Lessons learnt from the sugar conspiracy – The 200 words project

(continued from parts 1, 2, 3).  I took away a few lessons from the sugar conspiracy –

1. A calorie is not a calorie – thanks Dr Lustig.

2. Avoiding confirmation bias is critical to getting to the truth. A habit of seeking out disconfirming evidence is among the best habits we can develop.

3. A large data set is useless if experiment design and analysis is flawed.

4. If you build it, make sure you do a good job selling it. To bring about change, ideas need to be adopted.

5. Be mindful of the politics surrounding important decisions. As this story demonstrates, strong personalities who refuse to listen to reason can cause decades worth of collateral damage.

6. When you are presented with research based results on topics like nutrition, take the time to understand the principles and run a gut check.

As I write this, I’d like to salute John Yudkin and Robert Adkins for being well ahead of their time. While they didn’t get the recognition they deserved, they serve as role models for us to strip issues down to basic principles and reason our way to understanding how things work.

And, thanks to Ian Leslie for a fantastic article.

A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it. – Max Planck

Source and thanks to: The Sugar Conspiracy by Ian Leslie in the Guardian

Thanks to Fenny’s world for the image