I can manipulate data to say anything I want. So can you. So can CNN, Fox News, BBC, USA Today, CDC, NASA… etc.
And it’s not outright lying, either.
Since starting Keto, I’ve been doing a lot of medical research in my free time — about metabolic systems, cholesterol, good vs bad fat, diabetes, brain function, etc…
And all this research provides conclusions differing from long held medical and dietary beliefs. And I’ve always wondered, where does this come from? Who was the scientist/nutritionist/wizard who said dietary fat makes you fat?
I mean fat = fat. Makes sense? Yeah?
But the more research I do into the body’s metabolic pathways, and I realized how completely bad sugar is for you compared to dietary fat.
I read a really awesome article on how Keto, referred to as Very Low Carb High Fat (VLCHF) diet, actually causes you to have more good cholesterol (HDL) and decreases bad cholesterol (LDL) as well as “changing” LDL into HDL cholesterol. And I know to the lay person, the word cholesterol invokes images of crusty arteries and heart attacks, but your body needs cholesterol to make hormones.
The article gets way more sciency than I have time to go into.
But “people” say that upping fat and lowering carbs is bad.
Who are these people? The government? Your mom? Your ancient primary care doctor who hasn’t done any nutritional research since 1980?
But on the topic of bullshittery, when I was in undergrad and grad school, I’d always write my papers at the 11th hour. And make A’s on them.
Because I’m awesome like that.
But I could pull the most random data from anywhere to prove my point and cite it. It could have been a study on amoebas and I could turn it into something about recidivism in adult male populations.
Well, maybe not that far fetched… but you get my drift.
I would go onto a database like Jstor, and do a search, look through abstracts and find what data I needed to prove my point. Add some fancy quotes and voila.
And because I know I’m not the only one who does this, If I see a recent scientific study, until I personally read their sample sizes, methodology, etc… I don’t trust it.
And neither should you.
I mean, people don’t have a lot of time to invest in what is “truth” and “fake truth”. The lay person probably doesn’t know how sampling methods can affect outcomes or different methods of statistical analysis that can be used to skew data. The lay person doesn’t have the time or urge to actually go out there and research.
I mean, in the age of the internet and wikipedia, people do have information on demand. But, who posts this information? What’s their agenda?
In my first research methodology class, my professor asked, “Why do murder rates and ice cream sales rise at the same time?”
Or something like that.
Two seemingly completely different things, that both saw a rise during the same time period. Are they connected? Do they have a correlation? Is it statistically significant?
Murder and ice cream have nothing to do with each other other than the rates of ice cream sales and murder rates both rise in the summer.