low, my ticker gets no worse and the Dr. is (almost) happy.

dad4justice said...

My diet is Speights. Ooops wrong web site, sorry what a silly bunt I am.

ZenTiger said...

@KiwiGirl, who said "When is the medical world going to wake up and acknowledge that EVERYONE is unique and that one modality doesn't fit all. "


The medical world hasn't even figured out people are different from rats, rabbits, cats, chimpanzees and dogs.

Well, most types of rabbit.