Vegetarian Discussion: Smart That We Are... ;)

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Magrat_Garlick
2006-10-20 14:26:56 EST
Look what I've found. :)

http://www.vegsoc.org/news/2006/testnation.html

VEGGIE CHAMPIONS!!!

The Vegetarians win BBC's Test the Nation IQ battle.

Vegetarianism... the intelligent choice!

We are THRILLED to announce that the 40-strong team of vegetarians came
out top as the studio team winners of Saturday night's hugely popular
BBC National IQ contest. And, proving that vegetarianism is clearly an
intelligent choice, the individual contestant with the highest overall
IQ was a vegetarian too!

Wearing green t-shirts, the vegetarians competed against six other
teams including butchers, estate agents, public school pupils, state
school pupils, footballers' wives and celebrities.



The veggie team was made up of vegetarians and Society members from
around the UK, including five members of VegSoc staff. As the results
were announced, the veggie team was consistently in the top three but
not the obvious victors. However, when the final scores were tallied,
including IQ variations for age differences, we were delighted to be
declared the winners - with an overall IQ of 113. Interestingly, The
Butchers came joint fourth! For a full break-down of the scores please
go to: www.bbc.co.uk/testthenation/iq/results/results.shtml

Top-scoring contestant Marie Bidmead, 68, a mother-of-five from
Churcham, Gloucester said: "It was great fun. The veggie team was so
united and jolly, regardless of winning. We all went along for a bit of
fun and were up against these highflying students and stars. I was in
absolute shock when I got the top score! I failed my 11-plus and I've
never considered myself to be a brain-box. I think it shows that we
veggies are good 'thinkers' - we think about what we eat with
intelligence for a start!"

September 2006"


Dutch
2006-10-20 18:09:02 EST
"Magrat_Garlick" <feishtica@gmail.com> wrote

> Vegetarianism... the intelligent choice!

Unless one is anemic or otherwise health-challenged and no longer
well-served by a strict vegetarian diet, in which case it's the stupid
choice.



Pearl
2006-10-20 20:04:25 EST
"Dutch" <no@email.com> wrote in message news:12jii81abvimn01@news.supernews.com...
> "Magrat_Garlick" <feishtica@gmail.com> wrote
>
> > Vegetarianism... the intelligent choice!
>
> Unless one is anemic or otherwise health-challenged and no longer
> well-served by a strict vegetarian diet, in which case it's the stupid
> choice.

Quoth the non-vegetarian pro-meat propagandist and proven liar.


'Analyses of data from the China studies by his collaborators and
others, Campbell told the epidemiology symposium, is leading to
policy recommendations. He mentioned three:

* The greater the variety of plant-based foods in the diet, the greater
the benefit. Variety insures broader coverage of known and unknown
nutrient needs.

* Provided there is plant food variety, quality and quantity, a healthful
and nutritionally complete diet can be attained without animal-based
food.

* The closer the food is to its native state - with minimal heating,
salting and processing - the greater will be the benefit.

http://www.sdearthtimes.com/et1101/et1101s18.html


'Myth:
Meat is a "good" source of iron.

The false claim is often made by meat-industry propagandists that
meat is a "good" source of iron.

Original data from USDA #8.

[Take a good look at this chart]

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Heme Iron Problem

Heme (blood) iron, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.

Iron encourages production of free radicals which can damage DNA
and presumably increase cancer risk. In a study of over 14,000 individuals,
high iron intake and high iron body stores were both positively linked to the
risk of colon cancer. Higher levels of iron were associated with higher
incidence of colon polyps, possible forerunners of colon tumors. However,
cancer patients themselves had low levels of stored iron, indicating that
cancer itself can deplete iron stores. [1]

Controversy has surrounded the question as to whether too much
iron in your diet raises your risk for heart disease. A new study from the
Harvard University School of Public Health brings new insight to the debate.
Lasting for 4 years, this research involved more than 50,000 male health
professionals. It was found that total iron intake was not associated with
heart disease risk. But the source of the iron was the principle factor.
High levels of heme iron raised risk for heart disease twofold. Heme iron
is the type of iron found in meat, chicken and fish.

Plant foods contain non-heme iron which appears to not be associated
with risk for heart attack. Traditionally, many nutritionists used to consider
non-heme iron to be inferior to the iron found in animal products, because
non-heme iron is somewhat less well absorbed. But new evidence suggests
that non-heme iron seems to be preferable.

When the body is low in iron, it can increase absorption of non-heme
iron, and it can reduce adsorption when it already has sufficient amounts.
The heme iron in meats tends to pass quickly right through the adsorption
mechanism, thus entering the blood stream whether it is needed or not.
Since vegetarians generally have adequate iron intake, it is clear that
non-heme iron can easily meet nutritional needs. Also, plant iron doesn't
create the health risks of heme iron.

Iron increases heart disease risks because heme iron acts as a
pro-oxidant, causing LDL-cholesterol -- the 'bad' cholesterol -- to react
with oxygen. This reaction is involved in the formation of plaques in the
arteries and therefore increases one's risk of cardiovascular problems. [2]

[1] Nelson, Davis, Suffer, Sobin, Kikeenddl, Bowen. Body iron stores
and risk of colonic neoplasia. J Natl Canc Inst 1994; 86:455-60

[2] Ascherio, Willett, Rimm, Giovannucci, Stampger. Dietary iron intake
and risk of coronary disease among men. Circulation 1994; 89:969-74

http://www.ecologos.org/iron.htm



Lamellae
2006-10-20 20:05:55 EST
Magrat_Garlick wrote:

> Look what I've found. :)

Thanks for sharing it.

> http://www.vegsoc.org/news/2006/testnation.html
>
> VEGGIE CHAMPIONS!!!
>
> The Vegetarians win BBC's Test the Nation IQ battle.
>
> Vegetarianism... the intelligent choice!

Dutch
2006-10-20 23:33:35 EST

"pearl" <tea@signguestbook.ie> wrote in message
news:ehbo2v$cmh$1@reader01.news.esat.net...
> "Dutch" <no@email.com> wrote in message
> news:12jii81abvimn01@news.supernews.com...
>> "Magrat_Garlick" <feishtica@gmail.com> wrote
>>
>> > Vegetarianism... the intelligent choice!
>>
>> Unless one is anemic or otherwise health-challenged and no longer
>> well-served by a strict vegetarian diet, in which case it's the stupid
>> choice.
>
> Quoth the non-vegetarian pro-meat propagandist and proven liar.
>
>
> 'Analyses of data from the China studies

Quit pasting the same study over and over and over. It doesn't disprove the
whole body of nutritional knowledge.




