Friday, September 10, 2010

"Low-Carbohydrate Diets and All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality"

GaryK posted this study over at Barefoot Ted's Group the other day (see discussion at the link).  The finding of this survey is that a low-carb, animal-based diet is worse for you than a low-carb, vegetable-based diet.

As all I had available to me was the excerpt, and the excerpt of the editorial commenting on this survey, it was tough to know what to think, except to think that this didn't seem like it was what it purported to  be.

The message about this was getting out, though. ("Low-Carb Diet is Better When Rich in Veggies")

I had hoped that some folks who are better at this than I am would pitch in on it.

Sure enough...

"The Vegetable Group was nowhere near plant-based: They derived almost 30% of their daily calories from animal sources (animal fat and animal protein), versus about 45% for the Animal Group. If we compare the middle (fifth) decile, the Vegetable Group was eating a greater percent of total calories from animal foods than the Animal Group was. D’oh!"

Denise Minger eviscerates it.  The findings are pretty much bogus, but, the message is out.  Millions will see news articles about this study; hundreds, maybe thousands, will read Denise's explanation of why it's bogus.

Chris Masterjohn then goes through and explains exactly what they're doing:

"Logical fallacies cannot substitute for the scientific method just because the scientific method seems difficult or even infeasible. " 

Oh, and should you be worried about the low-carb aspect of the study?  I'll quote Denise again:

"You can bet the farm that neither was anything close to “low carb.”"

As a follow up to the "How Scientists Lie About Fat" post, I could have titled this, "How Scientists Lie About Diet"...