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Food News Blues

Newsweek has a good article this week called Food News Blues which talks about how the media oversimplifies nutritional science stories and misleads readers with headlines. I find this particularly timely since I was recently confused by an article that claimed diets using the glycemic index were ineffective. At least that seemed to be what it was saying, though it actually wasn’t. I think. You know, I’m still not completely sure. Which is what the Newsweek article is about! I’m not the only befuddled person out there.

Interestingly, they blame some of this confusion on increased media interest in nutrition and obesity. In the past, new studies would be discussed mostly just among the scientific community and eventually translated into clinical practice. Nowadays, because of easy information access due to the Internet etc. new papers and studies are being immediately discussed in a public forum instead of just in scientific circles. Basically, we’re being exposed to more raw information before it can be filtered.

I especially like the quote by Dr. Jeffrey Drazen that “Science is a contact sport.” It made me imagine a team of lanky scientists in their white lab coats trying to play rugby. Only instead of a ball, they’d be tossing around an Erlenmeyer flask full of sulfuric acid. Last person who doesn’t get burned wins!

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TZ • March 7, 2006 at 9:33 am

THANKS for posting this article! And how timely, as you said!


Amy • March 7, 2006 at 10:08 am

the media has finally decided articles on nutrition make money, because so many people are interested. it’s wonderful. i’m so tired of those supermarket tabloids with the woman who lost 200 pounds just by adding juice to her diet (or some such ridiculousness) sitting right next to a cake recipe and a better sex guide all on the front page. women are smarter than that, it’s time we got some credit for it.


Stephanie • March 7, 2006 at 10:41 am

Just found your blog today– I’m also on a weight loss/shaping up quest and have gotten really into finding other people’s stories and discussions about the process. Yours is one of my favorites– i love your sense of humor and the way you talk about things. I’ll definitely be back to read more… :)


hilly • March 7, 2006 at 8:28 pm

God the media and nutrition…this week low fat, next week high fat and low carbs….then the banana diet ;).

I hate the news promos that are like, “Tongiht at 11…a miracle food that could make you thinner and will bread kill you? Stay tuned….”


Kirsten • March 8, 2006 at 4:18 am

Where is this banana diet, Hilly? I’ve been off bananas for months because they’re high-GI… and I love them ;)


Marla • March 8, 2006 at 4:24 pm

I think we’re all tired of hearing about these studies… they’re not conclusive, they’re not INclusive enough, and they’re usually funded by an interested party! Really the only thing to do is experiment for yourself and find out what works; unfortunately it takes so darned long that cause and effect become too separated. Someone or other (might have been you, might have been me…) wrote something about how in a couple centuries we’ll look back at today’s weight-loss plans the way we look at blood-letting now. So crazy…


hilly • March 9, 2006 at 9:12 pm

LOL Kirsten – rmember the rotation diet? If not, one day all you ate was bananas and milk – it was crazy!


Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog at JennetteFulda.com.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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