This blog is part of a series; its original title was Heilkunst Basics: Grade Eight; Pop Quiz!
I guess it shouldn’t surprise me, but it did — just a couple of days after I warned you about the minefield of myths you need to carefully navigate on your way to health, The Atlantic published an article about a very poorly run study which came to the faulty conclusion that eating eggs is bad for you, in the name of the cholesterol myth. Do you remember the warning I gave you about agents of the pharmaceutical industry trying to sell you the need for drugs, on the basis of the cholesterol myth?
The study quoted in this article is a terrific example of the concept of “believing is seeing” — the researchers began with the presumption of the cholesterol myth, namely, that:
- Cholesterol is “bad” for us, and
- Consumption of cholesterol-rich foods (such as eggs) raise our cholesterol levels, and are therefore “bad” for us.
Both of these presumptions are false, but once a ‘scientist’ has firmly grabbed hold of a belief, it’s almost impossible to get them to drop it.
As you can see at the bottom of this article online, almost 100% of the commentators (at least at the time I read the article) were very unimpressed with this, and some good points were made there, including:
- This was merely an observational study, without any proper controls as part of the design.
- The research begin with a presumption, which automatically makes for a bad research design. One key example : the presumption that consumption of dietary cholesterol increases our cholesterol levels.
- The study relied on a very poor sample (already sick people in the hospital), and a very weak data collection method relying on recall of past behaviour.
I know that you know better, but it angers me to think of how many people will read this headline, and how it will reinforce the myth that’s already been drilled into their head by the media.
Save an artery today! Feed your friend an egg! Let’s make sure that the yolk is on the pharmaceutical industry, whose sale of Statin drugs dries up along with the rest of their health and nutrition myths.