A new study says you can't trust most studies. Well, that is one way to make sure your study is believed… If the study is wrong, it proves the study is right! It's like when someone tells you they are a liar… should you believe them?
The food studies appear to be particularly subpar.
One study showed that 40 out of 50 food ingredients studied had links to cancer.
Chocolate, red wine, salt, and eggs have bounced back and forth throughout the years, from being considered healthy, then deadly.
And then there was the classic study which reviewed the literature on the harms of sugar. This one was paid for by the sugar industry, and one of the scientists went on to help create the food pyramid. More on that later…
"The majority of papers that get published, even in serious journals, are pretty sloppy," said John Ioannidis, professor of medicine at Stanford University, who specializes in the study of scientific studies…
Only a third of the 100 studies published in three top psychology journals could be successfully replicated in a large 2015 test.
Medicine, epidemiology, population science and nutritional studies fare no better, Ioannidis said, when attempts are made to replicate them…
Ioannidis recommends asking the following questions: is this something that has been seen just once, or in multiple studies? Is it a small or a large study? Is this a randomized experiment? Who funded it? Are the researchers transparent?
These are sound recommendations. It is impossible for us to replicate all these studies ourselves. At some point, it is necessary to trust experts. But each individual should be equipt to assess the information coming from the experts.
We are trained to blindly follow the doctor's orders. Doctors can be wrong, even when they are not being openly or subtly manipulated by the pharmaceutical industry.
But like any other humans, scientists and doctors are, well, human. They can be misguided, confused, corrupt, and stubbornly opinionated. That is why it is important to ask questions and really dig deep when your doctor recommends medications, surgery, or treatment. If this upsets your doctor, it is all the more important to press further.