Read the fine print
A good example of statistics that have some truth, but don’t represent common sense is a “study” that was released in December that somehow even got published in the Journal of Nutrition. It was comparing honey, sugar and high fructose corn syrup to see if one is “healthier”. The “study” concluded that they were ALL EQUAL. Now, let’s drill down and look at some important background information.
1) The study had 55 people in it.
2) A person was given daily doses of each sweetener for two weeks each.
3) At the end of 2 weeks, they measured blood sugar, insulin, body weight, cholesterol and blood pressure
Okay, let’s just talk about that. Fifty-five people to represent the entire population that consumes honey, sugar and high fructose corn syrup is absurd.
Next, give the person the sweetener for just two weeks. Huh?
And at the end of two weeks, you are going to decide whether my weight fluctuated because of how much honey/sugar/HFCS I ate, and not look at the rest of my diet?
This “study” was reported by literally every large media outlet, and I am sure will be used to promote the use of high fructose corn syrup.
The most recent hoopla on bacon and processed meat is similar. We promote the elimination of processed meat in your diet, just kind of for different reasons. It’s crazy to say, “red meat is a carcinogen”. It’s the nitrites used as the preservatives that become the carcinogens. It’s the antibiotics given to animals that create some of the chemical contamination in red meat and it’s the pesticides put on the plants that the animals eat that has created this unbelievable cocktail of chaos.
There’s all sorts of ways to find out more about statistics, clinical studies. In fact, sometimes there’s just too much information out there. That’s why it is hard to really know what’s true, what’s not. We have found a simple course that has some great basic information on how to find and use health statistics. (And, let’s admit it, we’re mainly interested in health statistics, aren’t we?)
It’s some courses offered by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, and they are free. They aren’t that long. Try them out on how to USE STATS:
Need more help figuring something out? Call or email. We can help.