Back in 2013, I pounded the table that this Mediterranean diet was junk science. The NEJM had to retract it today for the reasons I explained in 2013, below.
From: SG <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 10:12 AM
Subject: In-depth look at the NEJM Mediterranean diet
Holy cow. I am looking into this NEJM study because it is STILL being reported on nation TV as of this morning.
In addition to the results being clinically insignificant, as I have mentioned previously (i.e. a mere 0.6% real absolute reduction, not the “30% reduction” relative risk reported in the press), the study was garbage because:
- It was conducted in Spain, not the US. The patient population is different from North Americans, and the study controls of Spain are far less rigorous than the US IRB system. This is a fact recognized by the FDA (thanks to my reporting)
- It was stopped early, which is another statistical ploy to inflate efficacy
- It was compared to the low fat diet which we all know is a bad diet now.
- The data gathered were just questionnaires. The food they supposedly ate was self-reported, and not counted in a controlled clinic setting. It is well known that self reporting of dietary information is very unreliable
- The study promotes the sales of a Spanish export, olive oil, and other foods, including wine. Spain is in a deep depression. (Ah ha, now we see the financial motive for junk science. There is always a financial angle.)
- Many studies show that moderate alcohol use is NOT good. The studies that support daily booze are often funded by the alcohol industry
This is meaningless research. On the bright side, it could be worse. At least this reporting is not pushing people toward some unsafe drug. But nevertheless, it was unworthy national press.
Also on the bright side, there is zero chance that fat Americans will listen to this study and suddenly start eating olives instead of Big Macs, so the misleading reporting will have little impact.