Teddy Tractortips
2006-10-21 04:33:04 EST
Ditch:
> "pearl" <tea@signguestbook.ie> wrote in message
> news:ehbo2v$cmh$1@reader01.news.esat.net...
>>"Dutch" <no@email.com> wrote in message
>>news:12jii81abvimn01@news.supernews.com...
>>>"Magrat_Garlick" <feishtica@gmail.com> wrote
>>>
>>>
>>>>Vegetarianism... the intelligent choice!
>>>
>>>Unless one is anemic or otherwise health-challenged and no longer
>>>well-served by a strict vegetarian diet, in which case it's the stupid
>>>choice.
>>
>>Quoth the non-vegetarian pro-meat propagandist and proven liar.
>>
>>'Analyses of data from the China studies
>
> Quit pasting the same study over and over and over. It doesn't disprove the
> whole body of nutritional knowledge.

Looks like they're plural, and they're vast. And you're trying to look
through a pinhole.

"China Study I is now regarded as the most comprehensive study of
diet, lifestyle and disease ever completed. Data from the study was
first published in an 896-page monograph (1990) and resulted in more
than 50 scientific publications."

"Planned since 1987, China Study II was designed to resurvey the same
mainland Chinese population as China Study I, in addition to a few new
sites in mainland China and a new population of 16 counties in Taiwan.
China Study II was directed by the three collaborators in the first
study and by Dr. Winharn Pan"

"Both surveys afford an opportunity to investigate the effect of dietary
change from the typical plant-based diet of rural China to a
Western-style diet that includes more animal-based foods, as consumed in
urban China and in Taiwan. “Even small increases in the consumption of
animal-based foods was associated with increased disease risk,” Campbell
told a symposium at the epidemiology congress, pointing to several
statistically significant correlations from the China studies:"

Dutch
2006-10-21 06:06:20 EST

"Teddy Tractortips" <imaized@sessile.org> wrote in message
news:ehclsb$hso$1@aioe.org...
> Ditch:
>> "pearl" <tea@signguestbook.ie> wrote in message
>> news:ehbo2v$cmh$1@reader01.news.esat.net...
>>>"Dutch" <no@email.com> wrote in message
>>>news:12jii81abvimn01@news.supernews.com...
>>>>"Magrat_Garlick" <feishtica@gmail.com> wrote
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>>Vegetarianism... the intelligent choice!
>>>>
>>>>Unless one is anemic or otherwise health-challenged and no longer
>>>>well-served by a strict vegetarian diet, in which case it's the stupid
>>>>choice.
>>>
>>>Quoth the non-vegetarian pro-meat propagandist and proven liar.
>>>
>>>'Analyses of data from the China studies
>>
>> Quit pasting the same study over and over and over. It doesn't disprove
>> the whole body of nutritional knowledge.
>
> Looks like they're plural, and they're vast. And you're trying to look
> through a pinhole.

It's one or two studies against the vast sum of all of nutritional science.

> "China Study I is now regarded as the most comprehensive study of diet,
> lifestyle and disease ever completed. Data from the study was first
> published in an 896-page monograph (1990) and resulted in more than 50
> scientific publications."
>
> "Planned since 1987, China Study II was designed to resurvey the same
> mainland Chinese population as China Study I, in addition to a few new
> sites in mainland China and a new population of 16 counties in Taiwan.
> China Study II was directed by the three collaborators in the first study
> and by Dr. Winharn Pan"
>
> "Both surveys afford an opportunity to investigate the effect of dietary
> change from the typical plant-based diet of rural China to a Western-style
> diet that includes more animal-based foods, as consumed in urban China and
> in Taiwan.

"plant-BASED diet" does not have the same meaning as "plant-ONLY diet", stop
equivocating.


> \ufffdEven small increases in the consumption of animal-based foods was
> associated with increased disease risk,\ufffd Campbell told a symposium at the
> epidemiology congress, pointing to several statistically significant
> correlations from the China studies:"

Preaching to the choir, the Vegetarian National Congress at Cornell, a real
bastion of scientific objectivity.




Dutch
2006-10-21 06:31:53 EST

"Teddy Tractortips" <imaized@sessile.org> wrote in message
news:ehclsb$hso$1@aioe.org...
> Ditch:
>> "pearl" <tea@signguestbook.ie> wrote in message
>> news:ehbo2v$cmh$1@reader01.news.esat.net...
>>>"Dutch" <no@email.com> wrote in message
>>>news:12jii81abvimn01@news.supernews.com...
>>>>"Magrat_Garlick" <feishtica@gmail.com> wrote
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>>Vegetarianism... the intelligent choice!
>>>>
>>>>Unless one is anemic or otherwise health-challenged and no longer
>>>>well-served by a strict vegetarian diet, in which case it's the stupid
>>>>choice.
>>>
>>>Quoth the non-vegetarian pro-meat propagandist and proven liar.
>>>
>>>'Analyses of data from the China studies
>>
>> Quit pasting the same study over and over and over. It doesn't disprove
>> the
>> whole body of nutritional knowledge.
>
> Looks like they're plural, and they're vast. And you're trying to look
> through a pinhole.
>
> "China Study I is now regarded as the most comprehensive study of
> diet, lifestyle and disease ever completed. Data from the study was
> first published in an 896-page monograph (1990) and resulted in more
> than 50 scientific publications."
>
> "Planned since 1987, China Study II was designed to resurvey the same
> mainland Chinese population as China Study I, in addition to a few new
> sites in mainland China and a new population of 16 counties in Taiwan.
> China Study II was directed by the three collaborators in the first
> study and by Dr. Winharn Pan"
>
> "Both surveys afford an opportunity to investigate the effect of dietary
> change from the typical plant-based diet of rural China to a
> Western-style diet that includes more animal-based foods, as consumed in
> urban China and in Taiwan. \ufffdEven small increases in the consumption of
> animal-based foods was associated with increased disease risk,\ufffd Campbell
> told a symposium at the epidemiology congress, pointing to several
> statistically significant correlations from the China studies:"


Introduction to the China Project

The terms "China Study" and/or "China Project" will be used here to reflect
the research published in Junshi et al. [1990] (and in related research
papers, although due to the large volume of such material the discussion
here is limited to a select few papers). This is a large ecological study of
the diet and lifestyle of adults aged 35-64 years, in 65 counties in China.
The ecological data were collected in 1983-1984, and included information on
diet, smoking, consumption of alcohol, as well as analysis of urine and
blood samples.
The ecological data from 1983-1984 were aggregated on a county level, and
supplemented with county data from a nationwide mortality survey in
1973-1975 as well as select demographic information from the Population
Atlas of China.

