Category: Nutrition

The Health Benefits of Moderate Drinking

A Book of Verses underneath the Bough, A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread–and Thou Beside me singing in the Wilderness– Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!” – The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam   Alcoholic beverages have always inspired strong opinions pro and con. Omar Khayyam included wine in his vision of Paradise; Carrie Nation took a hatchet to saloons. Humans have...

/ December 30, 2014

Vani Hari, a.k.a. “The Food Babe,” finally responds to critics

It’s no secret that we here at Science-Based Medicine (and many scientists and skeptics with a knowledge of basic chemistry and biology) have been very critical of Vani Hari, better known to her fans as The Food Babe. The reasons for our criticisms of her are legion. Basically, she is a seemingly-never-ending font of misinformation and fear mongering about food ingredients, particularly...

/ December 8, 2014

Does the Movie Fed Up Make Sense?

The 2014 film Fed Up is an advocacy documentary. Its message: There is a worldwide epidemic of obesity. It is endangering our children. Increased sugar consumption is responsible. The food industry is responsible for our increased sugar consumption because it puts hidden sugar in processed foods, bombards us with advertising, favors profits over health, and lobbies against regulation. The government is responsible...

/ October 14, 2014

Yahoo News spews NaturalNews anti-vaccine (and other) propaganda

Yahoo News appears to have confused NaturalNews with actual news. It’s not. NaturalNews is the in-house propaganda organ for Mike Adams, whom I’ll introduce in a minute (although he needs no introduction for most readers here). A couple of recent examples:     A recycled story, over a year old, from NaturalNews, appearing on Yahoo News last week. It starts out as...

/ October 2, 2014

Diet Cults vs. Science-Based Healthy Eating

This will be shorter than my usual book reviews and is something of an afterthought. I just finished writing a long article on “Food Myths” that Michael Shermer had asked me to write as a cover article for an upcoming issue of Skeptic magazine, and while researching the subject I read a book that someone had suggested to me (I’ve forgotten who...

/ August 26, 2014

Pass the Salt (But Not That Pink Himalayan Stuff)

Humans, like many other animals, crave the taste of salt. Animals frequent salt licks, humans have traded salt for equal weights of gold, and the word “salary” comes from the Roman soldier’s allowance for purchasing salt. Salt appears in our language in idioms like “worth its salt” and “salt of the earth.” Shakespeare’s play King Lear is a variant of a folktale...

/ August 19, 2014
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A balanced look at gluten sensitivity

Even though it doesn’t appear on any calendar, May 2014 will go down in history as “gluten sensitivity month.” After RealClearScience picked up on a 2013 paper that brought into question the existence of non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), news sites were obliged to post their own analysis of the article, and the blogosphere was alight with pro- and anti-gluten posts. One of...

/ August 16, 2014

Food fights in the courtroom

What’s in a name? Will sugar by any other name taste as sweet? Well, yes, but calling sugar “evaporated cane juice” in an ingredient list may get food manufacturers into trouble. Consumers in several class action suits allege that companies are trying to disguise the amount of sugar in their products by calling it something else. Robin Reese filed a class action...

/ July 24, 2014

Food Fears

A new Cornell University study examines the origins of food fears, and possible remedies. It’s a survey of 1,008 mothers asking about foods they avoid and why. Food fears are a common topic on SBM, likely for several reasons. Humans have an inherent emotion of disgust, which is likely an adaptation to help avoid contaminated or spoiled food. In our modern society...

/ June 25, 2014

John Oliver skewers Dr. Oz for his hawking of diet supplements

As regular readers of this blog know, Dr. Mehmet Oz had a very, very bad day last week, in which he received a major tongue lashing from Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) for the scientifically unsupported and irresponsible hyperbole he dishes out day after day on his syndicated daytime television show. Personally, I was tempted to pile on myself, but had to content...

/ June 23, 2014