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Originally published November 6 2003

Bad science takes 17 years to uncover the obvious (and misses the real point, too)

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

Here's a fascinating study that manages to competely miss the point. It studied the caloric intake of 9800 Americans and concluded that the number of calories consumed had no significant effect on a person's risk of developing heart disease.

The oversight, of course, is that the study treated all calories as equal. You can bet that study participants who ate margerine, saturated fats, hydrogenated oils and refined carbohydrates were far worse off than those who ate olive oil, flax oil and healthy fats, even when the total calories consumed was the same.

And yet the study didn't examine food choices at all, leading its authors to come to the rather bizarre conclusion that diet plays very little role in heart disease. Or, stated in plain English, these researchers are saying that it doesn't matter what you eat. And only someone utterly unfamiliar with nutrition and human physiology could even suggest such a thing. It's bad science (and poor critical thinking) all the way.

The study is right about one thing, however: exercise gives you a healthy heart and cardiovascular system. Exercise more and you'll be healthier for it. And it's a good thing these researchers spent 17 years studying the issue, because frankly, nobody knew this. It's news to me! Have you ever heard of exercising actually making people healthier?

Despite widespread attention to diet, calorie intake may not be a major factor in causing death by heart disease, according to a 17-year study of almost 9,800 Americans. Instead, losing excess weight -- or not becoming overweight to begin with -- and exercising may do more to ward off death from heart disease, say Jing Fang, M.D., and colleagues from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York. Expending energy through physical activity may be the key to cutting the risks of heart disease and living a longer, more healthful life, she says. Fang's group compared reports of physical activity, body mass index and dietary caloric intake to deaths from heart disease through 1992.

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