The size and scope of the China Study are impressive. As a result, some
dietary advocates have aggressively promoted the China Study as "proof" that
vegan diets are optimal or best. However, a closer look at the study reveals
important limitations that impact the reliability, usefulness, and
interpretation of the study results. Many dietary advocates are quick to
cite the China Study without discussing the limitations inherent in such a
study.





--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Limitations of the China Study

Let us now briefly examine some of the limitations of the China Study and
its results. Quotes from the principal (China Study) authors are used
liberally below, so you can learn about the limitations from the study
authors themselves.

a.. Level of aggregation of the study data yields, at most, 65
observations (data points) for analysis. The data in the China Study are
aggregated at the county level. The result is that for most
health/disease/dietary factors to be analysed, there are 65 (or less)
observations (data points). This is important for two reasons:

a.. The study is often described as authoritative and
reliable--characteristics that are usually associated with "large" data
sets. When one learns there are only 65 observations (and hundreds of
variables), it suddenly seems far less authoritative. Note that the term
"large" is relative; for simple analysis of a very few variables, 65 data
points may be adequate, but for sophisticated models involving several
variables, hundreds (or even thousands) of data points may be appropriate.

b.. The limit of 65 observations places limits on the number of
variables that can be analyzed simultaneously (via multivariate--that is,
multiple-variable--techniques).

Side note: (statistical, can skip if you wish) Even a simple technique
like some of the regression methods based on splines may be seriously
limited on a data set of only 65 points. Spline methods are becoming
increasingly important, because unlike traditional regression techniques
they do not assume the functional form of a relationship between variables.
(That is, they do not assume ahead of time what particular mathematical
relationship may exist between one variable and another.)

Such limits are quite frustrating on a data set that includes hundreds of
variables. Campbell [1989] appears to acknowledge this (p. 2):

Although uniquely comprehensive... it is not yet clear how satisfactory
the analysis of multiple factor effects will be upon disease risk, given the
limited number of survey counties (65). More complete evaluations of the
virtually unlimited interactions between different disease causes may have
to await the addition of still more dietary and lifestyle studies of disease
mortality rates.

b.. Limits on the use of geographical correlations, the primary data of
the China Study monograph (Junshi et al. [1990]). The China Study monograph
[Junshi et al. 1990] provides geographic correlations which are of limited
direct use. Although it is possible to develop statistical models in which
the dependent variable is a correlation, models constructed using the
underlying variables from the relevant correlation may be far more
meaningful and useful. Peto, writing in Junshi et al. [1990, pp. 76-77]
notes:

Although geographic variation in particular disease rates can provide
clear evidence that, in areas where those rates are high, that disease is
largely avoidable, they may provide frustratingly unclear evidence as to
exactly how it can be avoided...
An even more striking example of the limitations of geographic
correlations is that oesophageal cancer in China has no clear geographic
association with smoking, and has a significantly (P < 0.01) negative
association with daily alcohol intake.


Peto and Doll [1981], as cited by Peto in Junshi et al. [1990], also
remind us that attempts to separate causality from confounding factors in
geographical data via the technique of multiple regression are often
unsuccessful (or, my comment--misleading, which is even worse).

c.. The China Study report lists only 6 statistically significant
correlations between meat-eating and disease mortality. Further, 4 of the
correlations are negative, which indicates that the mortality rate for that
disease decreased as meat consumption increased. The two diseases that had
positive correlations with meat consumption are schistosomiasis, a parasite,
and pneumoconiosis and dust disease.
Thus, the direct evidence of the study is hardly the condemnation of meat
consumption that veg*n dietary advocates may claim it to be. It should be
noted here that correlation is a measure only of linear relationships, and
other analytical methods may yield different results. Despite the
possibility of the existence of more complicated statistical relationships,
it seems quite odd, given the interpretations of the study made by veg*n
dietary advocates, that meat intake generally did not correlate with disease
mortality. (See table 5033, pp. 634-635 of Junshi et al. [1990].)


d.. Ecological studies (like the China Study) generate hypotheses, they do
not prove them. Campbell and Junshi [1994] concisely state this limitation
(p. 1155S):

First, this study is ecological and includes 6,500 individuals residing
in 130 villages. Thus according to widely held assumptions, any inferences
concerning cause-and-effect relationships should be considered to be
hypothetical only, with validation to be provided only by intervention or
prospective analytic studies on individuals.

Thus we note that the China Study requires backup clinical studies before
making inferences or drawing conclusions. The main hypothesis of the China
Study is whether diets that are predominantly plant foods reduce chronic
diseases. However, some veg*n advocates go far beyond the main hypothesis of
the study, and claim it proves that veg*n diets are "better" than all
omnivore diets. Further, such claims may be made without supporting clinical
studies, and without regard for the actual range of diets included in the
study. (The latter point is discussed later herein.)

e.. The ecological fallacy, and its impact on ecological inference.
Freedman [1999, p. 1] provides a brief overview of the ecological fallacy
(boldface emphasis below is mine):

In 19th century Europe, suicide rates were higher in countries that were
more heavily Protestant, the inference being that suicide was promoted by
the social conditions of Protestantism (Durkheim 1897). A contemporary
example is provided by Carroll (1975): death rates from breast cancer are
higher in countries where fat is a larger component of the diet, the idea
being that fat intake causes breast cancer. These are "ecological
inferences," that is, inferences about individual behavior drawn from data
about groups...
The ecological fallacy consists in thinking that relationships observed
for groups necessarily hold for individuals: if countries with more
Protestants have higher suicide rates, then Protestants must be more likely
to commit suicide; if countries with more fat in the diet have higher rates
of breast cancer, then women who eat fatty foods must be more likely to get
breast cancer. These inferences may be correct, but are only weakly
supported by the aggregate data.

...However, it is all too easy to draw incorrect conclusions from
aggregate data.... For example, recent studies of individual-level data cast
serious doubt on the link between breast cancer and fat intake (Holmes et
al. 1999).


