Tuesday, February 17, 2009

At The Mercy of 'Studies'

Many years ago, perhaps decades, people were told to be careful of how many eggs were included in their diets, due to the high cholesterol levels. New products featuring 'egg whites only' were put on the market to help people lower their cholesterol. I bought some of the Break-Free products myself because while my cholesterol has never tested high, I wanted to be careful. I used egg whites in cooking, scrambled egg breakfasts, etc. But several years ago I stopped doing that because I thought about how many thousands of years people have been eating eggs and I wondered if yet another study would eventually come out that says 'whoops, you can eat eggs safely, they don't actually increase cholesterol'. Well perhaps that time has arrived. A year ago, the Mayo Clinic website told people to use egg whites, avoiding the high-cholesterol yolks. Will more studies be done and every healthy eating site will have to change it's warnings about eggs?

This reminds me of how milk became another 'fat' source to be avoided years ago. I remember going for 1% and skim milk because I heard endlessly about how high-fat milk isn't good for you. But over the past year I have seen ads on tv suggesting that drinking milk helps you LOSE weight! What? The actors have nice thick milk moustaches that you can't get from watery skim milk... so what is going on?

It also reminds me of the study years ago that initially linked the MMR vaccine to Autism, but was later refuted numerous times. That study came out over 10 years ago but was heavily refuted more than 5 years ago, and I am still hearing parents say they don't want the vaccine because it 'causes autism'. Are childrens' health and lives at risk because of ONE study that made it's findings known irresponsibly?

How at risk are we of 'studies' that are not properly performed, so health warnings and dietary advice is given out, only to find out years later that it was wrong?

Now think about other 'studies' that are coming out and forcing us to change the way we are living, costing billions of dollars (Climate Change for example), while there has been no definitive proof to support the theories. Entire countries are changing their environmental laws based on studies that thousands are refuting, and we are paying for it out of our own pockets. There needs to be more accountability and less fear-mongering!

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