Sunday, August 7, 2016

Comically bad "science"reporting

Stuff this morning purports to tell us Why plant protein is better for you than meat protein.

The researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital looked at the health data of nearly 132,000 people since the 1980s. The data included information about their diet as well as how much and what types of proteins they consumed.

They then looked at health outcomes of the participants and, after adjusting for other diet and lifestyle factors, found that high intake of animal proteins (meat, eggs, dairy) was associated with a greater risk of premature death than when the protein intake came from plant sources (breads, cereals, pasta, beans, nuts and legumes).

Gosh, better stop eating all that meat and switch to vegetable protein, right?  Er, wrong.


There was however a caveat to the findings. The increased risk among meat eaters disappeared among those who had a healthy lifestyle – they had to also drink alcohol or smoke, be sedentary, obese or underweight.

So, what their study actually found was that smoking, drinking alcohol, getting no exercise and being too fat or too thin is bad for you, but eating meat or not makes no difference.   That's not a caveat, that's their research finding being blown out of the water.

Next on Stuff: a story about someone whose car was stolen while they were in the supermarket, with the caveat that they found the car elsewhere in the car park a minute later.

4 comments:

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Well done Milt.

Hey, I have my car stolen like that every week!

gravedodger said...

Don't think that is how it was for the unlucky bugger who had his Caravan stolen from his Beckenham address last night AF.
A new paint job and presto the NZTA will issue new plates and for around a grand in costs some scumbag has his summer holidays sorted.
Ah micro chipping will do it, the scumbags not the vehicles.

Thanks for the rest of the post Milt had me going with the opening. Too bad about the alcohol but I am doing reasonably well with the diet, the exercise the smoking and the BMI.

Noel said...

The conclusion
"Although higher intake of animal protein was associated with higher mortality and higher intake of plant protein was associated with lower mortality, these associations were confined to participants with at least 1 lifestyle risk factor. Substitution of plant protein for animal protein, especially from processed red meat, may confer a substantial health benefit."

This does make sense when read in conjunction with other studies.

Ironically with the rise in red meat price over the last two decades the chicken and fish which the study concludes as a lesser evil has become more prominent in the NZ diet.

Then again carbs are the new fat according to current nutritionists so that would cancel those foods protein value.

Aint science wonderful.

paul scott said...


Casual associations, and dishonest partial social science activists

Selective and interested analysis is a thing Eric Crampton [ Economics and analyst ] has to look at all the time.. People arrange trials to produce a required outcome, leaving out likely causal associations., and relegating them to casual situations.
So obvious on this case that the analysis is dishonest.
Sometimes to rig an experiment you can just leave out the bits that do not suit, or introduce bits that do suit.
The recent feminazi screams about pay equality are a case. The conclusion that a whole bunch of people are paid less than others, is meaningless when you do not consider the work they do.
That is that hotel staff in the cleaning business are paid less than the trained accountants and management staff.
Or people working three days a week are paid less overall then those working 6 days a week.

But our analysis show that women are paid less than men you see, assuming deliberately that all else is equal.
When these skill levels are accounted for there is a minor deficit to women, but not so much as requiring screaming.
Then we have criminally stupid social scientists like moron Dr Jarrod Gilbert who is calling for the Crime of Climate Change Denial to be adopted.
He cites the flagrantly fraudulent claim that there is a consensus of 97 % support.
One deficient leads to another for support.


I lost the car in a Maroochydore department shopping car park. A big car park on all sides. The only thing I could remember about it was that it was small and red.
It was a hired car. I had to wait till 6 at night, when the parking lot was emptying, to see where the thief had returned it to.