Eliminating group-level confounding has no necessary relation to
individual-level confounding. Greenland and Robins [1994a] provide an
interesting and insightful statistical critique of ecologic studies,
furnishing examples that demonstrate how ecologic and individual-level
studies are subject to different forms of confounding and errors. In
conclusion, they state that [Greenland and Robins 1994, p. 749],
"...conditions that guarantee no confounding in an ecologic study are
logically independent of the conditions that guarantee no confounding in an
individual-level study..." That, of course, sharply limits the relevance and
reliability of efforts to use ecological data to make inferences about
individuals.
They also discuss how the techniques commonly used for "adjusting"
ecological data for covariates (other variables) might not reflect the true
underlying conditions due to non-additivity, non-linear relationships, and
other factors (i.e., the common practice of a linear adjustment may be
inappropriate and/or inadequate for many covariates). Further, they point
out that having a large number of regions in an analysis does not guarantee
a randomization of the underlying relationship (if any) between covariates
and regions.

Averaging at the aggregate level prevents assessment of individual-level
relationships. Commenting on Greenland and Robins [1994a], Piantadosi [1994,
p. 763] makes the cogent remarks:


It is impossible to study ecologic analyses very carefully and come away
with much confidence in them. Averaging is a process that necessitates some
loss of information... When analyzing such aggregated data, we not only lose
all ability to extend inferences reliably to less aggregated data but we
even lose the ability to estimate the direction and magnitude of bias...
I encourage epidemiologists to understand the deficiencies of
group-level analyses and limit them to the role of hypothesis generation.


Readers with some knowledge of statistics will find the above papers, plus
the related papers of Greenland and Robins [1994b] and Cohen [1994] to be of
interest, and to provide a good introduction to the statistical limitations
(and problems) that are relevant when one tries to make ecological
inferences. This underscores the earlier point (above) that the China Study
merely generates hypotheses, it does not prove them.

f.. Results of a study done in one culture or society do not necessarily
apply to other cultures or societies. (They potentially can, but they also
might not.) Campbell and Junshi [1994] make this point (p. 1155S):

A second general comment on comparing residents of rural China with
residents of highly industrialized societies is that it may not be
appropriate to extrapolate diet-disease relationships across cultures.

Campbell and Junshi [1994] then go on to briefly discuss the linkage
between diet and health, and how the incidence of chronic disease changes
when groups change diets. In that regard, the discussion in the previous
section of chronic health problems among the Aborigines of Australia, after
adopting high-carbohydrate diets, is relevant.
Wenxun et al. [1990] provide actual examples of differences in Chinese and
Western disease patterns (p. 1033):


An examination of the correlations among CVD (cardiovascular disease)
mortality rates, erythrocyte [red blood cell] fatty acids, blood lipid
indices, and selected environmental factors indicates that some
relationships reported for Western populations were absent in China whereas
other relationships were observed. For example, there was no correlation
between county means [averages] of plasma cholesterol and county mortality
rates for any of three CVD types. Thus, factors other than total dietary
lipid or plasma cholesterol may be important in explaining the geographic
distribution of CVD mortality rates within China.

One probably will not find a consensus on the reasons why extrapolation of
study results from one culture to another is unreliable. However, a number
of probable factors include: differences in income and lifestyle,
differences in level of industrialization causing differences in exercise
levels and exposure to chemicals, minor but significant differences in
genetics, differences in food preparation practices, and so on.

g.. Lack of actual income data for the survey participants is a serious
flaw. It makes adjustment of the data for the effect of income less
reliable. Ideally, one would like to adjust data for income in statistical
analyses, as it is presumably a good proxy variable for the degree of
Westernization. (Many of the degenerative diseases common in Western
societies are in effect, diseases of affluence, hence adjusting the data for
actual income may be important in statistical analysis.) However, the China
Study has no direct measures of the income of the participants. Instead, the
study includes demographic data that could be utilized to yield estimates of
county average, per-capita income. However, such an estimate is a poor
substitute for actual income data on the study participants. Also,
per-capita income may be skewed by the presence of a few, very high-income
individuals living in an otherwise (very) poor county.

h.. Attempts to use the China Study to prove that all omnivore diets are
bad is yet another logical fallacy. Ultimately, attempts to claim that the
China Study "proves" all omnivore/faunivore diets are bad fail as yet
another logical fallacy. Basically, none of the county diets in the China
Study were vegan diets, and none were evolutionary diets (and, by the way,
none were the SAD/SWD diet). Most were high carbohydrate, grain-centered
diets (though one county reported high consumption of both meat and
dairy--reminder: dairy was never a part of humanity's evolutionary diet).
Campbell, writing in Junshi et al. [1990], reports (p. 63):

The national mean [average] percentage energy intake obtained from
animal foods was observed to be 5.7%, with a range of 0.1-59.4%.

Thus we observe that extrapolation to strict vegan or evolutionary diets
(or even the SAD diet) go beyond the range of the China Study data, and
hence such projections are less reliable statistically. Also, as none of the
China Study diets were evolutionary diets, and the meat consumed came from
domesticated rather than wild animals, the results from such (Chinese) diets
cannot be extrapolated to evolutionary diets (i.e., yet another logical
fallacy).



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cancer, veg*n diets, and the China Study

Veg*n dietary advocates sometimes cite the China Study as indicating that it
suggests veg*n diets may provide increased protection from cancer when
compared to "omnivore diets." Along these lines, the following points are of
interest.

a.. Recent research in Australia found that a high-starch Chinese diet did
not reduce risk of colon cancer. The paper of Muir et al. [1998] describes a
randomized, crossover dietary intervention study in which 12 people (of
European descent) in Australia followed for 3 weeks each a high-starch diet
similar to the diet of low-income comunities in China, and later the SAD
(standard Australian diet, in this context). The Chinese-style diet lowered
serum cholsterol and fecal pH. However, for all other fecal markers tested,
the results from the Chinese diet were worse than for the SAD. Muir et al.
conclude [1998, p. 372]:

These results suggest that consumption of high-starch diet alone is
insufficient to reduce the risk of developing colon cancer.

