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posted by janrinok on Wednesday February 04 2015, @03:51PM   Printer-friendly
from the I'll-never-close-my-eyes-again dept.

Scott Adams of Dilbert fame writes on his blog that science's biggest fail of all time is 'everything about diet and fitness':

I used to think fatty food made you fat. Now it seems the opposite is true. Eating lots of peanuts, avocados, and cheese, for example, probably decreases your appetite and keeps you thin. I used to think vitamins had been thoroughly studied for their health trade-offs. They haven’t. The reason you take one multivitamin pill a day is marketing, not science. I used to think the U.S. food pyramid was good science. In the past it was not, and I assume it is not now. I used to think drinking one glass of alcohol a day is good for health, but now I think that idea is probably just a correlation found in studies.

According to Adams, the direct problem of science is that it has been collectively steering an entire generation toward obesity, diabetes, and coronary problems. But the indirect problem might be worse: It is hard to trust science because it has a credibility issue that it earned. "I think science has earned its lack of credibility with the public. If you kick me in the balls for 20-years, how do you expect me to close my eyes and trust you?"

 
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  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 04 2015, @06:19PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 04 2015, @06:19PM (#141244)

    Virtually every established physician, dietician, or nutritionist 25 years ago would have told you

    And where are the scientists in your list?

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  • (Score: 2) by Tramii on Wednesday February 04 2015, @07:42PM

    by Tramii (920) on Wednesday February 04 2015, @07:42PM (#141284)

    Well there's the problem. We should be asking archaeologists, geologists and mathematicians about what to eat!

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by maxwell demon on Wednesday February 04 2015, @11:02PM

      by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 04 2015, @11:02PM (#141344) Journal

      What about medical researchers (not the same as physicians!) and biologists?

      --
      The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 06 2015, @05:33PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 06 2015, @05:33PM (#141909)
        Most of them are specialists and so they won't give you any useful dietary advice. They'll give you useful advice for stuff they're expert on.

        Up until recently the rest of their advice would likely have been the same shit that everyone else got wrong.

        The nutritionists, etc were supposed to be digesting all the research done by the researchers and coming up with advice that's not shit.

        By the same logic in this thread we shouldn't be trusting doctors for medical advice since they aren't scientists, and we should somehow instead take the time to be experts in the field. And sadly it actually is true in too many cases. Many doctors often don't have the time and energy left to keep up with the best and latest research.

        To me it shows there is a problem with the system. The research is out there, but nobody is doing a good job of curating it and making it known to those who need to know.
        • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Friday February 06 2015, @07:01PM

          by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 06 2015, @07:01PM (#141945) Journal

          By the same logic in this thread we shouldn't be trusting doctors for medical advice since they aren't scientists

          No. Rather by the same logic we shouldn't blame science when the doctor fails to do his job properly. You've apparently forgotten what this thread was about.

          --
          The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 05 2015, @06:56AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 05 2015, @06:56AM (#141430)
    So who is supposed to be giving nutritional advice? Shift the blame about all you want but there's no denying the system has failed. There's very little actual advancement if some scientist is right about something important but practically the whole world doesn't know it for decades.

    Secondly most scientists are specialists. So most of them would have got their nutrition/diet advice from the same sources: "physician, dietician, or nutritionist", crap studies, etc, and thus they'd either be telling people the same thing, or they won't be commenting.

    Even those who bother to look at the science can see that a lot of science work is crap done by
    a) scientists who are paid by someone with an agenda (who'll only publish the stuff they want)
    b) scientists who need to "publish or perish", in which case they publish incomplete crap often, instead of one far more conclusive study (which would never get the funding or time anyway).

    Nowadays a lot of low hanging fruit is gone, so you're more likely to need more funding and time in order to actually do a good quality study. Instead of a few very good studies, you get thousands of half complete crap (and a dozen meta analysis will be done on different subsets producing different conclusions).
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 05 2015, @01:22PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 05 2015, @01:22PM (#141481)

      Shift the blame about all you want but there's no denying the system has failed.

      Yes, but the system that failed is not the science system. It's the medical system.

      Blaming science for that is like blaming mathematics for the Intel Pentium FDIV bug.