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Sunday, February 12, 2006

Study Shows Venus Made of Coleslaw

Well, not really, but it's a good headline so we'll run with it. I am still baffled and amazed by the misleading headlines and stories that are being written "reporting" the latest study about low-fat diets and health. Even publications that are taking a sensible look at the story, such as this one in Newsweek, fall prey to the simpletons, with a link to another story, headlined- Study: Low-fat diet doesn't reduce cancer, heart disease. If you're getting confused by all this, try this story, a more balanced take.

The most fascinating aspect so far is that the low fat/high fat brouhaha is turning political. Over on Fox they are positively triumphant, with stories about the "busting" of the "fat myth" which has been perpetrated on good-old steak-and-fry-chawin' America by a bunch of Lefties, scientists, social do-gooders and other Anti-American types. I suppose this is no surprise- the story has nuance, and nuance is something the Fox & Bush types are afraid of. Right or wrong. For us or against us.

Nuance? That's a French word, isn't it?

Jeff Jacoby, the Boston Globe's in-house right-wing nutcase, blames science, and points out that scientists are always changing their minds, so you really cannot trust them. That's a view that plays well with the crowd who consider all science suspect to begin with, want Evolution banned from the schools and are convinced that all this talk of Global Warming is simply an anti-American plot.

Quite frankly, the current mis-reporting and politization of the low-fat diet story shows the same knee-jerk anti-intellectual, anti-science, anti-intelligence bias, and the same disregard for anything approaching real reporting by the press, that got us George Bush in the White House and American troops in Iraq.

Do you want fries with that?

Mike wrote a powerful blog about choices-made yesterday that got me musing about all that sort of stuff. Roads not taken, and the "what-ifs" of life. Made me think of this Robert Frost poem-

The Road Not Taken
-Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

1 comment:

Mike said...

CC--I love that Frost poem. Great post to boot. Fox news is watched in this house for comedy value only. Oh, and the fact that some of the female newscasters look like they could pose for Penthouse or something. Other than that, I think it is pretty useless. Bill O'Reilly is supposed to be a comedian....right?