As the above reflects results of only one study, the usual cautions on
interpretation apply.

b.. Collaborative analysis of 5 large studies finds no difference in death
rates from cancer, vegetarian vs. non-vegetarian. A recent collaborative
analysis of 8,300 deaths among 76,000 people in 5 prospective studies [Key
et al. 1998] compared death rates of vegetarians and non-vegetarians for a
number of diseases. The studies involved included large proportions of
vegetarians. Key et al. [1998] found that vegetarians were less likely to
die of ischemic heart disease than non-vegetarians, but there were no
differences in the death rates for a number of types of cancer: stomach,
large bowel (colon), lung, breast, and prostate.
Note: In the five studies analyzed by Key et al. [1998], four of the
studies defined vegetarians as people who did not eat any meat or fish, with
non-vegetarians being all other people (i.e., this would include those who
did eat dairy and eggs in their diets). The other study in the analysis
classed as vegetarians those who claimed to be vegetarians; a followup on
that study 5 years later found that only 66% of the self-identified
vegetarians ate meat or fish less than one time per month. (This suggests
some mis-classification error in that study or, as the followup was 5 years
later, it may reflect people who abandoned the veg*n diet.)


The above results suggest that those who claim veg*n (or Chinese-style
high-carbohydrate) diets may provide protection from cancer may be premature
in their assessments.




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
In Summary

The China Project is often cited in an inappropriate manner by veg*n dietary
advocates. It does not "prove" vegan diets are the "best" diet. Strict vegan
diets, hunter-gatherer (evolutionary) diets, and even SAD/SWD diets are not
in the set of diets in the China Project, i.e., are outside the range of the
data from the China Project. Claims by dietary advocates that the China
Study "proves" all omnivore diets are bad and (some) vegan diets are better
are a logical fallacy. It would be better if the (interesting) results of
the China Project were not misinterpreted or misrepresented by the "popular"
health media or by dietary advocates


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Pearl
2006-10-21 07:37:01 EST
"Dutch" <no@email.com> wrote in message news:12jjtosjksdu063@news.supernews.com...
>
> "Teddy Tractortips" <imaized@sessile.org> wrote in message
> news:ehclsb$hso$1@aioe.org...
> > Ditch:
> >> "pearl" <tea@signguestbook.ie> wrote in message
> >> news:ehbo2v$cmh$1@reader01.news.esat.net...
> >>>"Dutch" <no@email.com> wrote in message
> >>>news:12jii81abvimn01@news.supernews.com...
> >>>>"Magrat_Garlick" <feishtica@gmail.com> wrote
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>>Vegetarianism... the intelligent choice!
> >>>>
> >>>>Unless one is anemic or otherwise health-challenged and no longer
> >>>>well-served by a strict vegetarian diet, in which case it's the stupid
> >>>>choice.
> >>>
> >>>Quoth the non-vegetarian pro-meat propagandist and proven liar.
> >>>
> >>>'Analyses of data from the China studies
> >>
> >> Quit pasting the same study over and over and over. It doesn't disprove
> >> the
> >> whole body of nutritional knowledge.
> >
> > Looks like they're plural, and they're vast. And you're trying to look
> > through a pinhole.
> >
> > "China Study I is now regarded as the most comprehensive study of
> > diet, lifestyle and disease ever completed. Data from the study was
> > first published in an 896-page monograph (1990) and resulted in more
> > than 50 scientific publications."
> >
> > "Planned since 1987, China Study II was designed to resurvey the same
> > mainland Chinese population as China Study I, in addition to a few new
> > sites in mainland China and a new population of 16 counties in Taiwan.
> > China Study II was directed by the three collaborators in the first
> > study and by Dr. Winharn Pan"
> >
> > "Both surveys afford an opportunity to investigate the effect of dietary
> > change from the typical plant-based diet of rural China to a
> > Western-style diet that includes more animal-based foods, as consumed in
> > urban China and in Taiwan. "Even small increases in the consumption of
> > animal-based foods was associated with increased disease risk," Campbell
> > told a symposium at the epidemiology congress, pointing to several
> > statistically significant correlations from the China studies:"
>
...
> Limitations of the China Study
>
> Let us

>From 'beyondveg' again. NOT a credible source.

'These critics, who are mischievously posing as qualified scientists,
have committed errors that expose either their ignorance of basic
research principles and/or their passionate following of an unstated
agenda. By superficially citing uncorrected crude correlations from
the China Project monograph, they show a serious lack of
understanding not only of the fundamentals of scientific research
but also of the principles of statistics, epidemiology and nutrition.
To make matters worse, they have selected correlations that reflect an
alternative agenda or bias that has nothing to do with objective science.
....
My present views on diet and health are based on the consistency of
the vast majority of evidence produced by a wide variety of studies.
I see three types of evidence that has most influenced my present
views. First, there is the research data from our own studies that are
summarized in our book. Second, there is the evidence obtained by
many other laboratories, a sample of which is summarized in our book.
Third, there is, perhaps, the most important evidence of all, the clinical
experiences of the practicing physicians who I had come to know,
especially those of Drs. John McDougall, Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr.,
Terry Shintani, Joel Fuhrman and Alan Goldhamer. For me, these
medical practitioners, entirely on their own initiative and knowledge,
were advising, with impressive success, their patients with the same
information that I had come to know from the scientific literature
and laboratory.
..'
http://www.vegsource.com/articles2/campbell_china_response.htm





