Friday, January 29, 2010

A Little Overweight - don't sweat it.

Another study challenging the conventional wisdom regarding nutrition and health. 

I've previously mentioned my distrust of the BMI metric. This study is consistent with other recent studies. The medical profession needs a huge kick up the ass because they rely too much on meta analyses which appear oh so authoritative but if you know how these studies are done you realise there is plenty of fudge room. Too many numbers and not enough thinking. In the last week there were also studies claiming that having fat on the thighs and hips may actually be good for you and that too many antioxidants may be bad for you. Then there was that continual tirade against the Aitken's diet but if you looked at the data it was perfectly clear that there can be value in this diet, though I still have concerns about the continual adherence to such a diet. Another study released this week found that a low carb diet decreased blood pressure, going against all conventional advice. And just today I read a doctor who stated that even the linkage between saturated fat and heart disease is up for grabs. Not to mention now numerous studies suggesting pill popping is largely a waste of time. 

What to do? It is expensive but if you are really serious about maintaining health you need physiological markers. Cholesterol, Hb1ac, blood pressure,  CRP, heart stress test, nutrient concentration. Relying on broad based statistical analyses is a logical error. The results of a statistical study are not even applicable to the individuals in the study, only to the group as a whole. You are an individual, manage your health accordingly.

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