July 11

AAARRRGGGHHHH!

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Here’s one for the Keen-Grasp-of-the-Obvious Archives.
How do people get this kind of study published? I guess they all sit around at their various institutions

Clinical centers: Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio (Stephen Daniels, MD, PhD, principal investigator; Frank S. Biro, co-investigator); Westat, Inc, Rockville, Md (George Schreiber, ScD, principal investigator; Ruth Striegel-Moore, PhD, co-investigator); University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley (Zak I. Sabry, PhD, principal investigator; Patricia Crawford, DrPH, co-investigator). Coordinating center: Maryland Medical Research Institute, Baltimore (Bruce Barton, PhD, principal investigator).

and one says, “Hey, we ought to publish a paper.” Another says, “Yeah, let’s do some original research, something that will advance the body of medical knowledge.” Yet another adds, “I know, let’s do a study showing that people who eat more fast food weigh more.” “Good idea,” agrees the first, “We can really contribute with that one.”
Federally funded bureaucracies, i.e., your and my tax money, rush to fund such a study.

This research was supported by contracts HC55023-26 and cooperative agreements U01-HL48941 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.

And, lo, the results are published. And Reuters rushes to cover the big event.
And after all this, what do we learn?
That the group of adolescents that ate the most fast food consumed more calories than the group that ate the least fast food. And that the group consuming the least fast food ate 34.3% of their calories as fat, while the group consuming the most fast food ate a whopping 35.8% of their calories as fat. And, most importantly, as adolescents ate more fast food, their consumption of saturated fat skyrocketed from 12.5% of calories all the way up to 13% of calories. And why are we concerned about this? Because we live in a fat-phobic world.
Carbohydrate intake was felt by the researchers to be unimportant and was, therefore, not evaluated in this study.
How many trees die each and every day so that studies like this one can be published?


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