Dutch
2006-10-21 16:25:41 EST

"pearl" <tea@signguestbook.ie> wrote in message
news:ehd0lh$t8n$1@reader01.news.esat.net...
> "Dutch" <no@email.com> wrote in message
> news:12jjtosjksdu063@news.supernews.com...
>>
>> "Teddy Tractortips" <imaized@sessile.org> wrote in message
>> news:ehclsb$hso$1@aioe.org...
>> > Ditch:
>> >> "pearl" <tea@signguestbook.ie> wrote in message
>> >> news:ehbo2v$cmh$1@reader01.news.esat.net...
>> >>>"Dutch" <no@email.com> wrote in message
>> >>>news:12jii81abvimn01@news.supernews.com...
>> >>>>"Magrat_Garlick" <feishtica@gmail.com> wrote
>> >>>>
>> >>>>
>> >>>>>Vegetarianism... the intelligent choice!
>> >>>>
>> >>>>Unless one is anemic or otherwise health-challenged and no longer
>> >>>>well-served by a strict vegetarian diet, in which case it's the
>> >>>>stupid
>> >>>>choice.
>> >>>
>> >>>Quoth the non-vegetarian pro-meat propagandist and proven liar.
>> >>>
>> >>>'Analyses of data from the China studies
>> >>
>> >> Quit pasting the same study over and over and over. It doesn't
>> >> disprove
>> >> the
>> >> whole body of nutritional knowledge.
>> >
>> > Looks like they're plural, and they're vast. And you're trying to look
>> > through a pinhole.
>> >
>> > "China Study I is now regarded as the most comprehensive study of
>> > diet, lifestyle and disease ever completed. Data from the study was
>> > first published in an 896-page monograph (1990) and resulted in more
>> > than 50 scientific publications."
>> >
>> > "Planned since 1987, China Study II was designed to resurvey the same
>> > mainland Chinese population as China Study I, in addition to a few new
>> > sites in mainland China and a new population of 16 counties in Taiwan.
>> > China Study II was directed by the three collaborators in the first
>> > study and by Dr. Winharn Pan"
>> >
>> > "Both surveys afford an opportunity to investigate the effect of
>> > dietary
>> > change from the typical plant-based diet of rural China to a
>> > Western-style diet that includes more animal-based foods, as consumed
>> > in
>> > urban China and in Taiwan. "Even small increases in the consumption of
>> > animal-based foods was associated with increased disease risk,"
>> > Campbell
>> > told a symposium at the epidemiology congress, pointing to several
>> > statistically significant correlations from the China studies:"
>>
> ...
>> Limitations of the China Study
>>
>> Let us
>
> From 'beyondveg' again. NOT a credible source.

A VERY credible source, supported by many many credible scientific sources.
You can't refute a word of it. Here it is again.

EXAMINING THE VEGAN CLAIMS

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Introduction to the China Project

The terms "China Study" and/or "China Project" will be used here to reflect
the research published in Junshi et al. [1990] (and in related research
papers, although due to the large volume of such material the discussion
here is limited to a select few papers). This is a large ecological study of
the diet and lifestyle of adults aged 35-64 years, in 65 counties in China.
The ecological data were collected in 1983-1984, and included information on
diet, smoking, consumption of alcohol, as well as analysis of urine and
blood samples.
The ecological data from 1983-1984 were aggregated on a county level, and
supplemented with county data from a nationwide mortality survey in
1973-1975 as well as select demographic information from the Population
Atlas of China.

The size and scope of the China Study are impressive. As a result, some
dietary advocates have aggressively promoted the China Study as "proof" that
vegan diets are optimal or best. However, a closer look at the study reveals
important limitations that impact the reliability, usefulness, and
interpretation of the study results. Many dietary advocates are quick to
cite the China Study without discussing the limitations inherent in such a
study.





--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Limitations of the China Study

Let us now briefly examine some of the limitations of the China Study and
its results. Quotes from the principal (China Study) authors are used
liberally below, so you can learn about the limitations from the study
authors themselves.

a.. Level of aggregation of the study data yields, at most, 65
observations (data points) for analysis. The data in the China Study are
aggregated at the county level. The result is that for most
health/disease/dietary factors to be analysed, there are 65 (or less)
observations (data points). This is important for two reasons:

a.. The study is often described as authoritative and
reliable--characteristics that are usually associated with "large" data
sets. When one learns there are only 65 observations (and hundreds of
variables), it suddenly seems far less authoritative. Note that the term
"large" is relative; for simple analysis of a very few variables, 65 data
points may be adequate, but for sophisticated models involving several
variables, hundreds (or even thousands) of data points may be appropriate.

b.. The limit of 65 observations places limits on the number of
variables that can be analyzed simultaneously (via multivariate--that is,
multiple-variable--techniques).

Side note: (statistical, can skip if you wish) Even a simple technique
like some of the regression methods based on splines may be seriously
limited on a data set of only 65 points. Spline methods are becoming
increasingly important, because unlike traditional regression techniques
they do not assume the functional form of a relationship between variables.
(That is, they do not assume ahead of time what particular mathematical
relationship may exist between one variable and another.)

Such limits are quite frustrating on a data set that includes hundreds of
variables. Campbell [1989] appears to acknowledge this (p. 2):

Although uniquely comprehensive... it is not yet clear how satisfactory
the analysis of multiple factor effects will be upon disease risk, given the
limited number of survey counties (65). More complete evaluations of the
virtually unlimited interactions between different disease causes may have
to await the addition of still more dietary and lifestyle studies of disease
mortality rates.

b.. Limits on the use of geographical correlations, the primary data of
the China Study monograph (Junshi et al. [1990]). The China Study monograph
[Junshi et al. 1990] provides geographic correlations which are of limited
direct use. Although it is possible to develop statistical models in which
the dependent variable is a correlation, models constructed using the
underlying variables from the relevant correlation may be far more
meaningful and useful. Peto, writing in Junshi et al. [1990, pp. 76-77]
notes:

Although geographic variation in particular disease rates can provide
clear evidence that, in areas where those rates are high, that disease is
largely avoidable, they may provide frustratingly unclear evidence as to
exactly how it can be avoided...
An even more striking example of the limitations of geographic
correlations is that oesophageal cancer in China has no clear geographic
association with smoking, and has a significantly (P < 0.01) negative
association with daily alcohol intake.


Peto and Doll [1981], as cited by Peto in Junshi et al. [1990], also
remind us that attempts to separate causality from confounding factors in
geographical data via the technique of multiple regression are often
unsuccessful (or, my comment--misleading, which is even worse).

c.. The China Study report lists only 6 statistically significant
correlations between meat-eating and disease mortality. Further, 4 of the
correlations are negative, which indicates that the mortality rate for that
disease decreased as meat consumption increased. The two diseases that had
positive correlations with meat consumption are schistosomiasis, a parasite,
and pneumoconiosis and dust disease.
Thus, the direct evidence of the study is hardly the condemnation of meat
consumption that veg*n dietary advocates may claim it to be. It should be
noted here that correlation is a measure only of linear relationships, and
other analytical methods may yield different results. Despite the
possibility of the existence of more complicated statistical relationships,
it seems quite odd, given the interpretations of the study made by veg*n
dietary advocates, that meat intake generally did not correlate with disease
mortality. (See table 5033, pp. 634-635 of Junshi et al. [1990].)


d.. Ecological studies (like the China Study) generate hypotheses, they do
not prove them. Campbell and Junshi [1994] concisely state this limitation
(p. 1155S):

First, this study is ecological and includes 6,500 individuals residing
in 130 villages. Thus according to widely held assumptions, any inferences
concerning cause-and-effect relationships should be considered to be
hypothetical only, with validation to be provided only by intervention or
prospective analytic studies on individuals.

