UnScientific American

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UnScientific American

by Crabby

Cranky Fitness

I found this blog entry hilarious. Here are some quotes:

Cranky Fitness, as a health and fitness blog (albeit a half-assed one), would love to tell you exactly what to do to live a long, happy, healthy life. After all, we all have questions don't we? Questions like:

  • Will drinking milk help me lose weight?
  • Is it better to get seven or eight hours of sleep a night?
  • Is it ok to use sweeteners like Splenda and Equal?
  • Which fruits have the most antioxidants?
  • Should I take glucosamine to help with joint pain?
  • Could putting milk in your tea interfere with antioxidant absorption?
  • Is it better to exercise in the morning or the evening?

So what are the answers to these questions? Strangely enough, it's the same for every single one:

It depends on which f*cking study you read.

Sorry. Each one of those questions has authoritative, research-based, contradictory answers. So our answer is: who the hell knows?

. . .

So now, when a new study comes out? I say, "hmm, that's interesting. Keep me posted, will ya?" I only bother to change my behavior under one of the following conditions:

  • The study tells me to do/eat more of something I already like;
  • It tells me to avoid something I don't care for much anyway;
  • It's an easy change that involves no hardship whatsoever;
  • There have already been a bunch of other studies saying I should be doing/not doing the same thing--and then even then, if the change is too depressing to contemplate I'll just continue to ignore them all.

But here's the thing: as much as I sometimes just want to say "screw these studies, I'll believe what I want to believe," I still think the scientific method beats the alternatives. Through the years, some helpful information as indeed emerged despite all the noise. Some results keep coming up over and over. For example, I feel pretty confident that:

  • It's good to eat natural whole foods, especially vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean protein.
  • It's bad to eat lots of sugar, white flour, processed foods, saturated fats and transfats.
  • Exercise is good.
  • Sitting on your ass all the time is bad.
  • Stress and smoking are bad.
  • Relaxation and sex and companionship and a good night's sleep are all good.
  • And you really should floss your teeth and wear a seatbelt.

These things may seem obvious now, but 40 years ago this stuff wasn't at all clear. So, despite being wrong and annoying sometimes, yay science!



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