Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Diet Coke causes...

... what? Or another reason why news articles on science in this country are so lackluster.

News organizations are all over the latest finding that diet coke will kill you! I'm not about to say that diet coke is good for you by any stretch of the imagination. However, what I want to know is, how much did the corn industry pay them to write this (from MSNBC):
"The increased likelihood of vascular events remained even after Gardener and her colleagues accounted for risk factors, such as smoking, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. Pointing the finger more squarely at diet drinks, the researchers found no increased risk among people who drank regular soda." [emphasis mine]

Regular soda is full of High Fructose Corn Syrup. We all know that sugar causes inflammation, which in turn probably causes most cardiovascular disease.

What I want to know is, why they take a survey of 2500 people as proof of anything. A survey shows nothing. You can't control for variables. In fact, there's no control for variables because it's not a clinical trial. In other words, this isn't science. However, it's touted as being "scientific." Maybe the people who drank diet coke were like I used to be, consuming copious amounts of pastries and candy. The pastries and candy have nothing to do with their consumption of diet coke, but may be the cause of their cardiovascular disease.

The only way to find out if a substance is harmful or not, is to do a double blind clinical trial, where you have everything identical in two groups of people (or lab rats) and assign one group the product they want to test (the variable) and the other a placebo (the control).

At least the LA times isn't on the fear mongering band wagon and pointed out that correlation doesn't equal causation. I think most of these news stories are simply to scare everyone into eating in whatever manner the government wants us to eat.

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