Thus we note that the China Study requires backup clinical studies before
making inferences or drawing conclusions. The main hypothesis of the China
Study is whether diets that are predominantly plant foods reduce chronic
diseases. However, some veg*n advocates go far beyond the main hypothesis of
the study, and claim it proves that veg*n diets are "better" than all
omnivore diets. Further, such claims may be made without supporting clinical
studies, and without regard for the actual range of diets included in the
study. (The latter point is discussed later herein.)

e.. The ecological fallacy, and its impact on ecological inference.
Freedman [1999, p. 1] provides a brief overview of the ecological fallacy
(boldface emphasis below is mine):

In 19th century Europe, suicide rates were higher in countries that were
more heavily Protestant, the inference being that suicide was promoted by
the social conditions of Protestantism (Durkheim 1897). A contemporary
example is provided by Carroll (1975): death rates from breast cancer are
higher in countries where fat is a larger component of the diet, the idea
being that fat intake causes breast cancer. These are "ecological
inferences," that is, inferences about individual behavior drawn from data
about groups...
The ecological fallacy consists in thinking that relationships observed
for groups necessarily hold for individuals: if countries with more
Protestants have higher suicide rates, then Protestants must be more likely
to commit suicide; if countries with more fat in the diet have higher rates
of breast cancer, then women who eat fatty foods must be more likely to get
breast cancer. These inferences may be correct, but are only weakly
supported by the aggregate data.

...However, it is all too easy to draw incorrect conclusions from
aggregate data.... For example, recent studies of individual-level data cast
serious doubt on the link between breast cancer and fat intake (Holmes et
al. 1999).


Eliminating group-level confounding has no necessary relation to
individual-level confounding. Greenland and Robins [1994a] provide an
interesting and insightful statistical critique of ecologic studies,
furnishing examples that demonstrate how ecologic and individual-level
studies are subject to different forms of confounding and errors. In
conclusion, they state that [Greenland and Robins 1994, p. 749],
"...conditions that guarantee no confounding in an ecologic study are
logically independent of the conditions that guarantee no confounding in an
individual-level study..." That, of course, sharply limits the relevance and
reliability of efforts to use ecological data to make inferences about
individuals.
They also discuss how the techniques commonly used for "adjusting"
ecological data for covariates (other variables) might not reflect the true
underlying conditions due to non-additivity, non-linear relationships, and
other factors (i.e., the common practice of a linear adjustment may be
inappropriate and/or inadequate for many covariates). Further, they point
out that having a large number of regions in an analysis does not guarantee
a randomization of the underlying relationship (if any) between covariates
and regions.

Averaging at the aggregate level prevents assessment of individual-level
relationships. Commenting on Greenland and Robins [1994a], Piantadosi [1994,
p. 763] makes the cogent remarks:


It is impossible to study ecologic analyses very carefully and come away
with much confidence in them. Averaging is a process that necessitates some
loss of information... When analyzing such aggregated data, we not only lose
all ability to extend inferences reliably to less aggregated data but we
even lose the ability to estimate the direction and magnitude of bias...
I encourage epidemiologists to understand the deficiencies of
group-level analyses and limit them to the role of hypothesis generation.


Readers with some knowledge of statistics will find the above papers, plus
the related papers of Greenland and Robins [1994b] and Cohen [1994] to be of
interest, and to provide a good introduction to the statistical limitations
(and problems) that are relevant when one tries to make ecological
inferences. This underscores the earlier point (above) that the China Study
merely generates hypotheses, it does not prove them.

f.. Results of a study done in one culture or society do not necessarily
apply to other cultures or societies. (They potentially can, but they also
might not.) Campbell and Junshi [1994] make this point (p. 1155S):

A second general comment on comparing residents of rural China with
residents of highly industrialized societies is that it may not be
appropriate to extrapolate diet-disease relationships across cultures.

Campbell and Junshi [1994] then go on to briefly discuss the linkage
between diet and health, and how the incidence of chronic disease changes
when groups change diets. In that regard, the discussion in the previous
section of chronic health problems among the Aborigines of Australia, after
adopting high-carbohydrate diets, is relevant.
Wenxun et al. [1990] provide actual examples of differences in Chinese and
Western disease patterns (p. 1033):


An examination of the correlations among CVD (cardiovascular disease)
mortality rates, erythrocyte [red blood cell] fatty acids, blood lipid
indices, and selected environmental factors indicates that some
relationships reported for Western populations were absent in China whereas
other relationships were observed. For example, there was no correlation
between county means [averages] of plasma cholesterol and county mortality
rates for any of three CVD types. Thus, factors other than total dietary
lipid or plasma cholesterol may be important in explaining the geographic
distribution of CVD mortality rates within China.

One probably will not find a consensus on the reasons why extrapolation of
study results from one culture to another is unreliable. However, a number
of probable factors include: differences in income and lifestyle,
differences in level of industrialization causing differences in exercise
levels and exposure to chemicals, minor but significant differences in
genetics, differences in food preparation practices, and so on.

g.. Lack of actual income data for the survey participants is a serious
flaw. It makes adjustment of the data for the effect of income less
reliable. Ideally, one would like to adjust data for income in statistical
analyses, as it is presumably a good proxy variable for the degree of
Westernization. (Many of the degenerative diseases common in Western
societies are in effect, diseases of affluence, hence adjusting the data for
actual income may be important in statistical analysis.) However, the China
Study has no direct measures of the income of the participants. Instead, the
study includes demographic data that could be utilized to yield estimates of
county average, per-capita income. However, such an estimate is a poor
substitute for actual income data on the study participants. Also,
per-capita income may be skewed by the presence of a few, very high-income
individuals living in an otherwise (very) poor county.

h.. Attempts to use the China Study to prove that all omnivore diets are
bad is yet another logical fallacy. Ultimately, attempts to claim that the
China Study "proves" all omnivore/faunivore diets are bad fail as yet
another logical fallacy. Basically, none of the county diets in the China
Study were vegan diets, and none were evolutionary diets (and, by the way,
none were the SAD/SWD diet). Most were high carbohydrate, grain-centered
diets (though one county reported high consumption of both meat and
dairy--reminder: dairy was never a part of humanity's evolutionary diet).
Campbell, writing in Junshi et al. [1990], reports (p. 63):

The national mean [average] percentage energy intake obtained from
animal foods was observed to be 5.7%, with a range of 0.1-59.4%.

