Confusing Fads With Science

2019-04-01 – Happy April Fools’ Day!

Six years ago today, I got the idea that April Fools’ Day had become so successful that it had taken over the entire year. What we needed was a day to counterbalance the foolishness. I called it Diogenes Day—a day for truth-telling. I suggested October 1 as the date, being half a year away from April 1 and a month before our elections. I’ve written about Diogenes Day many times since then, but it never took off.

I’m not giving up. (Though maybe I should change the name of the day to Sisyphus Day.)

Today, I want to talk about an anti-science post I saw recently.

The post recited an array of contradictory pieces of health advice. Eat carbs versus don’t eat carbs. Aerobic exercise versus strength training. Fats are bad for you versus fats are good for you. Don’t miss out on protein versus protein will ruin your kidneys. Five meals a day. Three meals a day. No meals a day. Cleanses.

You’ve heard it all. And if this is what science is telling us, why should we ever listen to science? But the premise here is wrong. None of this stuff is science. These are fads.

If there was ONE thing that we could do to live a long and healthy life, we’d all be doing it. You know? If life were simple and easy . . .

And that’s what science says. You need carbs, but not too much. You need aerobic exercise and strength training. You need some fats but not 20 strips of bacon. You need cleanses, but your body does this automatically; you don’t need anything extra. And so on.

The answer is not secret. It’s just more complicated than the answers that the so-called health gurus want to sell you under the false branding of “science.” None of it is science. So, when the fad diet doesn’t work, don’t blame science.

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