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Beware Headlines or Why You Should Never Trust the Daily Mail

lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
edited December 2016 in Debate Club
Okay, that's not 100% fair as the blogger says she's not picking on the Daily Mail, but I think it still deserves a call out!

That aside, not really sure what the debate is here, but since this is possibly going to become a discussion of studies I thought this belonged in this section.

I found this discussion of the press releases/headlines/media coverage and the facts about these various studies not surprising, but worth reading:


"TL;DR No there haven’t been a series of recent studies that disagree about butter, only headlines."


"So either there is some HUGE discrepancy in the way nutrition scientists see the function of saturated fat…. Or press releases (and the subsequent headlines born from them) are just playing a giant 5th-grade-birthday-party game of telephone with the truth."

Me: hmm, wonder which it is! (But read the discussion.)

And then the follow-up (and an independently interesting study):


"The focus of this trial should be on what it was designed to look at, the primary outcome of changes in adiposity. It adds onto a growing list of trials which look more critically at claims about the supposed metabolic superiority of a low carbohydrate diet, especially in that it gave more defined dietary recommendations compared to most free-living low carb vs low fat trials. The fact that the media took off with a secondary outcome of the trial is possibly a side-effect of the #fakenews environment we live in, and likely fueled by an overly enthusiastic press-release."


  • CaptainJoy
    CaptainJoy Posts: 257 Member
    I read the discussion. The Daily Mail, along with countless other news agencies, are sensationalizing and taking research out of context to sell their news. I can only shake my head when I see articles that promote eating lots of saturated fat. Yes, they are saying "saturated fat could be good for you" and that translates to "I should eat more saturated fat. Let's go stock up on lots of sausages, bacon, and butter."

    The following quote needs to be carefully scrutinized: 'These results indicate that most healthy people probably tolerate a high intake of saturated fat well, as long as the fat quality is good and total energy intake is not too high. It may even be healthy,' says Ottar Nygård. He said "most" and "healthy people" and "probably." He also says that the fat quality must be good. What is good quality? Butter or avocado? What does he mean when he says that energy intake cannot be too high? Does this mean that if one overeats, the once good saturated fat becomes bad? It's a shame that headlines like these are needed to sell news because it often hurts people more than it helps them.

    I think this picture is a good example of misinformed sensationalism.
  • yarwell
    yarwell Posts: 10,477 Member
    The spin is often in the press release, sometimes in the abstract, rarely in the body of the study and seldom in the data. These days I tend to read the tables rather than the words.
  • MeanderingMammal
    MeanderingMammal Posts: 7,866 Member
    The Wail have been quite vocal in their condemnation of Farcebook seeking to tag fake news, given that many of their stories would be tagged as fake according to the current panel of sources that Farcebook have engaged to review the links.
  • myheartsabattleground
    myheartsabattleground Posts: 2,040 Member
    CaptainJoy wrote: »

  • CipherZero
    CipherZero Posts: 1,418 Member
    Any idiot can read an abstract, and unfortunately many idiots do and think that's the whole story.
  • albertabeefy
    albertabeefy Posts: 1,169 Member
    CipherZero wrote: »
    Any idiot can read an abstract, and unfortunately many idiots do and think that's the whole story.
    What's amazing is the number of studies where you read the abstract, and the authors' conclusion ... then you analyze the study and find the conclusion statement disagrees with their study data.