Thus we observe that extrapolation to strict vegan or evolutionary diets
(or even the SAD diet) go beyond the range of the China Study data, and
hence such projections are less reliable statistically. Also, as none of the
China Study diets were evolutionary diets, and the meat consumed came from
domesticated rather than wild animals, the results from such (Chinese) diets
cannot be extrapolated to evolutionary diets (i.e., yet another logical
fallacy).



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cancer, veg*n diets, and the China Study

Veg*n dietary advocates sometimes cite the China Study as indicating that it
suggests veg*n diets may provide increased protection from cancer when
compared to "omnivore diets." Along these lines, the following points are of
interest.

a.. Recent research in Australia found that a high-starch Chinese diet did
not reduce risk of colon cancer. The paper of Muir et al. [1998] describes a
randomized, crossover dietary intervention study in which 12 people (of
European descent) in Australia followed for 3 weeks each a high-starch diet
similar to the diet of low-income comunities in China, and later the SAD
(standard Australian diet, in this context). The Chinese-style diet lowered
serum cholsterol and fecal pH. However, for all other fecal markers tested,
the results from the Chinese diet were worse than for the SAD. Muir et al.
conclude [1998, p. 372]:

These results suggest that consumption of high-starch diet alone is
insufficient to reduce the risk of developing colon cancer.

As the above reflects results of only one study, the usual cautions on
interpretation apply.

b.. Collaborative analysis of 5 large studies finds no difference in death
rates from cancer, vegetarian vs. non-vegetarian. A recent collaborative
analysis of 8,300 deaths among 76,000 people in 5 prospective studies [Key
et al. 1998] compared death rates of vegetarians and non-vegetarians for a
number of diseases. The studies involved included large proportions of
vegetarians. Key et al. [1998] found that vegetarians were less likely to
die of ischemic heart disease than non-vegetarians, but there were no
differences in the death rates for a number of types of cancer: stomach,
large bowel (colon), lung, breast, and prostate.
Note: In the five studies analyzed by Key et al. [1998], four of the
studies defined vegetarians as people who did not eat any meat or fish, with
non-vegetarians being all other people (i.e., this would include those who
did eat dairy and eggs in their diets). The other study in the analysis
classed as vegetarians those who claimed to be vegetarians; a followup on
that study 5 years later found that only 66% of the self-identified
vegetarians ate meat or fish less than one time per month. (This suggests
some mis-classification error in that study or, as the followup was 5 years
later, it may reflect people who abandoned the veg*n diet.)


The above results suggest that those who claim veg*n (or Chinese-style
high-carbohydrate) diets may provide protection from cancer may be premature
in their assessments.




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
In Summary

The China Project is often cited in an inappropriate manner by veg*n dietary
advocates. It does not "prove" vegan diets are the "best" diet. Strict vegan
diets, hunter-gatherer (evolutionary) diets, and even SAD/SWD diets are not
in the set of diets in the China Project, i.e., are outside the range of the
data from the China Project. Claims by dietary advocates that the China
Study "proves" all omnivore diets are bad and (some) vegan diets are better
are a logical fallacy. It would be better if the (interesting) results of
the China Project were not misinterpreted or misrepresented by the "popular"
health media or by dietary advocates.
GO TO NEXT PART OF ARTICLE

(Instinct vs. Intelligence in Diet: Where is the Line?)

Return to beginning of article

SEE REFERENCE LIST



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SEE TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR:
PART 1 PART 2 PART 3 PART 4 PART 5 PART 6 PART 7 PART 8 PART 9

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
GO TO PART 1 - Brief Overview: What is the Relevance of Comparative
Anatomical and Physiological "Proofs"?

GO TO PART 2 - Looking at Ape Diets: Myths, Realities, and Rationalizations

GO TO PART 3 - The Fossil-Record Evidence about Human Diet

GO TO PART 4 - Intelligence, Evolution of the Human Brain, and Diet

GO TO PART 5 - Limitations on Comparative Dietary Proofs

GO TO PART 6 - What Comparative Anatomy Does and Doesn't Tell Us about Human
Diet

GO TO PART 7 - Insights about Human Nutrition & Digestion from Comparative
Physiology

GO TO PART 8 - Further Issues in the Debate over Omnivorous vs. Vegetarian
Diets

GO TO PART 9 - Conclusions: The End, or The Beginning of a New Approach to
Your Diet?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



> 'These critics, who are mischievously posing as qualified scientists,
> have committed errors that expose either their ignorance of basic
> research principles and/or their passionate following of an unstated
> agenda. By superficially citing uncorrected crude correlations from
> the China Project monograph, they show a serious lack of
> understanding not only of the fundamentals of scientific research
> but also of the principles of statistics, epidemiology and nutrition.
> To make matters worse, they have selected correlations that reflect an
> alternative agenda or bias that has nothing to do with objective science.
> ....
> My present views on diet and health are based on the consistency of
> the vast majority of evidence produced by a wide variety of studies.
> I see three types of evidence that has most influenced my present
> views. First, there is the research data from our own studies that are
> summarized in our book. Second, there is the evidence obtained by
> many other laboratories, a sample of which is summarized in our book.
> Third, there is, perhaps, the most important evidence of all, the clinical
> experiences of the practicing physicians who I had come to know,
> especially those of Drs. John McDougall, Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr.,
> Terry Shintani, Joel Fuhrman and Alan Goldhamer. For me, these
> medical practitioners, entirely on their own initiative and knowledge,
> were advising, with impressive success, their patients with the same
> information that I had come to know from the scientific literature
> and laboratory.
> ..'
> http://www.vegsource.com/articles2/campbell_china_response.htm

I like this paragraph of Campbell's.

As my own research experience so well illustrated for me, no one study can
define an emerging whole truth, or worldview. When most researchers do
experiments in an area as biologically complex as diet and health, they
almost always focus on very specific hypotheses, investigating how single
agents cause specific effects, often by so-called single mechanisms (I also
followed such a path). But these kinds of experiments have limitations both
in their design and in their underlying hypotheses. The combination of a
limited design and a narrowly focused hypothesis for individual experiments
can only give impressions of a larger truth, even though each experiment may
be well done. It is only after doing varied experiments is it possible to
begin constructing a network of evidence and articulating a larger truth.

In other words, stop jumping to conclusions.


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