Over the past few years, there have been an increasing number of instances where scientific studies claim that limiting sugar or eating more fruits and vegetables can help you lose weight and/or improve your overall health.
Most people are aware of the low-carb diets like the Atkins diet or The Paleo Diet, but there is another very popular diet type that has made its way into the nutrition community as well. This is the keto diet!
The ketogenic diet was first used to treat epilepsy in 1920s America. Since then, it has become increasingly popular for use as a weight loss tool and disease management technique. Some research suggests that the keto diet may also be effective in treating certain types of cancer.
However, despite all this popularity, most experts agree that the keto diet isn’t necessarily healthy for everyone. Even if one does not suffer from diabetes or heart disease, too much fat consumed via the keto diet can still do harm to your body.
This article will discuss some of the problems with the keto diet and why it is probably not the best diet plan for you.
A fundamental assumption of science is that all samples are given equal weight, which means researchers cannot use only studies with conclusions they like and ignore or discount studies that do not fit their hypothesis.
This assumption goes out the window when there’s a clear underdog team, though – even if their results disagree with those of the top teams.
By giving more credence to studies that support your position, you end up exaggerating the effect of treatments in the same way that athletes who get lots of media coverage are sometimes overrated as players.
You may also understate the effects of practices and therapies that have been discredited. For example, research has shown that vitamin supplements such as Vitamin C help prevent infections but big company advertisements often promote them for health benefits, so people tend to rely on pretenders instead of real medicine.
With scientific evidence, it’s important to be aware of where your biases lie before drawing strong conclusions from studies.
The peer review process
Peer review is an integral part of the scientific method. This process comes in two main forms: internal and external. Internal reviews occur within your own field or area of research, whereas external reviewers come from outside your discipline to give feedback.
By having independent experts look over your work, you can get valuable insights into whether your conclusions are sound and the methodology effective.
The downside is that even well-respected researchers may not like what you have found so they may try to debunk your findings or push for alternative hypotheses instead.
However, this is normal and important to do as it helps prevent false discoveries and theories which may be harmful to people. Unfortunately, there have been instances where major studies have been completely debunked by external reviewers.
A publication bias happens when authors of academic papers are not fully open about their findings. This can be due to a variety of things, including fear of being attacked or discredited, self-censorship because of concern for how others will perceive them, or simply wanting to publish in your own field rather than someone else’s.
It’s important to note that this doesn’t just happen at the very end of an experiment — it can occur anywhere during the process. For example, researchers may choose to report only positive results in studies they conducted, or negative ones they didn’t conduct but were asked to review as part of their job.
This is particularly common in fields like medicine, where success often depends heavily on whether a treatment works or not, so clinicians might censor information about what products don’t work. In fact, a recent study found that up to 70% of medical research isn’t published at all!
Importance: This can seriously distort our picture of both the effectiveness and risk profile of different treatments
Fortunately, there are some ways to mitigate this problem. One option is to do systematic reviews that combine the findings of individual studies with overall conclusions. Another is to use statistical methods to evaluate if any given study has been influenced by confounding factors, such as who funded it.
A large part of psychology is studying how people influence each other to get their own conclusions. This process, which psychologists call confirmation bias, happens when individuals focus only on information that confirms their current beliefs or theories, and actively ignore evidence that contradicts them.
This effect is particularly strong in situations where someone has invested time into developing an opinion about something, making it more likely they will devote time and energy to looking for more data that back up their theory.
It’s important to note that anyone can be influenced by this effect, even if you don’t believe in conspiracy theories. The researchers who study these things have seen some pretty ridiculous examples of people engaging in biased reasoning.
However, because most people aren’t inclined to seriously consider crazy ideas at least not until something like proof comes along, we tend to agree with our own thoughts and opinions more than others’. This doesn’t make us any smarter, though!
By thinking too much about what we already know, we limit ourselves to just those possibilities. We lose touch with the outside world, and sometimes, it takes an outsider to make an observation to trigger our awareness.
When this happens, we may rethink everything we thought we knew, including why the outsider was able to bring us out of our comfort zones. An example of this would be listening to music that sounds totally different from your average piece.
The expert consensus
Like all stereotypes, this one has some truth to it. Some theories are better than others at explaining past events, can be used as rules of thumb to make predictions about future events, and help us organize our understanding of nature.
But before we throw out the theory with the bathwater, we should evaluate its accuracy in comparison to other theories. And we must remember that even strong evidence for an incorrect theory does not mean that the wrong theory is necessarily correct.
We need to consider whether there are more likely explanations for the data that contradict the false hypothesis. In fact, many cases where experts disagree are because they have different assumptions or interpretations of the facts.
It’s also important to recognize when a new idea has been proposed and tested enough times to be considered reliable.
This article will discuss several examples of how science goes wrong, and what you can do to avoid making the same mistakes.
The scientific process isn’t always straightforward
A lot of people get the idea that since science is based on logic, then anything scientists do must be logically sound. This couldn’t be further from the truth!
In fact, there are many examples of things that seem logical to us but aren’t really valid uses of the scientific method. These types of ideas are sometimes given more weight because they appear to use the methods correctly, but they don’t.
For example, someone who believes in paranormal or supernatural phenomena will often cite studies as proof for their theory. But these studies usually have major flaws that make it difficult to draw any conclusions from them.
Similarly, some theories like eugenics – which aims to enhance human genetics by selectively breeding individuals with certain characteristics – seem totally reasonable.
But eugenic practices were also full of atrocities done in the name of improving the gene pool. It was very easy for those involved in this field to believe that what they were doing was good, even if most people think otherwise now.
A very common error in scientific studies is called selective reporting. This happens when researchers only report results that show an effect of their topic, or they omit information about whether their experiment had success or not.
This cuts down the accuracy of your study quite heavily because you don’t know what would have happened if the hypothesis was false!
By omitting this data, you also lose out on potentially important insights that could disprove the theory under test.
The influence of media
Recent studies show that our perception of reality is influenced more by what we watch, listen to and read than by direct experiences in the real world.
This effect has been referred to as perceptual immersion or informational saturation. When we are exposed to too much negative information about a topic, it can subconsciously affect how we perceive things related to that topic.
For example, when there’s a lot of talk about how dangerous cigarettes are, then people who already smoke may think that they must be even worse than before.
When there’s a lot of discussion about how to prepare food, people who usually cook might start buying only takeout because they don’t feel like cooking. And when there’s a lot of talk about why diets often fail, dieters may give up and eat whatever he/she wants because they believe that they aren’t eating well anyway.
So instead of changing their habits due to poor nutrition, they change them because of overnutrition. (A person with this problem is sometimes called a Over-Eater.) Or maybe they choose not to make changes at all because they believe that they will never achieve their goal if they do.
All of these possibilities explain why most people who want to lose weight still struggle to do so.
Another way that mental health issues can become inflated due to excessive exposure to similar situations is through comparison.