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Follow-up to Obesity and Sweetners:

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Old 06-17-2009, 02:29 PM   #1
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Default Follow-up to Obesity and Sweetners:

From http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24028358/from/ET/

WASHINGTON - Middle-aged men who ate seven or more eggs a week had a higher risk of earlier death, U.S. researchers reported on Wednesday.

Men with diabetes who ate any eggs at all raised their risk of death during a 20-year period studied, according to the study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The study adds to an ever-growing body of evidence, much of it contradictory, about how safe eggs are to eat. It did not examine what about the eggs might affect the risk of death.


I guess those that ate eggs eventually died...I wonder if the same guys ate brussel sprouts, because I believe that anyone who has ever eaten a brussel sprout has eventually died...

Same sort of arguing...

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Old 06-17-2009, 02:46 PM   #2
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I'm afraid that I don't see the connection between the article that I posted and what you're saying here -- can you be more specific about how they are the same?
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Old 06-17-2009, 02:53 PM   #3
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Specious arguements: use of artificial sweetners and obesity/diabetes linked without really understanding a cause and effect relationship between the two (Do diabetics just eat more artificial sweetners? Do artificial sweetners make you obese in an of themselves? Or do people just eat more of an item falsely thinking that artifical sweetners are "healthier"?).
This arguement: eating eggs and increased risk of death are linked without really understanding a cause and effect relationship between the two (The study didn't examine if eggs actually DID any harm, just that if you died, you may have eaten an egg) .

Both conclusions are somewhat sensational. Both articles don't lead to any greater understanding of cause and effect relationships between health conditions and food consumption. And as you say:

neither the scientists nor the writers are stating that artificial sweeteners concretely cause obesity or diabetes.

Just as the article about eggs states:
It did not examine what about the eggs might affect the risk of death.

Sounds to me, IMHO, that someone had research money that had to be spent!!! One can find pretty much ANY conclusion about EVERYTHING that we consume on the internet...

And mostly, I thought the article I posted was pretty funny ("Don't eat EGGS because you MAY DIE" is the conclusion the article was hoping for, which is actually a pretty obvious thing!) and I didn't want to hijack your thread.

Just trying to put a smile on everyone's face, that's all...sometimes we can ALL lighten up, just a little bit, when it comes to diet and exercise, no?



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Old 06-17-2009, 02:55 PM   #4
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OH NO!
I'd better stop eating eggs. I might die!!

Oh, wait....
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Old 06-17-2009, 07:17 PM   #5
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What's interesting is that studies linking eggs to health risks are finding less of a correlation, between health and egg consumption when other factors are considered. For example, people who eat a large number of eggs but who DO NOT accompany their eggs with fried potatoes and fatty meat products (bacon, sausage, ham...) are likely to have a lower incidence of health problems than the original study found (suggesting a possiblity that it was what you ate with your eggs that may have actually have more to do with those health problems)
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Old 06-17-2009, 07:26 PM   #6
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Absolutely, which is why I have difficulty with articles such as these. They tend to sensationalize issues and demonize things without fully investigating exactly what is happening. I mean, are eggs the issue? Or is it the toast and butter they had with it that was the problem? Or an overload of carbs? Or maybe there was a history of poor blood sugar control with these diabetic men...but the headline indicates that "EGGS ARE BAD"...
Sort of irresponsible, IMHO...

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Old 06-17-2009, 09:08 PM   #7
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It's generally the reporting of the results where the biggest errors are made. The researchers would be (and probably usually are) horrified at how the results are reported in the media - but the people doing the reporting, and therefore the interpretations don't have the training to understand what they are reporting - or if they do - sensationalism sells, common sense not so much.
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Old 06-18-2009, 08:00 AM   #8
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I just wanted to follow up on Kaplod's point: don't blame the researcher and don't jump to criticizing the research.

There's a LOT of value in correlational research. Correlational research is above all else predictive. If I know X has a strong relationship to Y then I can predict Y if I know X. I don't need to know the cause to predict the outcome.

Another value is that correlational research does discover relationships that can be explored further in other studies. After all, it might help to discover a correlation first, and then examine possible causal paths. If there's no relationship between X and Y then X could never cause Y, so I've ruled out a causal path.

Finally, there are a lot of correlational studies that are a lot more complex than just the relationship between 2 variables. Multiple regression studies and path analyses and other studies can actually help rule out causal relationships and help establish the possibility of others.

As for the research itself, it's very possible that there is some of other research about eggs that does suggest causality more strongly. Science just doesn't move as quickly as we'd like it to. It's very common to have contradictory results along the way. That doesn't bother the scientists so much, but is problematic for the reporters who print headlines that are contradictory because they don't understand the important nuances.

In most cases, I'm sure the researchers cringe when they see how their work has been reported. But there IS a lot of value in correlational research.

From what I saw, the article Walrus posted actually did a very good job of avoiding a lot of causal language. [/ramble]
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